Know Thy Enemy

Sadly, I have become entranced by the recent television voyeurism phenomena called ?Survivor.? This show is addicting! It?s about 16 castaways on an island who must survive on their own (having to eat rats, etc.) in order to win a prize of one million dollars. The true test however is not in the survival itself, but in the ability to connive, manipulate, sweet talk and cajole the other teammates. Each week the team ?votes off? one of its own, so although they must work together, there is an underlying competitive strategy which at times can be very dog-eat-dog since only one survivor will win. The true irony is the least conniving folks are slowly being picked off, while those who have double talked and backstabbed remain. By knowing their enemies and playing on their strengths and weaknesses they are surviving. You might ask, ?What’s this got to do with recruiting?? In the recruiting game of survival, the stakes are much higher but many times we are afraid to strategize against our competitors in our recruiting efforts for fear of retaliation. This fear paralyzes our strategic efforts to attract the best and brightest within our industry. ?To know thy enemy, is to know thyself.? In other words by understanding your competitor?s strategy you will then have the ability to create a strategy of your own. Benchmarking against your competitors in a variety of areas allows you to develop future quality and recruiting initiatives for your own firm to enhance its overall competitive position. Here are some guidelines to help you in competitive benchmarking: <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

  1. Identify Key Areas to Benchmark ? What is your critical need? Are your numbers poor in retention, days to fill, compensation, benefits, etc.? What about your cultural environment, employee development or Intranet? This may seem a bit overwhelming so you may want to start where the greatest need lies.
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  3. Identify Measurements ? What factors or variables can you use to measure results? Many of these measurements will be in terms of dollars spent or dollars lost (such as the case with turnover.) Researching the reasons as to why your employees left your organization may also help you in identifying measurements in the form of percentages.
  4. Choose the ?Best-in-Class? Companies for Each Area to be Benchmarked – These companies may not necessarily be competitors, but will be recognized leaders in the benchmarked area. You can research some ?Best in Class? companies by going to This site has profiled several companies by talking with ?insiders? to get the scoop on the environment, growth potential, compensation and business excellence. By reviewing the company?s profiles and history, you can gather some fantastic ideas on what makes an environment ?click.? The site also offers ?interview cheat sheets? to help the job seeker become prepared for a typical interview with this company.
  5. Measure the Performance of the Best-in-Class Companies – Measure the performance for each benchmark being considered. These measurements might come from the companies’ web sites or sources such as articles in press or trade journals; candidates and vendors; trade associations; the government, or case studies performed by organizations like SHRM. Usually the companies themselves provide the very best measurements about their recruitment operations.
  6. Compare and Goal Set ? Finally, compare your organization against those you have measured to see how you stack up. Some very obvious comparisons will be in the area of benefits, compensation and culture. Develop a plan to implement new practices based on your competitor?s initiatives and set measurable goals and target dates for your team.

By performing these competitive analysis you will be able to develop a plan to enhance areas in which you need improvement as well as stay on top of your industry. Be a Survivor. Show some cunning, creativity and initiative so that you cannot only compete but thrive in an aggressive employment marketplace.

Audra Slinkey is a leading Internet Recruiting Consultant who has designed the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System) to ensure Internet recruiting success. Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results—or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest FREE recruiting resource sites online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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