Entrepreneurs are fond of saying that, in the war for talent, they'll do anything to attract the very best job seekers. A new website suggests a fairly simple strategy: Why not pay smart people to interview for jobs at your company? Once you get them in the door, you're odds of hiring them obviously improve. Jim Ambras and Rob Ellis founded the business, Notchup.com, to help employers reach out to the "happily employed professionals" and "passive job seekers" that are highly prized but hard to find, the Associated Press reports.
"You plug in your industry, job, pay and experience into a calculator on the site to help you set your pay for an interview," the article says. The company suggests you ask for between $200 and $500 an interview. Respected employers such as Yahoo and Google have, according to the report, used the new service.
The idea of paying a job candidate just to hear your offer is not entirely new; the Boston Red Sox were roundly mocked in 2006 when they paid a reported $51 million to the Japanese pitcher Daisuke "Dice-K" Matsuzaka, just for the right to negotiate with him. (The Sox successfully signed him by the end of the year, and he pitched impressively for them, helping the team to win the 2007 World Series.)
Of course, some skepticism is in order. A system that relies on paying passive job seekers could be hard to sustain, in part because there's every incentive to game it. How will Notchup.com keep out serial interviewers? And as Inc. columnist Joel Spolsky has written in the past, wrest top performing employees away from their jobs can be a formidable challenge. They tend to be well taken care of. According to Spolsky, employers who want to recruit more A players invest virtually no time in trying to recruit mid-career people. Instead, he says, they should provide their interns with lavish pay and benefits (and meaningful work) and get the best and the brightest at the very, very beginning of their careers.
What do you think: Will Notchup.com work? If not, why not?
Last updated: Jan 28, 2008
MIKE HOFMAN was previously editor of Inc.com and a deputy editor at Inc. magazine, which he joined in 1996. The site was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Digital Media in 2010, and was named the best business website by Folio Magazine. In 2006, Hofman was part of a team of writers nominated for a Webby Award for best business blog. He lives in New York City. @mikehofman