• Scott Whipkey

5 Tips for Hiring in a Hot Economy


5 Tips for Hiring in a Hot Economy

Scott Whipkey, CEO, Ascend Executive Search

OCTOBER 10, 2018 - It’s a new economy and a new game. At Ascend, our placements, retained searches, confidential searches, and inbound client calls are way up. It’s a great time to be in the executive search business!

But for businesses, the booming economy and historically low unemployment means slim pickings for top talent. Active candidates are in short supply, and passive candidates often ignore the onslaught of inapt messages, calls, and emails. AI programs and online postings help generate volume, but ultimately hinder HR’s ability to land top talent.

So here are five suggestions for companies looking to land star talent for critical roles in today’s strong market.

1. Get Real. Your company’s first interaction with a prospective hire should be from a real person with a compelling story to tell. Anything else, and you may have lost them forever. Your communications with recruited-passive candidates must be personal, clear and compelling.

2. Brand. If your organization doesn’t have a brand and a distinct message, then you have some work to do. And if you message is not written down, you don’t have one.

3. Go Lean. Stop relying on resumes, job descriptions, applications and HR phone screens (everybody hates them). Streamline your interview process – initial contact to offer should be a maximum of 3 weeks.

4. Wine & Dine. You really want to land that superstar? Have the hiring manager and their boss take the candidate and their spouse to a fancy dinner. This is not just for high-level positions anymore – use it for engineers and techies – you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to become a destination company with a little energy and effort.

5. Retain. Once you land your superstar, keep them happy. Stop keeping track of hours and vacation days. Trust your people. Focus on results and be overly generous with things like time-out-of-office. And make sure that fancy dinner isn’t just a one-time thing. Because if you don’t, someone else will.


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