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  • Writer's pictureKen Lubin

3 Reasons Companies Can't Hire Top Talent

Most companies think that they should be able to hire “A” level talent at the drop of a hat and that candidates should be begging to work for them; this is the furthest from the truth. In fact most companies are terrible at hiring good talent, never mind hiring the best. The reality is that you are not Apple, Google, Microsoft, Goldman or the coolest new start up in the land, then why are you trying to hire like you are?

Organizations need to have a gut check and realize that they are typically a “B” at best and most likely a “C”. I like to use the analogy of when you are trading in a car. Most people believe that they should be able to get the trade in value for a car that is in pristine condition, when in reality they will be lucky if they get the good value. Like most cars, companies have nicks, dings, and a sputtering engine from time to time and once they own that, the perspective of hiring is changed.

Accepting responsibility and realizing what the organization really is, is the first step in getting the best talent you can. Once this happens, it is possible to strategize about developing a plan for hiring success. There are 3 major pitfalls that companies fall into when hiring.

  1. They can’t tell the story- There needs to be synergy between everyone in the organization. Each needs to know the mission, the direction, the product, and value proposition of the company. If everyone a candidate meets has a different story, the firm looks confused and unprofessional, this leaves a bad taste in top talent’s mouth.

  2. Perception- Most companies/leaders think they are the best and that is not a bad thing, but this is when reality sets in. You need to be the best to hire the best, there needs to be internal level setting to realize who and what you are going to get based on 3 important factors; Who is the leadership? Can you show “me” the money? What is the growth trajectory? and do they believe in the product? If either of these are not exciting, cutting edge, or adding value to their wallet, most “A”players aren’t going to join.

  3. The Market (Speed)- We are in the midst of one the lowest historical unemployment environments in recent decades. Companies need to be able to make fast hiring decisions, willing to step up on comp and do what it takes to get the “A” level candidate off the street. The days of taking weeks and weeks with multiple interviews are over. Once a candidate starts looking at one position, the likelihood the will be looking at others sky rockets. Realize you are not the only game in town and that you need to act fast, or they are gone!

“A” talent knows they are the best in the market, not the best on the market. When organizations are looking to attract the best, they need to be prepared, dialed in, and ready to act. Most companies expect that from the candidates, but where they miss the mark is not expecting it from themselves. To be the best you have prepare like you are the best!


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