Work out your budget before you go shopping – for talent, that is


Shoes. I’m obsessed with them. I’m completely bedazzled, consumed and controlled by this passion. I have too many pairs, hidden from my husband and my children.
I carefully put them in colour coordinated rows – and on really bad days, I stroke them.

I jest. My compulsion isn’t quite as bad as I make it sound. But my husband doesn’t call me Imelda for nothing.

The point is that my love of shoes has taught me one thing – don’t go trying on Louboutins, when you can only afford Clarks. I mean no offense to Clarks. They’re an essential component of the comfort shoe space, just not a brand I’m drawn to.

This simple comparison visually depicts the rand value differential between a high fashion piece of art against an everyday piece of footwear. There are solid reasons to choose one over the other, but one of the biggest considerations is affordability. You have to think about the money in your bank account.

The same comparison holds true for what companies do when they shop for talent. Without considering what they can afford, they draw up their requirements – and off they go, shopping. In come the Louboutins, Nikes and Clarks – and of course they want the Louboutins and they ignore the price tag. They interview, they engage and they create anticipation in their excited candidate. Then they turn around after the long process and say, ‘Sorry, we can’t afford you.’

The thing is, we’re not dealing with shoes here – we’re dealing with real, living people. People with hopes and dreams, aspirations and expectations – that word again. So, what I’m trying to say is, please don’t go shopping for talent that you can’t afford. It not only dashes hopes and dreams – it does your brand damage and gives that candidate a bad opinion of your company.

Take a second to think about what it’s like on the other side of the desk, waiting for someone to make a decision – a decision that will affect that person’s life hugely. It’s very possible that one day you could be the candidate somewhere. Current statistics say that most people graduating today will have between 12 and 15 jobs in their lifetime. That’s a lot of jobs, a lot of applications and a lot of interviews.

But hopefully the person managing your application process will remember that you’re a person with a life, a bond, debit orders, children and other things hanging on their decision and feedback. Bear this is mind whenever you have had a CV sitting in your in-box for a while. Give the candidate feedback – make the decision and communicate it.

About Sam Deuchar

Sam Deuchar leads the Rebmormax team. She is a seasoned HR, talent and change management executive with extensive corporate and consulting experience across the finance, IT and construction industries. She provides consulting expertise specifically in talent acquisition and people strategy.