Insights into the forces shaping our industry.

Recruiting your Competition

Hiring Advice

When I am asked to conduct a search for a client company, I am often asked to find a candidate currently performing the same role and responsibility, from a direct competitor. That’s a reasonable deliverable and where I begin to source qualified candidates. In order to recruit a candidate for a lateral move, consider the following:

Will the offer be accepted?

For an offer to be accepted in a lateral move, be prepared to offer the candidate an increase in cash compensation (10 – 25%), equal or increased vacation and an equal or increased benefits package.  I am consistently hearing from candidates that they will not consider an opportunity without these parameters being met. In addition, if the candidate is making a lateral move, there should be a clear growth plan for their professional advancement in the future. Of course, there are other factors in why a candidate would consider making a move to your organization: exceptional company culture (better than their current company), the opportunity to work with great leadership, joining a team of brilliant co-workers, flexibility in work location, greater work / life balance, significant company growth (market share and top line sales / new markets or acquisitions and new product introductions), and/or the opportunity to work with innovative and emerging technologies.

Recruited Candidates

Remember, these are recruited candidates, not applicants.  We have targeted an industry leader with proven success to fill a specific need or address an existing challenge for good reason.

If you’re not prepared to offer each of these components to the candidate, consider recruiting a candidate in a level below the role you’re looking for.  One that has significant and proven industry knowledge, experience, successes and is ready to take a step up in their career (ex:  current Director stepping into a VP role).

The ‘plug and play’ candidate is ideal, but if you don’t offer a considerable upside relative to compensation, vacation, benefits and career trajectory, your best option is a candidate that has proven themselves at the level below the role you’re filling.