What's in a name? Apparently pipeline building, according to John Sullivan, Professor of Management at San Francisco State University and a talent-management thought leader from Silicon Valley, who explains the benefits of using the "27 Names" technique.
By asking candidates to share the names of people they would recommend for hiring, recruiters can leverage the networks of qualified talent throughout the interviewing and onboarding process, and well into each candidates' career.
Sullivan says this process helps managers shore up recruitment efforts and add a level of creativity. Often the talented, experienced workers are employed by competitors — this is a way of targeting that pool.
The "27 Names" recruitment strategy is like networking in a high speed race. It ramps up the process of employee referrals by starting before a candidate gets hired. It works using psychology, because a candidate will likely choose to share the names of people who have similar qualities and desired traits that he or she wants the hiring manager to see. It nets dozens of names in a short period of time, enabling recruiters to target the best of the best passive talent.
One large issue is the likely pushback. Why would an applicant provide the names of other talented people during the interview process? Sullivan advises that candidates be put at ease with the process by telling them that they are not providing the names of people who could compete with them for an opening.