” You said you love me and that’s a fact
And then you left me, said you felt trapped “

Don’t Use A “Hired Gun” Recruiting Strategy.
It’s A Train To Nowhere —

Man, the Clash nailed it. Rejection sucks.

Beyond romance though, that same sentiment can be applied to a “hired gun”  approach to fill key positions in your company’s growth plans. It’s just a bad idea.

And you never know when the talent train will leave the station with your best High Impact Talent on board.

Chances are it has before if you ever used “hired guns” to solve issues at your company.

Put simply: Don’t use a “hired gun” recruiting strategy to fill mission-critical roles to guide your growth. You should pay people what they are worth — regardless of their situation.

Let me give you an example.

Once in another life, I briefly worked for a company whose strategy was to wait until the oil market dipped and then hire people who had been laid off.

 “Driving the train doesn’t set its course.
The real job is laying the track.

Ed Catmull
President of Pixar

Problem is, they would offer them less than their market value –what they were making when they got laid off. Why? Because they could.  They knew these high-caliber professionals needed to work so they would, basically, take advantage of them. 

Other than being more than a bit shady and certainly not very nice, using a hired gun recruiting strategy is a bad strategy that only breeds resentment in the end. Here’s why:

  • New hires know they are being taken advantage of
  • There is no loyalty with a “hired gun”
  • Say goodbye when things get better — they’re heading elsewhere
  • You’ll be left with only average talent and big plans they can’t execute

It’s a simple fact: Hired guns literally bide their time until they got a better offer. More money. Better benefits. Greater opportunity. Or all three; but they will get it and leave in a heartbeat to get on board with somebody else.

hired gun recruiting strategy

Don’t use a hired gun recruiting strategy — it’s a  train to nowhere

Good, transformational professionals work hard to get the best experience they can, build their career and create market value for themselves. And if you aren’t paying what they are actually worth, you won’t find or keep them. For more on this particular topic, take a look at “JUST GOT PAID” – SMART COMPENSATION STRATEGIES.

Look, High Impact Talent is an investment, not an expense. When folks are out of work due to the economy, THAT is the time to reward their market value with a similar or better compensation package than the competition. The idea is that you want them to know that YOU value their expertise and experience –especially when their former employment clearly didn’t.

When you look at this as an investment, you will find it’s a great opportunity to gain loyalty and start your relationship off on a positive track and begin to create a long-term relationship that is rewarding to both YOU and your new, key hire.

Remember: It’s All About The Candidate Experience

I’ve spoken about the hiring process in the past and I continue to emphasize how absolutely critical it is in ANY recruiting environment. What is your hiring process like from the candidate’s perspective? Are you using the “correct process” for the position you’re recruiting for?  Is it “consistent”, are you “controlling” the process and are you being “considerate” to the applicants’ needs? If your process is too complex, confusing or long-winded, chances are the best folks are taking the train that takes them to a better deal.

Take some time to evaluate your current process and streamline wherever possible. Make sure communication is top notch and timely. Make it a good experience. Treat them with respect. You can learn more by reading “HESITATION BLUES” – ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE HIRING PROCESS?

Stay tuned for our next blog and in the meantime…

Make Your Business Rock!


Corey Harlock
Principal Consultant

Make Your Business Rock
Schedule your free 30-minute “Tune Into Talent™”
strategy session now with one of our
expert consultants to learn how.

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