August 29, 2013

How to Woo, Seduce and Capture High Demand Talent (Part 2)

business woman is trapped in a small box with anxiety We recently wrote about the fact that most companies will at one point or another find themselves hiring for a high-demand role where they face candidates with plenty of other options on the table.

I explained how in this environment employers needed to adapt from a purely acquisition based hiring model where you simply, point, click and hire the star of your choice to a solutions sales based approach where you painstakingly observe and understand the candidate’s wants and begin to fashion a tailor made job, career and employer package, which is custom built to their requirements. This is the way to maximize your chances of closing the deal on high demand talent. In the first article I expanded on how you could understand candidate’s requirements during the interview and in this article I’ll focus more on how to fashion a tailored offering to woo and seduce the typical high demand candidate.

As we have said, once you have understood the candidate’s key motivators you’ll need to show the candidate that you can deliver on it. So, during the successive interviews you need to make sure that you are placing an emphasis on the real areas of the employer brand that appeal to the candidate.

For example, if the candidate has shown an interest in taking more responsibility and progressing, then make sure you have taken the time to specifically focus on the development opportunities within the team and organization and what scope there is to progress within the role. Take this further, and give real examples of employees who have progressed and over what time scale. Better still, conduct some peer interviews and have the candidate’s potential colleagues interview the candidate and provide first hand evidence of how they progressed and the progression opportunities. Using multiple sources within the organization will help to verify the authenticity of your organization as a great place to have a career.

Another example, could be that the candidate wants to join an organization with a great team spirit and where there is a focus on team work and collaboration. Once again emphasize this aspect of your organization to the individual showing real life examples of how your team collaborates together and the rewards that have come as a result of this. Use peer interviewers and encourage the candidate’s potential colleagues to talk about the collaborative successes and perhaps arrange a team lunch at 2nd/3rd interview stage to really demonstrate your organization’s commitment to collaboration and team engagement.

So, in all circumstances, find out what the high demand candidate’s brand priorities are through questioning and both tell and show how your employer brand meets their expectations.

Time is also at a premium as top candidates will be soon be snapped up, so accelerate your hiring process for high demand skills, perhaps combining 1st, 2nd and 3rd interview into one extreme interview or power interview. Or simply try and move from posting to job offer in under a month.

Prepare and be ready for counter offers from existing employers by quizzing candidates about the counter offer and making sure your offer and package clearly addresses the shortcoming of their current employers in the same way as the counter offer does.

Good luck with capturing your high demand candidate!

Read more in Hiring Process

Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.