Finding talent that whispers

Understandably the easiest talent to spot is often found by looking in the most obvious places; doing the same job you are looking to recruit for, working for a direct competitor. This is the brief we often find ourselves working to but is this always the only or best way to identify talent?
The first few months of this year brought with it an interesting campaign with a different take on finding talent. 
We met the new CPO of a large procurement function who was looking to make an organisational change. They needed to recruit eight people and she was very clear on the opportunity to use this change to secure the very best talent, which helped us to scope a project brief that would not focus on simply talent that shouts. 
Rather than present a shortlist of CV's that had the perfect experience in a very similar role we focused on what makes their very best people great. This allowed us to put together an assessment day which would effectively test these attributes and competencies. Part of the agreement was that we were paid on success (both appointment and retention), however the organisation didn't have line of sight of who we would put on the two assessment days. 
Over the two days we assessed 18 people and the wash-up concluded that three of the eight people appointed would not have been interviewed in a conventional process. Their current experience did not appear to be as strong as many others we could have presented. They were not working in as easily relatable environment and in two of the cases, had not been fortunate enough to tick the educational boxes required in the original brief. They did however meet the core requirements of the existing organisational high flyers.  They were able to demonstrate these attributes in the assessment centre along with a strong cultural fit. 
The outcome for the client and CPO in question was a successful campaign with a truly diverse new team. It's an example that should make us all question whether only considering talent that shouts from the most obvious/traditional places leads us to recruit with a bias against diversity? Surely we all have to challenge ourselves to identify and invest in talent that whispers? 
Indirectly is your screening restricting diversity and the availability of real talent that will fit and add real value to your organisation?   
I have worked for the PageGroup for over 12 years and in that time our working environment and those of the organisations we recruit for have continued to evolve. PageGroup is proud to be leading the way with a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion programme, believing this is the correct way to continue our growth while allowing us to access more of the whispering talent. 
Rob Bales
T: +44 121 230 9381
M: +447919593128