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Lateral Career Moves

How can a lateral move be beneficial for you and how can a company sell it to a prospective employee? As a team, we sat down to speak about the benefits of moving laterally and how a company can sell a lateral opportunity during an interview process.

December 2020

Lateral Career Moves

       John Bevan

       Vice President, USA

 

 

How can a lateral move be beneficial for you and how can a company sell it to a prospective employee?

As a team, we sat down to speak about the benefits of moving laterally and how a company can sell a lateral opportunity during an interview process. 

This has always been an issue in the analytics world and especially when you are partnering with so many large consulting firms that are reluctant to hire on promotion. It can appear unattractive to a candidate interviewing if they are moving to a company for the same level. Of course, these things can be broken down and most of the time this will be case by case as each candidate will have different drivers and motivations to the move – but as a company, are you getting all of their motivations out of them? 

It’s our job, as consultants and experts in this field, to identify the motivations of the candidates when they are passively looking for a job. What would make their 7-out-of-10 job a 9-out-of-10 job and so on…If they are passive then selling a lateral opportunity albeit for more money is a tough ask and it’s where the client and agency should come together to work together on trying to persuade a candidate to move. Money is hardly ever the number one factor for a passively looking candidate so dig deeper. 

There should be full transparency from the outset that a candidate is not actively looking but is interested in speaking to a company. This will shape the whole recruitment process – the client should be fully informed of what the candidate feels is missing from their current role/company over the course of the interviews continue to highlight how their opportunity will satisfy the needs of the candidate. A key thing we have found is adding someone who is at the same level as the candidate, a peer, into the process. Even better, if this peer has moved laterally within the last year so they can explain the benefits and give the interview process a more human feel to it. 

Recently we have facilitated moves for candidates for minimal salary increases because we got to know the full motivations of why there became interested in leaving. One candidate was paid well but their current team size was too big, and they wanted to be more hands on in their technical work, knowing that it would make them more valuable down the line. There was another candidate who actually moved for less money because she missed the consulting lifestyle – she mentioned she was 8 out of 10 happy at her role, but when she started interviewing the client brought a lot of nostalgic feeling back to her and she realised something was missing from her career 

In the virtual world we now live in, onboarding is a huge deal, especially if you are joining a consulting firm. If you have spent the last four years building up a network, the partner knows you well and you have been told that you’re up for promotion this year then why would you suddenly move and risk having to start again knowing that Microsoft Teams is the only way you will get any face time with your project partner? This is a key thing for the new company to take note of…Make sure your onboarding is clean and has the new employee at the front of your mind. Make it easy for them to integrate and back this up in the interview process. 

The key thing here is understanding the best candidates are not often actively looking and changing your process to reflect this. You need full transparency between agency and interviewing team and you will get the best results.