Top Talent—Gone in 60 Seconds?

Well, not 60 seconds, but 10 days according to internationally known HR thought leader John Sullivan, PhD. Citing research by, Sullivan says that the best candidates tend to stay in the job market for 10 days. If you wait, you lower your quality of hire, Sullivan says. These tips came during his session at BLR’s RecruitCON, held in Las Vegas in 2016.

To succeed at recruiting, you must know precisely what attracts and sells, Sullivan says. This information will improve your recruiting and candidate pitches.
If you are a small firm or startup firm, you can tout these top 10 attraction factors:

  1. I finally fit. You finally “fit” because you will be surrounded by other innovators and risk-takers.
  2. Build, not fix. You can “create something brand new,” rather than “fix” already existing features.
  3. Continuous excitement. There will be a constant adrenaline rush because you will play a major role in every problem, decision, and opportunity. Your entire team will literally depend on you.
  4. Opportunities to take risks. You’ll be in a risk-taking environment where you will not be “afraid to fail”—what would you do if you weren’t afraid?
  5. Access and knowing why. You will have continuous access to decision makers, and if they reject your ideas, you will know why.
  6. Rapid approvals. You will have rapid approval or rejection of your ideas, and in many cases, you will be able to make your own decisions.
  7. Collaborative work environment. You will be in a highly collaborative work environment that is designed around the needs of innovators.
  8. Broad responsibilities. With lean staffing, you will have broad job responsibilities, crossfunctional opportunities, and there will be no restrictive job descriptions.
  9. A panache image. Working at a startup may cause your corporate friends to be envious because you will be viewed as a risk-taker, an entrepreneur, and a pioneer.
  10. A chance to make a difference. You will change lives—and maybe the world.

Then, you can tout the following disadvantages of large firms:

  • A stifling bureaucracy
  • Too many stifling rules and policies
  • Risk-adverse, self-centered managers
  • Politics and silos
  • Slow decision making
  • Resistance to change
  • Narrowly defined job descriptions with little freedom
  • A “meeting culture” that only makes “vanilla decisions”
  • A lack of transparency
  • Talk … but little action about innovation and creativity
  • A laser-focus on profit

Do your “candidate research,” says Sullivan, to find out:

  • When they look for jobs
  • What attracts them to a job
  • How long the best are on the market

Finally, here, according to Systems, Applications, and Products survey data cited by Sullivan, are top criteria that two groups of applicants value:

Criteria for average performers Criteria for top performers
1. Competitive compensation 1. Can’t put it down/exciting work.
2. Bonuses/merit-based rewards 2. I see my impact.
3. Retirement plans 3. I work with top coworkers.
4. Training programs 4. I have great managers.
5. Flexible work location 5. I have a chance to win and be the first.
6. Vacation time 6. Learning advanced things/growing.
7. Benefits for families 7. I have the opportunity to innovate/take risks.
8. Flexible schedule 8. Freedom in what/when/where/who.
9. Education support 9. Be an expert/mastery of an area.
10. Health Care 10. To be constantly challenged.
11. Implement ideas and make decisions.
12. Advanced resources and tools.
13. Transparent and access to information.
14. They track and reward performance.

Source: SAP survey