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The OG

The OG

Table of Contents





Debbie Walton

Editor at TALiNT Partners


Jonathan Prothero

President and Co- Founder at TalentNet

TALiNT International sat down with Jonathan Prothero, President and Co-Founder at TalentNet to talk about how they leverage the latest machine-learning and AI technology to enhance the candidate, company, and recruiter experience, as well as why they consider themselves the best of the best.

TI: TalentNet defines itself as one of (if not ‘the’) Direct Sourcing OGs. What sets you apart from the rest?

JP: As the originators of Direct Sourcing, we understand how quickly the talent acquisition landscape can change and the importance of always evolving. That’s why we created our One Doorway to talent, that allows companies to connect with a wide variety of candidate types through a single solution. Our TalentNet team continually works to improve our solution using the latest machine learning and AI technology, creating a more seamless experience both for candidates, companies and recruiters alike. We are actually currently implementing two new platforms: TalentConnect, which allows hiring managers and curators to communicate more eff ectively, and TalentMobility, which encourages current workers to register into a talent pool and apply for open roles within the organization allowing them to create their own career path. Through our years of broad experiences, we’re able to develop innovative strategies that are tailored to each client’s unique challenges, resulting in impactful results to their workforce.

TI: How does using talent intelligence shape your clients’ offerings?

 JP: Our ability to utilize the latest data collection analytics allows TalentNet to understand hiring challenges in different industries, as well as what candidates are looking for which is the ability to develop their own flexible career journey. We can then use these findings to curate a smooth, positive candidate experience, which is a vital part of the talent acquisition process.

 TI: There are vast talent shortages and permanent hiring has slowed because of that. Are you seeing organizations using direct sourcing strategies for contingent labor right now, to fill those gaps?

JP: Absolutely. Companies of all sizes, from conglomerates to startups, have begun creating contingent worker programs to mitigate talent shortages. We’re seeing a shift in how our clients view the hiring process. Instead of filling positions in the present, they’ve begun investing in building talent communities, allowing for long-term hiring success. This all ties back t o Direct Sourcing and creating sustainable talent pipelines.

TI: What steps do you take to ensure that direct sourcing efforts are aligned with your clients’ talent acquisition strategy and organizational goals?

JP: TalentNet is unique because we take a holistic approach to talent acquisition. All of our clients participate in our on-boarding program called Project Readiness at the beginning of their journey with us. This is a multi-day workshop that addresses best hiring practices and helps companies with Direct Sourcing decision making. This allows our team to fully understand our client’s goals and strategies while also deciding on the best approach to take.

 TI: What general challenges do you face at the beginning of a new partnership?

 JP: When we start working with an organization, the most important thing is to ensure we’re aligned with their expectations and capabilities. We work hard to build trust with all our partners, which enables us to communicate effectively and collaboratively to create a smooth process.

TI: How important is the employer brand when it comes to designing a directing sourcing strategy?

JP: A company’s brand is one of its biggest assets. By leveraging brand strength, you’re able to attract candidates who are already loyal to your company and knowledgeable about your business, leading to higher retention of top talent. This is why our software allows companies to integrate their brands into their talent acquisition strategy, whether through social media, email or other marketing avenues, allowing for a stronger online presence.

TI: How do you measure the success of your direct sourcing solutions, and what metrics do you use to track progress and make data-driven decisions about future talent acquisition initiatives?

JP: Each client has a unique set of needs and goals, meaning metrics will change based on the company. Some focus on cost savings, which we’re able to reduce significantly year over year, while others look at time to fill or vendor consolidation. We work with each company on a case by case basis to track key data, which helps us plan successful talent acquisition programs.

 TI: It’s still very much a candidate-driven market. What are candidates looking for in an employer?

 JP: Simply put, they’re looking for respect. Candidates are no longer willing to work at companies that don’t fit with their own future goals and philosophies. They’re looking to be treated fairly in the hiring process. A large part of this is effective communication. Applicants look down on companies who simply stop communicating if the applicant is not successful in the role

“Candidates are no longer willing to work at companies that don’t fit with their own future goals and philosophies.” Jonathan Prothero, President and Co-Founder at TalentNet

Candidates with negative experiences are less likely to re-apply or recommend certain companies to friends and colleagues. This is why TalentNet’s solution allows for easy communication and transparency. Candidates can see where they are in the process and curators can quickly send out emails or SMS whenever necessary.

TI: Looking ahead, what hiring trends do you see coming out in the market over the next 18 months – especially considering an impending recession.

JP: We’re seeing companies investing in long-term Direct Sourcing strategies, such as building up talent communities. By creating a robust community of qualified applicants, businesses can save both money and time when new positions open up. This is especially important as we potentially begin to navigate a difficult economic landscape. It’s great to see how many businesses are starting to see the value of utilizing Direct Sourcing not just for contingent labor, but for all worker types.. Through TalentNet’s One Doorway to Talent, for example, companies can attract a wide variety of talent, from full and part-time candidates to contingent workers.

“By leveraging brand strength, you’re able to attract candidates who are already loyal to your company Candidates are no longer willing to work at companies that don’t fit with their own future goals and philosophies.” Jonathan Prothero, President and Co-Founder at TalentNet