“Next Move lookers” – a priority recruitment target group!

Life is about making your move. Where’s your next destination? Where are you heading and why? Already as young we learn that keeping a steady pace and being in constant move is something positive. Society rewards people who make moves and we applaud careers. Some countries where we are more shallow such as Sweden still rewards the same things but informally, it is not seen as prudent to talk about our amazing career moves in the open. In some other countries it is expected of you to talk about it. It is about culture also.

But one thing remains; We reward the moves. We reward your experiences. We become inspired from your skills, your stories and your vast know-how. Whether you went for management or specialist is not as important. You are still going to be rewarded.

Rewards are different; they could consist of increased salary packages, better benefits suiting your present life and increased personal status and access to network. Often it is a combination of these three.

Doing your research along the road we spot that it is not something that the less attractive companies are ‘forced’ to do either. Instead the best companies are those doing this all the time. Why? Because they have understood the immense competition there is for talent. Talent is expensive. Not only to hire but to retain. If really smart people decrease of work morale and happiness, they are going to open up for new opportunities elsewhere. And they are going to get it eventually.

Therefore many argue that we recruit everyday. Our current employees needs to be convinced they made the right choice at all times. Treating them well is but a default thing. This is about making them seen. Making their lives easier. Making the office and their work into a platform for how to leverage their dreams and fulfil their ambitions.

Understanding this will make you less surprised when your best employees leave you because you denied them their promotion, salary increase or because some manager humiliated him/her before others by the coffee machine when you questioned their choice of having a break. All this is basic. I am sure you don’t do this – or do you? If you do, expect your recruitment costs (and I include training of new staff, time it takes to find the right replacement and time you lose doing other important things when performing the training) to escalate quickly.

In short: You recruit every day. Always.

And when adding new people there is a highly attractive group of people we seldom talk about and rarely target our recruitment communications towards: The Next Move Lookers!

As said, we are trained since childhood to look out for our next move. Career is obviously the same. Most of us want professional progress after all. Not all of us are perhaps interested in making a special career. According to research an entire 65% are not looking to make some “great career” but an entire 80% out of those saying that still mention they are interested in making professional progress such as learning new skills and varying their work assignments and tasks.

Therefore let us quickly summarize it like this: People want to try new things out!

Surprised? Not really am I right? I thought so. It is pretty logical after all. So why do I bring this up? I bring this up because of the reason that an entire 60-75% of recruiters mention that one of the top three criteria, for them, when looking for a suitable candidate, is to look for someone who has done or is doing the exact same thing in the present. This to ensure they get their hands on a experienced candidate who is able to do the job. In order to know this they are looking for people with the exact profile of what they look to recruit.

It’s fun isn’t it? Think if we did this in other things in life? If we want to make a family and have two children, would we only source possible love partners based upon already having two kids?

Ironically a person doing the exact same thing at the time or having done it in the past is less likely to find an exciting challenge if being presented with the opportunity. Naturally there are exceptions and someone loves that particular thing they are doing and look to do the same thing again but in a new environment. Of course. But in general it goes like this:

Hello Bob! I know you are doing X, Y and Z at the time. I would love for you to do X, Y and Z for <Company X>. Thrilling isn’t it? Did I mention we have free breakfasts?”

Many great recruitments are done this way since sourcers, when able to dig around for some time, often find at least someone who want to remain doing what they are doing. But many vacancies are not filled. It is an unwritten truth and consensus among many big employers that many roles never materialise.

The reason for this are many. One of them is this absurd way of recruiting. What we need to identify are those who have a great chance of performing well in this particular role. We need to look out for those who have a higher chance and possibility to suit the company culture and the role and become great at it. In short: Spot the candidate who would see this as their next career move – not the candidate who is already doing it.

Chances are this candidate is also going to enter with a lot more energy and relishing the challenge. If the new guy also suit the culture of the company it could often become one of the best hires you’ve made.

In sports, we learned as younglings to never pass the ball where the other player is standing but to the spot where we think he will be when the ball is there. It is called a through ball. The opponents have it harder to follow and it is a better chance you’ll create something good if thinking like that. The same goes for recruitment.

Another great thing with this is that you need to become more creative when looking at talent profiles. And why is that good? It means less competition for talent about certain roles from your competitors.

“I getcha. But it’s hard. And how do I know who have the best chances to fit the bill?”

You’ll never know for sure but then again you’ll never know an experienced, senior and more expensive recruit is going to suit the company culture either. You only know that the latter person has done a job in the past and you can be safe knowing that individual knows how to do it. But will he think out of the box? Will he have the same energy when doing the same thing one more time? Will he care enough about the company to walk the extra mile?

Sometimes our focus on experience blindens us from seeing the potential in others. Fact is we can never know who is going to be the best hire completely. Many agree that drive, motivation and attitude are far more important than experience proven track record. And ironically they fail to bring that knowledge with them when evaluating potential new hires.

If you want to make a verdict of people who have succeeded in the past: Create tests upon present employees. Personality, analytical, verbal etc. Check their background and interview some of your biggest stars on relevant positions. Ask them what they think is imperative in the job and what they brought that really was fundamental for making them good in what they do. Find those things that connects these people and re-create your recruitment profile. Market the position to those people instead. Hire a “Next Move Looker”.

If you challenge yourself you have done so a lot of times already. And they are most often your most valued and best performing employees. I assure you.

Go on. Pass a through ball.

Best of luck.

Daniel Sonesson