When you’re competing for top talent, and you offer clear advantages over your competitors, you can exploit those advantages if you do it diplomatically.
Columnist Kris Dunn, Chief Human Resources Officer at Kinetix, has written an intriguing article for Fistful of Talent that offers five sneaky tips for negatively recruiting without appearing negative. Two of those tips didn’t seem particularly relevant to truck driver recruiting, so I didn’t include them in this post. Here are highlights from the original piece:
To Negative Recruit means you share interesting information about your competition with a candidate to increase your chance of closing. Here are [3 of the 5] Ways to Negative Recruit a candidate without looking like scum:
1. Assume the position of agent and always offer up what’s broken at your own company as you compare and contrast. Don’t just talk about the other company. Take what you know about your competition and compare and contrast with your own firm. Let the competition win a round or two. But make sure you win the final round, and make sure it’s a round that really matters to the candidate.
2. Use public information to help the candidate view the competitor with eyes wide open.
3. Ask questions about the next career step for the candidate if they join your competitor.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE THREE TIPS
Point 1 is by far the most important one to remember. In my own New Business efforts, I’m never shy about commenting on competitors—for a few reasons:
1) I like and respect the majority of agencies I normally compete against—and the fact that I’m willing to say genuinely nice things about them, in my opinion, demonstrates my commitment to a prospective client’s best interests.
2) There are still areas where I believe my firm offers advantages over even the best shops—whether it’s a better value for the money, or a stronger focus on bottom-line results.
3) I never say anything about competitors I couldn’t comfortably defend if it got back to them.
Regarding Point 2, if one of your competitors recently lost a large account which could lead to layoffs, or has a reputation for mistreating drivers, your candidates should know what they could be getting themselves into. Just remember to be diplomatic about sharing that information.
Finally, Point 3 is an excellent way to help candidates envision themselves being happily employed with your company for a long time. And isn’t that what we’d like to achieve with all our hires?