Does your family go crazy the day after Thanksgiving like mine does? We all know this mass hysteria is called “Black Friday” -- when millions of people rush to the malls to get a jump on their Christmas and holiday shopping. Now let’s focus on your company’s recruiting. Do you have a “Black Friday” offer -- something to get candidates stampeding to your company? Probably not.

First, a little about the Black Friday phenomenon.

Traffic jams start at Midnight, and the stores are packed with mobs of people, pushing and shoving to get the good stuff early. Every store offers “Black Friday” specials, and people line up for hours to buy the hottest toys, electronics, and other gifts.

It makes no logical sense, but then, when does crowd behavior ever make sense?

I try to inject some reason into the process. “Why are you rushing out to buy something you won’t even take out of the box for a month?” My kids look at me like I’m a moron.

“If you are looking for low prices, why not just wait until the after-Christmas specials?” They give me that puzzled look that dogs make when they hear a weird noise.

“Why fight traffic and crowds when you can get the same price on line?” I’ll admit I really don’t get the phenomenon.

As they say with Apple products: “Hurry up and buy before the price goes down”

What are “Black Friday” Ads?

Take a look at any Black Friday advertisement, and what do you see? Colorful pictures, limited quantities, limited time, special offers. What do you get on Black Friday? Excitement, enthusiasm, record crowds, record sales.

Guess what? The margins aren’t bad for the retailers either. Why? Because they pack the prices before they start cutting. Their margins are just as high on Black Friday as any other time, and their inventory turns are better. Profit City!

Why don’t retailers just start with a lower price and stop fooling around with all the specials? For a simple reason. It doesn’t work. How many of you would leave at midnight and fight crowds for “an everyday low price?”

Applying Black Friday To Employee Recruitment

As a business person, I’m taking the next step and thinking “hmmm, how can I exploit and profit from this idea?”

Let’s focus on your company’s recruiting. Do you have a “Black Friday” offer? Something to get candidates stampeding to your company? Probably not.

Or do you use some version of this generic mantra:
  • Great company
  • Great product
  • Great pay & benefits
  • Great place to work
In other words, the same ad EVERY ONE of your competitors is also running?

Your “Black Friday” Offer

Why not create some excitement and hysteria for your offer? Something different, alluring, exciting?

Start by giving your recruiting offer a name or title:
  • Leadership Development Program
  • Business Transformation Initiative
  • Fast Track Program
  • Future Leader Program
  • Rainmaker Plan
  • Elite Performance Track
This idea can be adapted for sales, technical, operations, or any other company role. Why? Because every potential employee has career dreams and aspirations. With a little bit of creative brainstorming, your open position for an accounting clerk can sound like Warren Buffet’s heir apparent.

We’ll drill down next time into how to flesh out and craft the program. The “sizzle” will be based on attainment of objectives, In other words, no attainment = no pay out. Don’t worry. Your compensation “margins” will be just as high as before, but the “shoppers” will feel they are getting the deal of a lifetime.

This is too good an idea to not steal. Make “Black Friday” a regular holiday in your recruiting ads.

Michael Schmidtmann is sales coach at 4-Profit, an IT-centric leadership development organization focused on helping solution providers and the manufacturers and distributors serving the IT channel. Read all of 4-Profit’s insights on The VAR Guy here.