My competition is having a hard time (Let’s poach their employees)?


Several big-name financial service firms have recently announced serious job cutbacks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley & Barclays to name a few, but they are hardly the only ones trying to right-size after a few years of active markets.   The question for the rest of us is how we should adapt to this market, specifically for those firms that are still on the hunt for top talent.  The most obvious answer might be to scoop up those that have been let go. I would like to propose something a little different! 


Hiring employees that have recently separated from your competitors of course offers a viable, quick way to get candidates in front of you, offering access to a pool of talent that might not always be available to you (and maybe at discounted rates). There are always several factors that go into these decisions, tenure at a company, compensation, change of business focus, etc… We are always sympathetic and strive to help all, but it is important to make sure that anyone we seek to hire was in fact separated for a valid workforce reduction reason and was not just a “poor performer” lumped in with the rest.     


As you continue to build out your team and organization, hiring the right individuals, with experience at top-tier organizations (many of which are competing against yours directly or indirectly) is often not viewed correctly. Far too often, we tend to focus on the company name (and cache that it may bring) rather than what the individual contributed to that firm or to the success of their department.  A top performer at a “B+” company will be a far greater hire for you than a “bottom feeder” from an “A+” company. Additionally, we need to do whatever we can to make sure that we can provide for a new hire what their previous employer could not….. 


Hiring candidates just because they are available often is often counter to making good hires. We have seen so many instances over the past 30 years where companies will look past their proven hiring practices and goals, just to hire an individual that has that a “Prestigious Company” name. 


We often counsel our clients that a great place to search for candidates is not among the recently separated candidate pool, but rather from the still employed at the company that laid off pool.  Morale is typically at incredibly low levels and even those that were spared the most recent round of cutbacks have seen firsthand that it could happen to them.  Keep an eye out for what your competitors are doing and target those employees that might fit better with your stable and growing firm, rather than staying at their organization that just had massive cutbacks. 


If you’re interested in targeting employees from a competitor company, it’s important to know how to go about it, and when to do it. Identifying your competitors’ weaknesses is a great start. 
Feel free to reach out directly to discuss this topic further as well as any other questions or concerns regarding the current hiring climate. I guarantee that in our call together you will leave with 2 or 3 ideas that will greatly impact your ability to find, attract, and procure the top 10-15% of the candidate pool on a consistent basis.


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