Hire Like a Shark: Tips for Sinking Your Teeth into the Best Candidates


Discovery’s Shark Week is once again closing in on us, and we’ve got sharks on the brain. Maybe it’s all those vintage clips we’ve been watching to get us in the Shark Weed mood, but we can’t help but feel that there’s something shark-like about the way a star recruiter hunts down and reels in a top candidate. Here’s how to channel your inner great white – and blow all your previous recruiting efforts out of the water.

Find The Right Hunting Ground

Sharks don’t just cruise the oceans hoping for a convenient bite to eat. They look for easy prey or blood in the water.  For sharks, this might be shallow bays, schools of fish, or victims; another predator has already tried to hunt down. For recruiters, this might be industry networking events, select Twitter hashtags, or colleges and universities. The recruiter’s “blood in the water” is the rumblings of discontent among certain employers or industries. After all, one employee who reaches out to make a connection is a signal that there may be more to come.

Zero In On Your Target

Sharks don’t just chomp willy-nilly at whatever’s insight. They pick a strategic target and zero in on it. The same is true of recruiters. Rather than a scattershot approach, they narrow down their hunt to a qualified lead with the right skills, interests, and background. This doesn’t necessarily happen overnight, either – sometimes it’s a years-long relationship-building process. It might take longer, and they might have to put in more effort, but if a recruiter manages to fill that niche C-suite role, the payoff is worth it.

Going In For The Kill

We’ve all seen Jaws: once a shark has a victim in mind, nothing’s going to stand in its way. Similarly, a great recruiter knows that stand-out talent isn’t necessarily won without a fight. They have to be prepared with a great pitch and expect that they may have multiple interviews and some serious negotiation ahead of them. Great talent might put up a chase, but the ROI is there, whether it’s in making the placement now or building a network that will deliver returns in the future.

Licking Your Wounds

Even apex predators don’t succeed every time. Targets slip away, go into hiding, fight back, or get snatched up by other predators. Recruiters know this all too well. A seemingly great hire might decline an offer, bomb an interview, fail a background check, or get head-hunted by a competitor. But as they say, there are plenty more fish in the sea. Maybe it’s worth keeping the prospect on their list for another time, or maybe it’s best to move into different waters altogether.

Identifying, pursuing, and recruiting the perfect candidate for a role can be a challenging undertaking – and it’s easy to feel like you’re out of your depth or treading water. But by thinking and acting like the oceans’ top predators, recruiters can sink their teeth into some truly top talent.

See Also:

Shark Week: Competitive Business Analysis Reveals Predators Lurking Under the Surface

Sink or Swim: How to Survive in a Competitive Marketplace

Recruiting Tips for Conducting a Successful Virtual Interview

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