One of the leading influencers in the HR industry is Dr. John Sullivan. He made an excellent observation in an article he wrote about NBA teams recruiting LeBron James. It’s a good lesson for anyone recruiting high-value candidates. Sullivan said:
“Power-they (game changers) fully understand their value and their importance and as a result, they expect to be treated differently than the average applicant. They know that they hold the power in any potential new relationship or recruiting opportunity, so they expect to be courted.”
Let’s look at some of the most important points Dr. Sullivan makes.
Candidates understand their value. We know that there is a lot of competition for strong candidates. The unemployment rate for professionals with a college degree is 3 to 5 percent.
And most of them know it.
Candidates are individuals, and no two situations are the same. When it’s apparent that candidates you would like to recruit into your organization are aware of their value, your approach has to take that into account.
Treat candidates who understand their high value differently. When members of this group begin to consider other companies, they have many options. One of those will be to stay at their current position. Don’t assume they’re “looking”. You can’t handle them as you would an average recruit.
This group may object to testing and may prefer to initially speak to individuals who will be making the final hiring decision. You need to be flexible in your process and creative in your interviewing.
Take your discussions to a deeper professional level. Since they have put themselves in the market, find what they are looking for in a change and what kinds of opportunities would motivate them to move. Something prompted them to be sitting across from you; tactfully explore what that may be.
Court these candidates. What I’m beginning to describe above might be compared to a courting process. You must demonstrate an interest in these candidates that is genuine. They need to know that you’re on their side in their quest to find a position that is going to satisfy their needs.
How can your company create a winning environment for the next high-powered candidate that enters your office?