Category Archives: Talent War

The Talent War: 3 Tips for Job Candidates


So, hiring managers know how to navigate competition for the best candidates, but what about the hirees? What’s to be done when you’re fortunate enough to be the rope in a multiple-company tug-of-war? First things first, pat yourself on the back – this situation is not an easy feat.

1. Don’t burn any future bridges. When a company offers you a position, it’s like the business version of “I love you.” They’ve exposed themselves, they’ve said they want you, they’re just waiting for you to say it back. Even though it might seem like the interview process, a brief professional courtship, isn’t enough to form a real attachment to this company, you owe them a prompt response. If you think you’ll be hearing back from another company in a day or two, tell this company you need more time. Anything less (not responding for a few days, for example) appears unprofessional. This industry is all about networking and you never know who might be a solid resource in the future.

2. Know what you want. If both jobs sound appealing, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Is there a commute (will you need to buy a transit pass – more $)? How long is the commute? It seems like secondary information, but the average American spends ten hours a week commuting. If travel time is something that will make you miserable, acknowledge that. As for the job, are you willing to sacrifice a more stable work environment for contract work on a big brand’s hot project, or would you rather give up a creatively stimulating position so that you have steady benefits?  Know yourself, or be prepared to figure it out once it’s down to the wire.

Boston Commuting Time

Commuting times for the Boston area. Dark purple = 60 min. (source)

3. Don’t be afraid to leverage. You should be wary of how much information you divulge, but it can be beneficial to let a company know you either have another offer or you’re waiting to hear from another company so you can weigh your options. Be polite about it, and don’t let on that either company is your first choice. Chances are they’ll understand your need for more time. Desirable candidates are, well, desirable, and companies know it’s usually worth putting in the extra effort to nail down a new employee.

Good luck! I know you’ll make the right choice. Just play your cards right.

The Talent War: 3 tips for employers on the hunt for top talent


As we’ve touched on recently, the landscape of the creative industry is in a constant state of motion. As jobs become available, candidates must adapt to the changing views of employers, all while employers are struggling to do the same. We have a saying around CM Access: “When you’re good, you’re gone.”

Talent wars and counter-offers are commonplace, but how  should they be navigated? Hiring is a game for both sides, and this week we’ll focus on how an employer should play it.

burton_workforwork

(credit: Mikey Burton & Mike Pierce)

  1. Don’t sit on a candidate. If they’re “perfect” for the position, they are probably perfect for a few other companies as well. If you offer a candidate the job, and they don’t respond right away, or skirt around an answer, state a deadline. Say you’re willing to give them some time, but you’ll need an answer by ____. You could lose other talented candidates by putting all your eggs in one potentially-perfect-employee basket.
  2. Be flexible. If you’re replacing a recently-departed employee, don’t pigeon-hole yourself by seeking a replacement to fill those exact shoes. Sure, you’ll still need to be able to walk in these shoes, but if you’ve lost a sneaker, don’t be afraid to consider what a sandal could do for your company. Just because a candidate hasn’t perfected one aspect of the To Hire laundry list doesn’t mean they can’t. Being more open-minded than a competing company can better your chances of winning.
  3. Give a sneak peek. Sometimes it’s hard to look past what’s right in front of your face. Sure, your company probably has a plethora of great projects, but to this candidate, the here and now is what will stick in their mind. Give them a taste of what they’d be working on, throw them a bone, and you’ll pique their interest. If they’re deciding between you and another company, it could come down to the project they’d be working on, so by golly give them a good one, eh?