Whether you’re a professional headhunter outsourced to recruit for an organization or you’re part of an organization’s in-house human resources initiative, there are pros and cons to competitive recruitment. If recruitment is carried out in a thoughtful and strategic manner, it can result in a successful and efficient hire. However, if recruitment is carried out in an aggressive or desperate manner, it can result in losing a potential hire and incurring a poor professional reputation.
Advantage: Conserving Time and Money
Once a company has found the perfect candidate for the job, any extra manpower or money spent on encouraging the candidate to accept the job offer will likely conserve resources in the long run. If the candidate has already been reference-checked, interviewed more than once and skill-tested, adding incentives to the job offer to make it more enticing will save on the time and money potentially spent on casting a new net into the job market for qualified candidates.
Advantage: Benchmarking the Organization
Developing competitive strategies for recruitment involves researching the salaries, benefits and other perks offered to other comparable organizations in the same industry. This research can give a company an overview of how its organization stacks up to the competition in terms of what it can offer its talent.
Advantage: Developing Low-Cost Incentives
Enticing a potential candidate to come on board with an organization can be an opportunity to develop new incentives to offer staff other than just higher wages and more vacation time. Other incentives that are valuable to employees and minimal cost to organizations include flex-time, stock options, on-site child care and the option to work from home.
Disadvantage: Disproportionate Staff Compensation
In an effort to recruit competitively, some organizations or firms might find themselves engaged in a bidding war with another organization for a potential recruit. A bidding war might inadvertently result in retaining a new employee who is paid much more and with additional benefits than a co-worker of equal or higher rank. This situation could become problematic for regulating an organizational pay scale, particularly if employees discover the discrepancy.
Disadvantage: Sacrificing Retention for Recruitment
If an organization’s strategies for recruitment become so competitive that it ends up making offers candidates can’t refuse, it runs the risk of hiring uncommitted candidates. For example, there may be job candidates who are hesitant about accepting a job offer for some reason, but eventually accept because the offer keeps escalating to enticing proportions. Their initial hesitation could easily outweigh the offer once the job starts, and they could jump ship within a short time.
Disadvantage: Incurring a Bad Reputation
If a company's competitive methods for recruitment include deceptive ploys such as advertising dream jobs that don’t exist just to get a qualified pool of candidates, it will likely gain a bad reputation. As word of mouth spreads, a recruitment firm or employer with a reputation for deceptive hiring practices can be quickly blacklisted by job seekers. When the firm or employer's pool of candidates shrinks as a result, it may then resort to aggressively blanketing job sites with new ads, which raises red flags to new job seekers.