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:

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.

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.


Rob Wieska is a contingent and retained recruiter exclusive to the electrical industry with a specialty in Power Distribution and Building Automation, in addition to general Electrical Product Manufacturing. To learn more about how he can help your company identify and attract talent, check out his biography, view his LinkedIn profile or send him an email at