C.I.A. Recruiting Tactics

Growth Series (Part 6)

The Growth series will posted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the month of October 2011.

“Do you want an exciting, rewarding career in…?” Who wouldn’t, I am sure that they do not want a dull, underpaid job. That line has become so used and abused it is almost like a cliché with little real meaning just like a lot of the recruiting sites, listings and career pages. Most are as appealing as bouillon broth soup.

This last week, I had three companies grumbling about their recruiting challenges. Two need sales people and one needs a technical person. I checked all three websites and not one was going to attract fish to the net, let alone the right fish and it would be difficult to actually determine who to talk to if you had an interest.

In most of these cases, the prospective candidate knows more about you than you do about them and having knowledge is power, not only in the pursuit but also the negotiations and post hiring integration to the company. The candidate has met or talked to people who have worked for or with you. They may have done business with your company or simply consider the rumor mill to be fact. Unfortunately, many recruiting appointments begin with a data dump about your company and all of the attributes, whether or not they are of interest to the prospect.

When you need the right people you need to use C.I.A. tactics - Completely Informed Approach.
  • What is the profile of the person(s) you need to hire. How do you speak to these needs on your web site? Not the traditional recruiters language but really selling the opportunity, making it something they need to know more about and with a bit of mystery so that they need to talk to you.
  • Identify the known people who fit the profile and create a target list.
  • Do some research on the top 5 – 10 on the list. Google, FaceBook, Linkedin and many online sources will be extremely valuable. Your job is to build the profile of the person, a dossier.
  1. When you look at Linkedin, see who is connected to both you and the prospect. If the prospect is not connected to you, it might be a good time.
  2. Facebook will most likely lead you to many of the more personal interests and a bit of insight to their personality.
  3. Check out other sources in the industry.
  • Does the profile of the person still fit the person you are looking for? If not, they should not be on your top list.
  • Next ask these questions.
  1. Why would this person want to work for you?
  2. Why wouldn’t this person want to work for you?
  3. What would be the key motivator beyond money for them to join you?
  4. Are there any obvious restraining factors or red flags?
Using C.I.A. tactics leaves you far better prepared to create opportunities to bump into them or invite them to a meeting, knowing what will attract the prospect and how to engage them in discussions. You will also know what is most important to them and be able to align your company’s needs and offerings to help them see a perfect fit. Your opportunity should be multifaceted and open a path to meeting their goals and objectives.

Money will come into play but it is not all about money and often when a prospect goes to money first it is a way to end the conversation rather than qualify the opportunity. If you allow the opportunity to be commoditized at the beginning, you are already in a compromised position. If it is really being used as a qualifier, ask questions to help you define and understand before offering an answer. Your answer may also be the opportunity to better understand the fit. If their range is not too obnoxious, you may want to answer that the range is within consideration but you will need to know if they qualify for that range or what they will need to do to get there.

Recruiting is perhaps one of the most exciting ways to grow a company. With the right people in the right positions, you can achieve great results.

Speaking of good recruiting websites, you may want to check out the Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA) for ideas. I am sure that they apply the Completely Informed Approach when considering a prospect.


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