The economic recovery will begin. Someday. Hopefully soon. You’ll know that day has arrived when most of the following occurs on a regular basis:
1. Candidates begin accepting counter-offers.
2. Candidates want more money.
3. Candidate opt-out rates increase at every step in the hiring process.
4. Candidates you just found tell you they have just received an offer.
5. Your best people leave for greener pastures at an accelerating rate.
When all of this occurs, it will be too late to do much about it. Once the supply of “easy” candidates begins to dry up, it will be tougher to source, recruit, and close the best of them. But you do have a little bit of time to prepare now. Given this narrow window, here are some ideas you might want to consider:
1. Leverage your ERP. Your employees know a lot of great people they haven’t referred to you. One way to find more of these people before the competition is to ask your fellow employees to review their LinkedIn contacts and tell you who the best of them are. As part of this ask your employees to expand their LinkedIn network to include the best people they’ve ever worked with in the past. Then have them send an email to the best of their connections saying that your company is accelerating its hiring efforts. As part of this email make sure it’s clear that these contacts should contact the employee if they’re even thinking of considering a move. This way you’ll have first shot at a bunch of great people as soon as they enter the market.
2. Learn to overcome the “What’s the money?” objection. When someone says, “Show me the money,” or something similar, don’t answer. Instead say, “Wait a second. Before I tell you about our comp package, I’d like you to think about the best job you ever had; one that you enjoyed and gave you a great deal of personal satisfaction. Was it the money that jazzed you, the people, or the work itself?” Now wait. The person will probably say it was the work itself, or the people. Then say, “Great. Wouldn’t it make sense to talk five or ten minutes to see if this job offers a similar learning or career experience?” Most people will say yes. Don’t sell the job or the money. Sell the next step instead, which is a discussion to determine if your position offers the candidate a career move.
3. Create a value pitch for your key jobs. You have 20 seconds to make your case that your job is worth considering, whether this is a job posting, a voice mail, or a verbal pitch. If you can’t describe the employee value proposition in 20 seconds you’ll lose the best candidates due to lack of interest. Creating an initial buzz is critical. It will keep your hot prospects in the game. To create the pitch, ask your hiring managers “Why would a top person want this job?” Forget the apple pie B.S. You must describe exactly what the person can learn, will be doing, and can become. Ask about the impact the person can make if successful.