42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

31 Land a Private Placement to Fund Critical Investments

The scenario: A public company in need of serious capital can’t raise the funds it needs through a secondary offering.

The tactic: Seeking out private investors with deep industry expertise doesn’t just promise more control over the process, but often bigger payouts.


Even in a deep recession, smart companies need capital to support investments that lay the foundation for future growth. Public companies can always try a secondary offering, but relatively few players these days are in a position to do so. (And some that are — such as hotel and casino operator Wynn Resorts, which announced a secondary offering in November to raise more than $200 million — are using the funds to pay down debt.)

A smarter option for many public companies right now is to pursue a private placement: the sale of securities that aren’t registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to a small number of private investors, such as banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, and pension funds. Not surprisingly, the number of private placements in the United States has dropped significantly this year — from 764 in 2007 to just 277 this year, through mid-November. But the market is still active, and even after the dramatic market plunge in October, a number of large banks, including Montgomery & Co., Needham & Co., and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, have beefed up their private-placement teams.

What advantages do private placements hold over the public markets? First, companies get to control the process and work directly with veteran investors who have deep expertise in the company, its industry, and in understanding growth potential. That allows the management team to stay focused on core business objectives instead of managing a volatile public offering to jittery investors.

Second, private placements can often raise more than public markets are able to. Case in point: In February, Mako Surgical, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based orthopedic medical-device maker, raised $55 million in its IPO. But according to Maurice R. Ferre, Mako’s CEO, that was $25 million shy of his expectations. “We wanted to raise about $80 million,” Ferre says, “but the market conditions were tough, and many medical-device companies had to back out of IPO plans.” So in October, while the public markets gyrated almost daily, Ferre raised another $60 million in private placements from three leading health-care investment firms — funds that Ferre plans to use to create and market more robotic surgical devices and fund ongoing R&D.

But public companies viable enough to secure such funds, like Mako, aren’t the only ones who stand to gain. Well-positioned investors are jumping in where public markets can’t, and at substantial discounts. In September, Warren Buffett brought Goldman Sachs Group to life when he announced Berkshire Hathaway would invest $5 billion in the investment-banking titan. Investors also find this form of investing in small and medium-size public companies more attractive because of the SEC’s changes to Rule 144 at the end of 2007, which reduced the lockdown period (from one year to six months) for outside investors to hold on to their shares in companies with annual revenues of less than $700 million.

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Author:by Susanna Hamner

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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Author:by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals

Written on the 1st of June 2009 by by Kim Girard

42 Cherry Pick Top Talent Away from Rivals
by Kim Girard


The scenario: With nearly every industry announcing layoffs and closings, high-caliber talent is up for grabs.


The tactic: Employ savvy recruiting tactics to poach A players from competitors.

Most Fortune 1000 companies keep a running list of top senior-level talent in their industry — people they would most like to hire if opportunity came knocking. Surprise: In many industries laboring through recession and cutbacks, now’s the time. With jobs in shorter supply and salaries flatlined, companies in a position to add headcount can lock in great talent. What are the keys to recessionary poaching? Here are four tactics that experts consider crucial.

Time your tactics. Getting the timing right and going aggressive at the first sign of trouble can be critical factors in making timely hires. When aircraft makers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft announced in November that hundreds of employees would be laid off at their Wichita, Kansas, plants, Florida-based rival Piper Aircraft saw a prime opportunity to scoop up talent. Piper quickly organized a job fair, but not in Florida. The company brought recruiters to the Wichita Airport Hilton in hopes of attracting both employed and laid-off workers from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft to its Vero Beach, Fla. operation.

Forget headhunters — use the Web. Companies looking to pick up talent also need to think strategically about using the Web to recruit. Build an online relationship with coveted employees before calling or interviewing, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University and CEO of HR firm Dr. John Sullivan & Associates. Many A-list employees aren’t actively looking to switch jobs. Hiring them requires a sustained effort to market the company online as the place, like Google and Facebook, where the best and brightest work. “A top performer will always want to learn,” says Sullivan.

Turn employees into recruiters. An easy way to boost a company’s Web reputation is to turn key employees into Web-savvy evangelists who blog, post in forums, and generally make the company look smart. At shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, more than 400 employees, including recruiters, now use Twitter to broadcast up-to-the minute updates on their days — ultimately hoping to convince talent at stuffier companies that life at Zappos is better. Recruiters at Sodexo, a growing $7.3 billion food services and facilities management company, use Facebook, YouTube videos (“A day in the life of a Sodexo employee”), LinkedIn, and blogging to help potential recruits get to know the company.

Don’t cave to the impulse to bargain-shop. That’s not to suggest any of this is easy or quick. It’s tempting to try to pay less for talent, especially when out-of-work employees have the disadvantage in negotiations. But hiring the candidate who agrees to the smallest salary could backfire when the economy bounces back and that employee starts to look for a better opportunity elsewhere. If financing is a problem, forgo upfront signing bonuses. Instead, offer restricted stock grants and promise more for the future, based on performance.

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For Business Sellers

Subscribe for Business Alerts or Sales Tips

Email Address*
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Author:by Kim Girard
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