There’s a new toy in town promising a solution to the looming talent shortage apocalypse! Recently launched NotchUp.com’s concept involves superstar candidates posting their profiles, setting a price that they would be willing to interview for new opportunities, and employers/recruiters lining up to pay money just to talk with them. Clearly a sign of the end times, our celebrity obsessed culture has now bled into the employment space. Just as celebrities are regularly paid “appearance fees” to show up at events and grace the little people with their presence, “superstar” candidates now want to be treated the same way.
On their website, NotchUp provides a handy calculator for determining appearance fees to be demanded for interviews. Anthony Ha at VentureBeat tried out the tool and had this experience:
“NotchUp offers a calculator to help – you enter information such as education, salary and work experience, and the calculator gives you a suggested price. I, for one, was pleased to see that companies should pay $200 for the privilege of speaking to me.”
Anthony then entered information for his boss – a person with substantially more education and experience, as well as a PhD. An interview with the boss – still $200.
Armed with this information, I tried out the calculator, resulting in a fee of $570. Just as NotchUp claims their process will do, my ego was boosted. (Good luck with that PhD man!) However, superiority was short-lived after poking around the site more, and noting that candidates can demand up to $5,000. I’m not sure how this “in-depth” 6-question process puts a price on skill, experience and “fit” with potential opportunities. Of course, the note that accompanies the suggested fee states that you can charge less – but you will make less money. Finally, something that makes sense to me!
Dr. John Sullivan, recently praised the NotchUp concept over on ere.net:
“Currently, employed top performers are reluctant to even consider going through interviews because the process is almost universally painful. However, the fact that they are so desirable that a firm is willing to pay to interview them provides an ego boost that certainly gets their attention. In addition, the fact that these individuals can set a high price for agreeing to an interview means that the accepting firms are pretty serious about them. As a result, firms are less likely to be unprepared or jerk candidates around during the interview process.”
I see. So companies looking for ways to save money on recruiting expenses will now be willing to pay up to $5000 to interview someone who apparently wouldn’t talk to them before AND they’ll appear serious now? Unfortunately, if a company has a crappy hiring process, paying multiple candidates appearance fees to sit through that broken process will just be a waste of time and money. Now that’s serious.
Good recruiting is about developing real relationships with high potential candidates, investing time and energy in those individuals, and having an efficient and effective process to attract them. Companies that invest in treating candidates with respect, who also present career growth opportunities and address areas that are of importance to each candidate (and you have to get to know them to find out exactly what that is), won’t have any problems getting candidates to talk with them.
Personally, if I had the money to pay an “appearance fee” to get someone to grace me with their time and presence, I’d invest $500 in William Hung of American Idol fame. According to the New York Post, that gets me 2 – 3 hours of his time, and a two song performance – including the toe tapping classic “She Bangs”. That’s got to be more entertaining than spending time with an ego inflated (or deflated) candidate, who by NotchUp’s own definition isn’t really interested in a job move anyway.
Jennifer McClure is a Vice President at Centennial, Inc.,a Cincinnati-based recruitment and coaching firm, where she’s charged with strategic recruiting efforts, executive coaching and business development for the firm. Send her an uncustomized LinkedIn invite at your own peril…