Former analysts can do more than AR for vendors

One of the most hotly commented on SageCircle posts was What are the pluses and minuses of former analysts taking on vendor AR roles?  The blog post had 42 comments with about as many from analysts as from vendors.  There was a pretty even split in attitude with half feeling that hiring former analysts into vendor AR would be a mistake and the rest saying it was a brilliant move. It is also significant to note one of the points raised several times in the comments was that former analysts could likely make a better contribution to a vendor outside of analyst relations.

This post came to mind while reading The Secrets of the Talent Scouts by George Anders in the Sunday New York Times. The bottom line of the article is that smart companies continue to hire in a recession and pick up great talent that is temporarily available when there are fewer companies bidding for their services. Another point from the article “is to cast a wide net, finding intriguing candidates who might never appear on rivals’ radar screens.”

Former analysts can certainly fit into the “intriguing candidates” category for a wide range of jobs inside of a vendor including (in alphabetical order):

  • Competitive intelligence
  • Market research
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Messaging 
  • Planning
  • Product evangelist
  • Sales training and support
  • Strategy development

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR professionals should evaluate which former analysts have the skills, personality, and smarts to make a contribution to their companies
  • AR professionals should then actively sell potential hiring executives on the value on acquiring unique talent
  • Once a position has been approved, AR can then act as the match maker between the executive and the former analyst
  • If a former analyst is hired, AR should casually drop that piece of information when chatting with analysts at firms, both the former analyst’s firm and others

Bottom Line: While this might take some time on the part of AR – a critical resource during a recession – this could be a valuable investment in relationship building. Not only would AR have a potential ally in a critical position inside the company, but analysts still employed would appreciate the vendor looking out for a former colleague or peer that got caught up in a layoff.

Are you intrigued by this idea but wonder how you can carve time out your packed schedule to make time to educate executives on hiring former analysts? Check out SageCircle’s STRATEGIC ISSUES: Challenges for AR Team seminar which puts a lot of emphasis on how to manage AR workload to make more time for strategic activities. The next seminar will be held on March 24-25, 2009 in Cupertino in the Silicon Valley. Click here for more information including agenda, registration and future sessions.

Question: AR – Have you ever thought about being a “talent scout” for your company? What other roles could a former analyst play in a technology or telecommunications vendor?