Navigating The Future Of Work With Elatia Abate

Multi-time guest and long-time friend of the Rebase podcast Elatia Abate is back, and in this critically important episode we discuss how “The Future Of Work” is no longer some mythical thing coming sometime in the future.

No, The Future Of Work is here now, and ready or not it’s time to prepare ourselves.

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From Laid-Off To Startup Employee To Startup Founder – A Conversation With Home Run Dugout CEO Nick Hermandorfer

It is April 2020 and, in just 4 weeks time, 22 Million Americans suddenly find themselves unemployed. And there is a TON of uncertainty swirling about, and no doubt it is definitely warranted. And for many of us, this is not the first time in our professional lives where we’ve seen such a dramatic downturn in the economy, resulting in massive layoffs and entire businesses going under.

So while we’ve never experienced this type of pandemic before, it’s precisely because many people have experienced large scale recession that I wanted to connect those of you who are feeling uncertain with stories of growth, hope, and fulfillment.

In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with someone I have a ton of respect for and consider a friend: Nick Hermandorfer.

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Talent Scouts-as-a-Service?

I spend a lot of time thinking about the Hiring space, specifically as it relates to the problems & challenges faced by smaller employers.

One of my favorite “Thinking Time” questions is

“What are the gaps between my customers’ needs and the products & services that are available?”

(for more on Thinking Time, see the must-read book The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham)

Here are some of the key problems I observe in companies that are beyond that “scrappy bootstrapped” phase but without multiple consecutive years of impressive, steady growth.

  1. Sourcing good candidates is a huge issue, if not THE primary roadblock
  2. CoFounders, Executives, Hiring Managers are still primarily in DOING mode vs LEADING mode
  3. Recruiters, whether FT On-Staff or Contracted by a service, spend a lot of their time operating & coordinating. Sometimes your “Recruiter” is an HR Generalist-type, who doesn’t have that recruiting background
  4. These companies by-and-large balk at Agency Recruiter Fees
  5. Almost every single one of these companies spends their time reacting to sudden hiring needs and open roles… which introduces additional chaos and churn… which extends time-to-hire among other things

Here are Early stages of an idea to fill these gaps. I’m not implementing this idea, mind you, simply brainstorming.

In sports (and other industries), organizations have talent scouts whose primary responsibility is to identify, evaluate and start building relationships with players the team may be interested in, whether now OR in the short-to-medium term future. The relationships they build keep the players as “warm leads” so the team can stay prepared and doesn’t get caught with its pants down needing to fill a particular position all of a sudden.

(It’s also worth noting that many large corporations dedicate full-time employees to the purpose of scouting.)

What I’m picturing is this provided as a subscription service targeted at smaller, time- and resource-constrained organizations.

The “Talent Scout” spends a little time with company leadership on a recurring basis to identify positions and skillsets they may need in the near future. They then connect the talent they meet with the company, but on a casual, low-pressure basis (this is the other problem for in-demand talent: Recruiters & Headhunters *can* be pushy & relentless, a huge turnoff). The Talent gets to know the Company, and if turnover or growth leads to an open spot, it could be filled rather quickly by someone on this bench.

For argument’s sake, let’s say Monthly Cost to the Employer is around $5–10k (could tier it based on number & type of positions or something), lower than almost any 15–25% Recruiter Fees on a single hire. Risk to the Employer is paying for months when they have zero need for hiring (which, given high average turnover rates, seems fairly low risk)

Benefits include the ability to better anticipate future staffing needs, reducing reactive behavior, shortening time-to-hire, less time & energy spent sourcing (and most likely for less $$ than an Agency).

Admittedly, there are bound to be a hundred holes in this idea, as I haven’t vetted it beyond the concept stage. I also haven’t researched a ton of comps, so maybe it’s the least original idea ever.

But for those of you in small-to-medium businesses, especially those on a Hiring Team, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

Drop me a comment and let me know: Does any of this sound like it would be valuable, time-saving, effort-saving in your organization?