Friday, May 27, 2016

Competitor Analysis

In reading "Competitor Analysis: Understand Your Opponents" I found myself relating it to my job, which maybe isn't considered one where you have to deal with a lot of competition but in fact I think we do.  Working for CMU, one of my biggest tasks throughout the year is faculty recruitment.  Trying to attract the best in brightest in the field of engineering does come with it's share of competitors. We're trying to lure those that are the best in their field away from those other universities that are held in high esteem.  It's easy to narrow down our competitors to the top few i.e. MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Cal Tech.  These schools are usually ranked slightly above us when it comes to the best schools for engineering, so if these schools are also wooing the same candidate we in turn have to show them what we can offer that those schools can't.  Whether it be a higher salary and a better lab or showing them around Pittsburgh in the hopes that they'll fall in love with the city (which can be rather hard during our prime recruitment months of February and March especially when you're competing with 3 schools located in California).  We really try to position ourselves as welcoming and we want to make the candidate feel at home here so that they do want to come back.  Every year we reevaluate our recruitment processes and tweak them a little bit in order to make it better.  We're constantly learning what works and what doesn't. We don't always win, but more often than not we think our strategy works.

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