How to Hire Top Talent in Today's Economy


Written by:
Dan Bolen, Dan Bolen & Associates

9. Examine the Need for and Cost of Relocation

Hiring candidates that must relocate necessitates significant relocation costs. Examine carefully whether relocation is absolutely necessary. Candidates are still struggling with relocation issues because of the housing decline and movement of families. In sales and marketing positions and some technical positions, it may be cost effective to leave candidates in their own location. Many candidates are more willing to travel to headquarters two to three times a month. For certain positions, relocation is mandatory. If you do relocate a candidate, offer extended temporary housing until their home sells. The housing market is picking up somewhat, but will be critical for the next few years.

10. Consider Talented Candidates without Direct Product Experience

Consider hiring talented candidates who may not have direct product experience in your industry. If they are a top performer in a related product line or market but experienced in the same client base, look seriously at them. They can learn your product line in three to six months. As top performers, they will bring "out-of-box" creative thinking and performance to your position. They will also challenge existing employees, bring new ways of doing business and introduce new markets. If their industry knowledge meets 75 percent of your company's needs, it is the additional 25 percent that will cause them to stretch and learn. This in itself will keep them interested.

11. Ignore the News Media Regarding Hiring

Do not let the news media affect your hiring decisions. Make decisions based on your own company's hiring needs, goals and financial status.

12. Sell Your Company

Sell the benefits of your company and what you can offer a new employee. When you are interviewing, you must sell your company. It is time to have bragging rights! In today's economy, stability and security are key. Talk about how your company is successful and stable even though you have downsized. Top candidates know you should be downsizing. Talk about critical elements that attract candidates: top notch products and key areas where this position can lead in upward mobility. All top performers need to have growth potential. Talk about "out-of-box" thinking and strategies you employ.

As a hiring official, talk about why you joined the company and why this company excites you. Sell it enthusiastically and with conviction. Remember, the #1 reason candidates move has not changed. It is "chemistry" with the company and particularly with the hiring officials who make the hire. Everyone on your interview team needs to sell with this conviction.

One other key is to ask each candidate you interview this question: "Here is the biggest problem I am facing in this position this year; what would you do to solve it?" Listen carefully, and take extensive notes. The candidate who conveys he has solved an identical or related problem the most successfully and sells it with passion and conviction is most likely your best hire.

Conclusion

The worst of the recession is over and companies' profits and growth have started to rebound. In the last quarter of 2009, we saw almost all companies stop their loss and increase profits. The recovery is slower than in past recessions, but we are seeing positive changes. In December 2009, we had the greatest number of placements of any December in our history, which is traditionally slower than other months.

In conclusion, evaluate and rate staff-keeping only your top performers; selectively hire talent to replace critical needs; keep hiring process moving quickly; expand and open restrictions on talent from related industries; offer competitive and fair compensation; sell your company; and identify key issues you need solved.

Business is on the upswing, and it is the best time to hire top talent.  Remember your company's talent is your key resource. May you all have a great and successful 2010!

Dan Bolen is the owner of Dan Bolen & Associates, 9741 N. 90th Place, Suite 200, Scottsdale, AZ  85258, Phone: 480-767-9000.

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