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Winning the Very Best: How to Employ Senior Talent in a Candidate-Driven Market

Winning the Very Best Blog Post Graphic

With the New Year rolling in, a strong economy and unemployment expecting to reach 3.8% this year, the demand for senior talent (especially in the digital space) far exceeds the supply of readily available talent. We are past the days of 2008 where the employer held all the cards in the deck and could hold candidates to very specific, often lofty, job requirements and a reduced compensation / benefits package. Today, emerging technology companies and early stage organizations looking to hire seasoned, senior talent – especially in Sales and new age roles such as Data Scientists and Chief Digital Officers – see themselves as passengers to a candidate driven conversation. To find an equal matching candidate to your organization, there are some key differences you and your talent acquisition team can utilize to win over your next key hire.


Prioritize Your Company’s Needs AND the Candidate’s Goals

Before you and your talent acquisition team undergo your senior level search make sure to first ask yourself “what value will this hire bring to the team?” Lay out the ground work for the seriousness of this hire, what you expect their short term and long term objectives will be, and what will be the gauges of success. What are the challenges this individual will face? How do you envision the role? Use these answers as guidance in the beginning of your recruitment plan.

Once you have this in place and find your sought after candidate, make sure you have a strong understanding of the candidate’s own personal goals are with making a transition. With senior level talent, the career switch isn’t merely about a salary bump or a change of scenery. Take the time to understand what that candidate is looking for in the transition. What are their career goals? You may find yourself crafting the role around this individual if you truly believe this is the perfect fit for your company.


Create a Quick and Painless Hiring Process

We aren’t saying you should have hire your senior talent over the phone, but with many company’s talent acquisition strategies end up becoming a drawn out ordeal, you might just lose your ideal candidate. In the candidate driven market, any hiring manager should assume that if a candidate is interviewing with your organization that they are most likely interviewing with other companies simultaneously. Forming a process where your candidates are given timely feedback, responses and next steps will ensure a higher likelihood of reaching your potential hire before the competition does.


Offer your Best Offer First

When it comes to senior talent, you will find yourself in a bidding war with other companies who have sent out offer letters. While plenty of competing companies have all the craft-beer-on-tap and pool tables in the world to offer, if you want your offer to stand out right away then put your best foot forward. This means not only a well-fitting compensation package to the talent, but other incentives that are customized to that specific talent. If you have your eyes set on one particular candidate but that candidate may have a longer commute, offer a part time work from home plan. Expecting parent? Craft a maternal / paternal leave plan that is customized and incentive-filled. With the rise of custom benefits packages, sign off bonuses and other incentives, your best offer should be laid out immediately unless you are willing to lose your unicorn candidate.


Partner With and Consult an External Recruitment Agency

Let’s face it, hiring a senior member to your organization can change the entire dynamic of your company. Hiring the wrong person not only can dissuade existing staff, but will cost your team dramatically in terms of opportunity cost and energy spent. Partnering with a consultative external recruitment agency will ease the process of hiring senior staff. With the network attached to recruitment agencies and the experience attached to their staff, you will find yourself saving money in the long run by utilizing their services.

Alan Cutter

Alan Cutter founded New York City's premier digital media recruiting agency, AC Lion International, and continues to lead the growing company as their fearless CEO. For over 20 years, AC Lion has been the trusted provider of revenue generating talent in the digital and technology landscape. Our reach spans from innovative venture-backed startups to enterprise level organizations. AC Lion is a proud member of the Lionseye Group, a collective of brands furthering talent acquisition through Venture Capital, HR Technology and Thought Leadership.