Have you ever noticed the different habits of shoppers? Over the years I have noticed the parallels between distinct shopping behaviors (and their outcomes) with the world of recruiting. Here are a handful of the different types of shoppers that distinctly remind me of the different approaches to recruiting:
- The shopper that’s always waiting for a sale. This is a 50/50 proposition. As often as it is successful, the item either ends up sold out or never goes on sale, so you just lose out.
- The shopper that’s searching for the best product for the best price. Usually ends in a bit of extra work, but worth it in the end.
- The shopper that sees what they want and buys it, without even looking at the price tag. The benefit is you get what you want, but sometimes pay more than you should have.
- The shopper with the pie in the sky. They want a ‘purple unicorn’ and will accept no substitutes. There are options that come close, but they keep on looking because it’s not ‘perfect.’ Once in a while they get lucky and find one, but most of the time they are unsuccessful.
- The shopper who may ideally want a purple unicorn but are willing to find a close substitute.
- The shopper we see at the garage sales and flea markets who get in arguments with the vendors. They will not pay the ticketed price because they just HAVE to get a bargain. This, of course, results in sometimes getting a deal, but more often, results in just irritating or offending vendors.
As a recruiter, I am guessing you know where I am going in my analogy. Recruiting top talent offers many similar scenarios to the nuances of shopping, with often the same results.
Approaches to recruiting
The shopper that’s always waiting for a sale
You may find the right candidate, but you keep looking until you find someone who has the same qualifications, but is cheaper, or in this analogy, on sale. Often, when you finally decide to bite the bullet because you can’t find a sale priced candidate, the one you want has already been ‘sold’ to another ‘shopper.’
The shopper that’s searching for the best product for the best price
Looking for the best-priced candidate whose salary expectations are realistic takes a good process to land great talent but can be worth it in the long run. There are competitors who may pay more, so an efficient process here is key. A good process and a flexible salary range will show them you recognize their value. The candidate will feel appreciated.
The shopper that sees what they want and buys it
The person who sees what they want and doesn’t care about the price tag in the hiring world is rare indeed. They often get what they want and move quickly, and candidates are happy; however, you also run the risk of hiring a candidate who inflates their value, and therefore, their salary expectations.
The shopper with the pie in the sky
The purple unicorn shoppers will interview many and select none. They want a purple unicorn and will not even settle for a pink panda. I think we all know how this turns out.
The shopper willing to buy a substitute
Negotiating for the best deal speaks to both candidates and companies. So why, when a company gives you a low-ball offer, are we so offended? Recognize that the company may be trying to stretch their budget or hoping for a good deal. If you don’t like the offer, come back with a reasonable number and tell them how much it will take to get the deal done. If they don’t accept, walk away, if they do, everyone wins. Just don’t get bent out of shape because they are trying to get a great deal.
The yard sale shopper
And for companies who are looking to add talent, making a fair offer is paramount in the perception of your company and the successful acquisition of talent. If you know the salary expectations of a candidate and choose to interview them, pony up. If you don’t want to pay that rate, let the candidate and recruiter know up front what their experience is worth in the grand scheme of your business. Don’t string them or their recruiter along. Tell them what the estimated wage would be if an offer is forthcoming, so you don’t waste your time or the candidate’s time.
Work with a professional
As a hiring manager, you must make the best impression, negotiate fairly, take the best offer, and consider both sides of the equation. You may be surprised at the difference an attitude makes when recruiting new talent for your team. If you are shopping for great talent and want a recruiting firm that will negotiate fairly, give us a call to find out what it will take to get the best bang for your buck.