what is lateral hiring?
Lateral hiring is the process of sourcing and hiring a candidate for a role that is very similar in scope and responsibility to their current position. This typically means hiring a passive candidate who might be working for a direct competitor.
what are the benefits of lateral hiring?
Lateral hiring allows your organisation to recruit candidates with the most relevant possible experience. These candidates do not require copious amounts of training, have already acquired the skills they need, and can bring an immediate boost to your organisation. This is especially helpful during talent shortages when you simply don’t have the time to train.
Additionally, lateral hires bring a wealth of their learned knowledge to the role and your organisation. New and fresh ideas from an outsider’s perspective can lead to quicker innovation, which can easily help you stand apart from others in your field.
how does lateral hiring differ from normal recruitment?
Typically, when an organisation has open positions, they post these jobs on social media or job boards. Candidates who apply are normally looking for a new role to advance their career, increase their compensation, or find a different work culture. These tactics are all used to predominantly target active job seekers.
Because lateral recruitment normally draws from a pool of passive candidates, the recruitment mix looks a little different.
recruitment tactics for lateral hiring
Since lateral hires are not actively looking for a job, recruiters often start the lateral hiring process by mining their own networks of contacts. They reach out via direct message or email to see if anyone they know may also know of someone that fits the position they’re recruiting for.
- Head hunting / sourcing
You might not have the convenience of being referred strong candidates from your network. Therefore you might need to go and search networks and approach relevant people who you have no prior connection to. Whilst this might sound daunting, if you are courteous and professional in your approach you will likely be surprised at how easy this process can be.
In some cases, due to time constraints or confidentiality concerns, your organisation may be more comfortable having a third-party recruitment firm to make these approaches.
outline of the lateral hiring process.
Because there are a few different tactics and tricks to lateral hiring, it’s worth examining the steps in the process.
understand your company’s needs
A lateral hire should require little, if any, training or development and should be able to slot into the open role with little disruption. For this to work, the hiring manager needs to have a clear understanding of what kinds of expertise the role requires, what the compensation package looks like and any obstacles the hire may face in their first one to three months in the role.
find the perfect candidate
Because you are not actively advertising for this role, and because passive job candidates are not actively looking for a new position, it may be hard to ferret out the best candidates for the job. Depending on the role and your industry, there are a few ways you can identify prospects.
- Consider who in your industry is doing the best work in this space. If you’re looking for a marketing director, examine recent campaigns that have caught your attention. Find the name of the person responsible and add them to your list of possible candidates.
- Investigate who has recently been lauded by the media or respected colleagues for the work they’re doing. This could include speaking engagements, published articles, or webinars in the area you’re recruiting for.
- Examine your current set of contacts for people who may also have knowledge about this type of role. This is another way your network can be extremely helpful when sourcing passive candidates for lateral hiring.
vet all candidates thoroughly
Because you will be conducting the outreach, it’s important to have done as much research and investigation into the potential candidates as possible. LinkedIn pages, company websites and blogs, and industry-specific media are all great sources for finding out as much about the candidate and their qualifications as possible.
make an irresistible pitch and offer
There are a few things the lateral candidate will look for when deciding whether or not to hear your proposal and/or leave their current role. Mainly, they’ll need to understand how leaving their current company will benefit them, why the new role and setting will be different and better, and what other compensation you can offer. Thoroughly consider your positioning when crafting this pitch to the candidate.
If a candidate declines the offer, move on to the next one on your list. If you find you are getting little interest in your pitch, consider reexamining your compensation details. You can also look to reexamine your candidate list to see if you can find a better fit for lateral hiring.
Find out more about how to streamline your recruitment process and make your recruitment process easier by signing up for a 15-minute intro call with hireful today.