Chess is analogous to numerous things in the business world. Recruiting is definitely one of them. Both recruiting and chess can make you go insane (there’s a ‘searching for Bobby Fisher’ joke somewhere in that idea) and can appear to be a series of random events to an outside or untrained observer.

Like chess, recruiting is an exercise in coordination, timing and strategy.

Subjective Recruiting Ideas

In order to win high level chess, your pieces must move in concert. Outliers and unprotected pieces are symptomatic of an inferior game-plan, disorganization. Similar to this, all employees should be aware and active in the hiring game-plan and ‘move in unison’. In preparation of a candidate coming in for an interview, interviewers should all be on the same page with what they are looking for, the types of questions they are going to ask and be familiar with the candidate’s background. By doing this, the candidate will have the best interview experience and the company will make the best first impression possible.  Disorganization and amateur moves in the interview process is often seen as a red flag to candidates.

Timing is also very important for recruiting and chess as making moves too soon or too late can be disastrous.  Hiring too soon can lead to layoffs which leads a sour reputation in the industry, lower morale and other things no company wants. Hiring too late makes a company less competitive and can be a source of frustration for current employees that may become spread too thin. Hiring decisions should be made based on realistic growth projections and personnel needs.

There is a concept in chess called ‘moving with tempo’ or accomplishing multiple objectives with one move. Most often, this is relation to opening moves; the key is to develop pieces that defend and apply pressure simultaneously.  In recruiting, moving with tempo means there should be no wasted effort in the recruiting process.  Cultureable helps our clients accomplish this with the profiles we create and the consulting approach our experience has taught us.  We allow for better opening movies (initial interviews) by sharing pertinent information about candidates and positions with all parties involved.

For now, the last concept we’ll talk about here is a strategy of sacrifice in chess and recruiting.  To be clear, we’re not advocating any medieval type sacrifices.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice a few pieces to put yourself in a position to win.  These moves require focus, fortitude and foresight.  Often a company or individual will have to make compromises in order to win.  Whether that is stretching the budget a few thousand dollars, commuting an extra 10 minutes, redefining the role, taking on a few extra responsibilities or any of myriad different situations, rarely does the literal perfect candidate or position present itself.  We understand this and have incorporated this knowledge into the heart of what we do.  By understanding what is truly important to a candidate or company, we are able to give realistic and honest advice in whether or not it’s worth it to make the sacrifice.

We could go on and on with chess metaphors for a few thousand more words…and in the future, we might.