Finding the Edge for Competitor Hiring

by | Oct 14, 2022 | HR Series

Hiring from direct competitors is the eternal challenge facing talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers. Finding that edge that will increase your chances of winning the services of those working on the other team is like searching for a Shia LaBeouf fan – hard to find.

In management consultant firms for example, only approximately 40% of mid career hires are from direct competitors. When we look into industry, that increases to 55% due to necessity but still far from the ideal ratio.
A common strategy to increase those percentages is to engage recruitment agencies for assistance in the form of retainers or containers. Retainers in particular are useful when running a search for a specific position. However, by and large this path is mostly ineffective due to the short-term engagement a retainer represents. Containers as well, by themselves, are great at facilitating engagement between HR and the agency, but often lacks a detailed plan on how to maximize this collaboration.
What then?
If we are to increase the percentage of direct competitor hiring beyond a short term spike and create a new standard, we need to develop a sustainable strategy. One that focuses on the age old adage ‘knowledge is power’.
This is where market mapping is essential as the core foundation of the strategy. An effective market map gives you an in depth overview on your competitors organizational structure including details on all their employees within it. Easier said than done. To build an accurate market map takes an extraordinary amount of data collection & analysis, networking and general recruitment know-how.
External insights provide answers.
On top of how your competitors are structured, market mapping is a great way to obtain an array of information including which channels they are hiring from, compensation & benefits benchmarking, and especially in the case of hiring talent at the senior management level, what kind of pitch would generally be needed to attract them.
Being armed with this information allows you to become more targeted and proactive in who you are approaching and how you are approaching them. With strong follow-up collaboration between HR, hiring managers, and a trusted recruitment agency, you can now generate a list of priority targets as well as secondary and lower priority targets.
What this does is it creates a platform that encourages the agent or talent acquisition personnel to approach any singular target with a much more customized proposition. Without doubt, this gives a considerable advantage in bringing good people through the door to at least have initial conversations. That, at the end of the day, is half the battle.
What happens when we have them interested in meeting? Could a market map also then help with closing the candidate?
A lot of the data collected from putting this market map together offers important insights into how the general industry views you as a company which is the first step to being able to better manage how you are perceived within the industry. This data also shares insights into benchmarking on employee benefits as well as how your competitors’ internal promotion pathways operate. This will play a big part in being able to make informed decisions on remuneration packages and how to effectively highlight your own internal promotion pathways.
Ultimately, it is powerful knowing exactly how your competitors are positioned and what their talent pool looks like. Having a way to reach out to each person of interest on that market map takes things to the next level. Building accurate market maps requires an inordinate amount of work, but the results have always spoken for themselves.
If you are interested to know about how specific market maps can help with your hiring challenges, reach out to our Business Innovation team here at Titan Consulting.
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