Looking in the Windows

Traffic to your corporate website contains sub-groups of potentially valuable candidates. Job seekers, of course, visit with a clear mission in mind. In the article Who’s Knocking at the Door? we discussed another important group of your website visitors: your customers. Capitalizing on and converting that stream of visitors for recruiting purposes can be very rewarding. Let’s look at another category of corporate website visitors?one often not considered as a website recruiting resource?your competitors. A Good Offense Competitors constantly traffic their rivals’ websites (just take a look at the visitors’ domain names in your website traffic logs). They come for market research and competitive intelligence. And, as headhunters are well aware, competitors’ employees may make very desirable candidates. They are familiar with your industry, your market, and your product or service line. In effect, they are already pre-screened! If hired, they require minimal training and can quickly make a valuable contribution. Although not initially predisposed towards your company, this is a great group to cultivate through a stellar Careers area. To begin with, the link to your Careers section should be prominently displayed on your home page to entice any visitor to take a quick detour. This is easy to implement and effective. Yet, according to recruitsoft.com/iLogos Research, nearly one-third of Fortune 500 companies don’t have a link to their Careers section directly from their home page. Once in the Careers section, compelling job descriptions and information on corporate culture and benefits, along with testimonials from current satisfied employees, can create a strong lure. However, these “unintentional” candidates are most probably not resume-ready, so it is important to capture them through well-designed resume builder applications and better yet, with on-the-spot skills-based profiling questionnaires. Privacy, though, is definitely an issue. Providing the opportunity to apply anonymously may be the key to scooping up your competitors’ employees. Be Defensive, Too It is also important, though, to be defensive about your competitors’ visits. Sophisticated training is teaching more and more recruiters how to discover valuable candidates whose personal information is posted in somewhat hidden Internet places. Your own employees may be easy targets. Protect your existing employees from prying visitors as best you can. Be cognizant of the content of all the web pages posted by your company, and by individual employees and employee groups. Your employees may be posting personal home pages or departmental information (including department directories) on your company’s website server, thus leaving your company open to “attack.” Check your corporate Internet-use policy to see what is permitted. Educate your company to the reverse danger of posting too much information. Strive to strike a balance between touting your company’s initiatives and star performers and being cautious with information available to the public. Remember, your competitors are actively “looking in your windows.” For recruiting purposes, endeavor to pull them inside rather than be poached from the outside!

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Yves Lermusi (aka Lermusiaux) is CEO & co-founder of Checkster. Mr. Lermusi is a well known public speaker and a Career and Talent industry commentator. He is often quoted in the leading business media worldwide, including Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Business Week, and Time Magazine. His articles and commentary are published regularly in online publications and business magazines. Mr. Lermusi was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Recruiting Industry” and his blog has been recognized as the best third party blog.