August 28, 2023Comments are off for this post.

Recruitment Poker – take the candidate every time.

Imagine playing poker where your opponent’s hold cards are invisible when you must show yours at the outset of every hand.
In recruitment the deck is stacked against a client when competing for A+ talent. I can no longer ask a candidate for the specifics of their package, and I must disclose the dynamics of our proposed deal. I can ask for their expectations only and that is going to be framed by the range I am obligated to provide. There are ancillary parts to an offer that can be kept close to the vest – benefits, bonus measurements, car allowances etc. but the key salary numbers are shared.
The deck is stacked.
My advice to any candidate is to reflect on the compensation package before going down the garden path. In two recent recruitment projects, I and my client transparently discussed the dynamics of a proposed offer well ahead of putting pen to paper. That is the opportunity to respond (be it to a recruiter or to the hiring manager directly). If you go past this stage without articulating your expectations, you are wasting your time and the company’s time. 11th hour expressions of higher compensation expectations can lead to bridge burning. You have a personal brand to protect – if the company must be transparent from day one – you should reciprocate.
This does not mean you cannot say no – but it should mean that you are not quoting financial considerations as your primary motivating factor if those numbers were shared previously. If after truly crunching the numbers and feeling that you might not see enough compensation growth – counter. But to go through the entire process to simply say no can dent your brand. In a transient and fluid industry, you never know where paths might cross again.  This holds true for familial implications – every career move demands input from your inner circle – but that is not a conversation that starts after the offer is received.
There are fixed aspects to a contract that should never be the reason you say no – previously discussed salary, hybrid vs in office work model, bonus percentage etc – no way you should be surprised by any of this. The factors that you might be surprised about – vacation allotment, car allowance, strength or weakness of benefit programs – totally fair to hit the pause button and ask for flexibility or clarification.
High performance is a reflection of high expectation, and you should get the absolute best package for you and your family. But there is a way to do that that reinforces your ethics and integrity and in my estimation, in this market, this is all about pre offer transparency.

Take care of your reputation, it is your most valuable asset.

Brent Billing is a Senior Director of Client Services at Lecours Group. He has been with Lecours for 22 years.

August 14, 2023Comments are off for this post.

“Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” – Teddy Roosevelt.

There are 10 things my clients should be doing to lessen the likelihood that an offer will either not be accepted.

1. Define your recruitment process and cut the timeline in half. If it takes 8 weeks to recruit a GM – cut that to 4. Figure out what parts of your process are an impediment to a yes-yes negotiation and eliminate them. All stake holders in the recruitment decision must make it a priority and the entire recruitment process should be outlined and shared with any candidate who moves past interview one. Create a clear expected start date and make sure candidates are aware of this expectation.

2. As a candidate navigates your now streamlined process, do not hold any package cards close to your vest. Salary, bonus structure, PTO, benefit packages, relocation assistance numbers and LTIP programs all must be transparently discussed prior to the offer – and frankly prior to the final interview. There should be no surprises when the offer is made.

3. Make the offer Friday afternoon – it is good to Monday morning. If someone has been in a clearly defined process for one month – they do need any more time than 72 hours to make their decision. Making it outside of traditional business hours limits the opportunity for their head to get turned.

4. Eliminate unnecessary referencing. Let us be honest – the most overrated part of any recruitment process is completing the references THE CANDIDATE PROVIDED YOU. But if you do have to do them – do them Friday morning – schedule them – complete them – make the offer. You could be speaking to someone who has just had a vacancy come up within their organization – you just created competition unnecessarily.

5. Create artificial gravitas. You have made the offer on Friday. Have a senior corporate leader who maybe was not involved in the process send a quick two sentence email to the candidate over the weekend “we have not met, but I am aware of your candidacy and feel you could be a great addition to the team.” It matters.

6. Do not decline anyone. This tight recruitment timeline and short consideration period will allow you to quickly pivot should you not get the desired outcome.

7. Do not stop recruiting.

8. Be firm with deadlines. If someone asks for more time – I am telling you without equivocation the answer will be no. Buying time = keeping options open.

9. Limit the space between acceptance and start time. Professional notice periods are not 5-7 weeks – you defined in step 1 what your expected start time is – hold them to it.

10. Treat recruitment like sales. Your recruitment partners are not in HR – they are in sales and what they are selling is the link between talent and opportunity. Hire better people – and they will hire better people.

"To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often." - Winston Churchill

Brent Billing is a Senior Director of Client Services at Lecours Group. He has been with Lecours for 22 years.

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