If you’re a Pats fan or an NFL fan (or have ever met one) you probably heard the news on the Patriots’ first (and potentially biggest) pick up of the off-season — signing top-rated cornerback Darrelle Revis. The contract’s terms are for one year and Revis will be paid $12 million. But how did the Patriots land such a hot commodity and how can you translate what they did to win the “Darrelle Revis” of your industry?
3 Keys to Hiring the Best Talent in Your Industry
1) Move Quickly
Revis signed with the Patriots hours after being released from the Buccaneers. By moving quickly, the Pats were able to beat out another suitor — the NY Jets.
I know that a typical hiring process can’t be condensed to just a few hours (although that would certainly be nice), but the key here is to move as quickly as possible through the steps in the process and keep the candidate informed. This will mitigate the chances of another company snatching away top talent from under you.
2) Maintain Good Rapport with Candidates You Don’t Hire
The Jets traded Revis to Tampa Bay in 2013, and the departure was a sour one. That meant that any hope the Jets had for a reunion would have had to overcome any grudges or bad feelings.
Always keep in mind your second-choice candidate may become your top candidate in the future. Hiring is never fully over till your new employee walks through the door, and candidates can always back out at the last minute. Additionally, just because a candidate isn’t completely ready to leave his or her current role now doesn’t mean they won’t be in the near future. And if they had a good experience with your initial hiring/interview process, they will be much more likely to come back to you once they are.
3) Pay What Top Talent is Worth
$12 million for one year may seem outrageous to you and me, but to the Patriots, it was worth it. Aqib Talib left New England in favor of the Denver Broncos, leaving the Pats with a gaping hole at cornerback. How did the team respond? By signing arguably the best cornerback in the league. But to get the best, they had to pay for the best, and they did.
Of course, I’m not recommending paying a top candidate $1 million just because that is what he or she is asking. I’m simply suggesting you pay fairly based on their qualifications and the demand for their role. If they are currently making a certain amount and are asking for a reasonable bump or looking for market rate; don’t low-ball them. Chances are they won’t accept the offer and their experience will be soiled (see my point above). After all, paying a few thousand more over the course of a year for someone really at the top of their field will more than make up for it in terms of ROI.
At the end of the day, every company should be striving to land the Darrelle Revis of any position. There is a lot that goes into hiring top talent, from a strong company culture, to providing interesting work, to above average pay/benefits. Whatever you do, don’t settle. Keep your eye on the prize and fight for the best talent possible!
What techniques have you used to go after the best talent in your industry?
Photo by: Jeff Kern