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Interviewing Top Talent: Always Be Closing

March 19, 2013

It seems like my ESPN Scorecenter did its best to distract me from my daily tasks last week. After all it was the first day of free agency in the NFL, and many teams weren’t short of activity. I’m especially pleased to see my hero Peyton Manning collecting Wes Welker in his receiving corps, but that’s nothing you care about.

Think of how many coaches and recruiters attempted to get Welker to come to their respective teams? I would be willing to bet that he turned down offers for more money in deciding with the Broncos. Why? I’m reminded of a quote from Glengarry Glen Ross “A-B-C. Always Be Closing.”

How many of you look at an interview as an opportunity to put your candidates to the test? Most of you. How many of you look at an interview as an opportunity to sell your organization? Probably not as many. In case the word isn’t out yet, the war for talent is back on, and in a big way. If you don’t believe me, ask any maintenance manager in Houston how hard it is to find mechanics or electricians these days. Top talent, much like Wes Welker, will always have a place to go - regardless of the circumstances, environment or economic conditions. There will always be jobs, and your elite talent will never be looking at just one opportunity.

interviewingThink of an interview as an opportunity to practice these A-B-C’s and sell your organization as you are identifying whether or not a candidate will be a good fit. How do you do this? I often ask hiring managers to think of what defines the company in terms of “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” What do employees brag about? What do they complain about? Those bragging points should definitely be fed into the discussion during the hiring process. 

If I were Wes Welker, I would look at it as “I’ve spent most of my career working with an elite quarterback.” Someone on the Broncos staff knew that Peyton Manning was a huge selling point, and played that hand well. The team is definitely a contender, has a great fan base, and has a history of winning against all odds (see Broncos with Tim Tebow highlights). Also huge selling points. Money is nice, but there are so many other factors at stake. How you read those and frame them for the top talent makes all the difference.

A-B-C. Always. Be. Closing.



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Adam Hilliard