One of the things we forgot about in the recruiting world is this - there's never been a better time to raid a company for talent than when a manager leaves.
That manager leaving? She could be Ghandi, or she could be Stalin. Doesn't matter - the change means it's a great time to take a run at the talent in the company. Change creates FUD - fear, doubt and uncertainty. And the smart recruiter always makes the calls as a result - the higher the level, the more this is true.
Of course it's not all glamour and fun pirate-like behavior - sometimes, it's going to feel like there might be a morals issue associated with this type of raiding. Take SurveyMonkey as a result, where the CEO (husband of Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook) recently passed away and the company is experiencing an uptick in recruiter calls as a result. More from the New York Times:
"It's hard to imagine a company keeping its normal operations when faced with the sudden death of its CEO — but that's exactly what SurveyMonkey had to go through when its much respected CEO Dave Goldberg unexpectedly passed away in May.
But the bigger challenge may be fighting off competition for talent. The report says SurveyMonkey now has to deal with an increased number of calls from recruiters for other tech companies trying to poach some its employees.
“I hate to acknowledge it, but it’s a fact ... we've all gotten them,” Becky Cantieri, the head of human resources at SurveyMonkey, said about receiving more calls from recruiters.
As part of its effort to keep employees focused on their jobs, Don Graham, former Washington Post owner and friend of Goldberg, came in for a special two-hour speech, while 18 executives from other tech companies have agreed to mentor some of the SurveyMonkey executives. It's also running regular surveys to ensure employees are happy at work, it said."
Should you make recruiting calls to a company where a manager just passed away? I say yes, but there's obviously an increased need for sensitivity. You've got to be less salesperson and more therapist. But change is change.
A manager leaving the company under any circumstance is a recruiting opportunity. The smart recruiter makes the call. The talented recruiter not only makes the call, but actively listens to the need and the tone of the candidate and adjusts her pitch as a result.
Make the call always. Listen . Match your talking points with the need.