This Call Was Different?

As headhunters we are sometimes puzzled and frustrated when we call tons of potential candidates on a particular opportunity but get no takers.

Is it something we are saying? Not saying? I've always felt that a good opportunity sells itself and if you aren't getting any nibbles then the opportunity just isn't exciting enough.

Want proof? I offer Stell Patsiokas, XM's (the satellite radio company) executive vice president of technology and engineering.

The 51-year-old product designer and electrical engineering Ph.D. spent nearly two decades at Boca Raton-based Motorola, creating the company's first cellphones and two-way pagers. An XM corporate headhunter called him in 1998.

Patsiokas had many invitations to leave the telecommunications giant, but this call was different.

Here was a chance to lead the brightest industrial designers and engineers as they develop radio receivers. And, more intriguing, to configure a way to get two massive satellites -- one called Rock, the other Roll -- to beam scores of CD-quality radio channels to customers' cars and homes.

Note the reporter's use of the phrase "the call was different" not quite. The opportunity was different. I bet any idiot could have recruited him for this job. It sounds like his dream job.

If you are a hiring manager and having trouble attracting candidates consider the way your job is being marketed. Does your target market see your position as a "dream job" and if not, why not? Ask yourself what would attract me to this job?

Most companies think they should get someone who is doing the exact same thing right now. But why would someone make a lateral move. What are you offering that would make them disrupt their current situation to do the same thing elsewhere?

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