Caviar Tastes on a Spam Budget or My Part in The Three Bears Fairy Tale

Have you ever had one of those search assignments where you almost felt as though you were an extra in The Three Bears fairy tale? That one's "too big", that one's "too small," and unfortunately, none of the candidates have been "just right". Why, you ask? WHY? My client is looking to buy top-of-the-line caviar with a Spam budget.

When receiving the job order, of course I look at the "written" job description, and then I proceed to ask the client what it's really going to take for this person to succeed at this company. What special focus, skill, or experience is really going to propel this person into Sainthood at your company? What is going to make you want to snap their picture, put it up on the wall with a few candles around it, and have a company-wide moment of silence on their birthday every year?

The answer: pedigree background. Fortune 100 company with a minimum of eight years experience, no more than 15.

Gotcha'. That sounds excellent. Now what type of financial remuneration are we looking at here?

XYZ dollars.

(Cough) I must not have heard you right, there's static on the line, my workmate was laughing just a little bit too loud - can you repeat that figure please? Yeaaaaaaa, riiiiiigggggtttt, that's what I was afraid you said. You do realize that people with this experience were making that kind of money three to five years and two titles ago, yeah?

Sure - your company's a gem. This is an excellent growth opportunity and this person will part of the senior management team. Sure - it's an excellent work environment and you really are great people to work with. It's still a trick for me to identify these caviar candidates at the spam budget you're offering AND THEN tell them about the eensy weensy budget that they will be "commanding."

So when I do turn up these candidates who are willing to consider a lateral financial move or even a tiny step backwards, let's not let them sit there like a dusty can of spam at the Supermarket. Let's get them feedback and either crack them open or let them know they'll be on the shelf a little longer.

And hopefully together we will discover the candidate that is "Just Right."

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