Duck Hunting: How to Catch Your Perfect Candidate
It’s hunting season and it’s your goal to catch the perfect duck. To catch a prize-winner, you have to be smart, strategic, and stealthy. The same goes for recruiting your perfect candidate. To make sure you have the right people on your team be thoughtful as to when and where would be the best time and place to locate them. Just being in the right place at the right time isn’t going to help you catch them, but it’s a start.
Is it Time to Migrate?
Timing is the first step to success in any hunt. Ducks, like most birds, are known to migrate seasonally. If the ducks aren’t in the pond, your hunt isn’t going to be very successful. However, just because the ducks aren’t there, doesn’t mean you have to give up the hunt. You have two options: wait for them to come back or move to another hunting ground.
Prepare for Turbulence
There are many professional and personal reasons that are deciding factors behind life-changing decisions. Unfortunately, you’ll never be able to manage them all, but you can be aware of certain elements that may make a candidate more hesitant to join your team.
Most people hate change, so it’s common for employees to stay in an unfulfilling, boring career just so they can feel secure. Security doesn’t just mean workplace comfort; people want to feel secure financially. Making a switch can impact their lives so dramatically, so an opportunity has to be worth the preparation, turbulence, and elevated stress on their daily routine and temporary finances. Anticipate their concerns, and make sure your offer accounts for them.
Set The Lure
To get the candidate everyone is gunning for, you need to have a winning strategy to lure them in. To lure in a duck, you need to provide elements for the duck to deem the space as a habitable location. The duck needs to feel secure, safe and the location have life-sustaining components.
What does your candidate need and want to feel secure in the role? Take it one step further, what would make your candidate dream about taking a position at your company? For a duck, that may be an endless supply of worms, for your candidate that could mean perks above and beyond the usual offerings like PTO, 401k, and health insurance. For us here at Keyser, having an extraordinary culture is the ultimate lure.
Spotting A Prize-Winner
If you’ve never been on the hunt, you may not even know what to look for. Some ducks can have shiny feathers and a great outward appearance; don’t base your decisions off of looks—looks can be deceiving. If your target duck has a disease, the resources you’ve expended to capture that duck will have been wasted. You’ll want to carefully inspect the ducks before bringing them into your flock. How can you tell the difference between a long-term champion and a duckling that’s not ready to take the lead?
Start With the Breed
Just because it has wings and a bill, doesn’t mean that it’s the best bird for you. Similarly, because someone is good with numbers, doesn’t mean they are a good candidate for your accounting team. There are different breeds of ducks that communicate differently, have different backgrounds, and because of this, will act differently in certain scenarios. Define what you’re looking for before you start hunting to make sure you’re at the correct hunting grounds at the right time.
Take into Account Habits
Your candidate should be in the habit of taking criticism and turning it into an opportunity to improve themselves. To stay healthy, ducks constantly have to improve themselves—the same goes for a leader.
Can They Fly?
Not every duck is fit enough to lead the flock. Watch how your candidates interact with others and if they are willing to serve the other members of the flock. The best people to tell you about your candidate’s style of interaction is not the candidate themselves, it’s the flock they were a part of. Check their network and references to see if they truly live up the way they are portraying themselves. It would be very costly and detrimental to your flock if you invited a duck to lead who had no experience flying.
You should always be striving to hunt the best candidates. It’s important to be swift in your search but make sure you’re targeting the right duck before you pull the trigger.
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