Top 5 Tips to Hire Top Talent

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

Do you feel you're continually fighting your competitors for top candidates? In an applicant's market, limitless options of where to apply exist, leading to a talent pool that is spread thin. Standing out in the sea of job postings is critical, and maintaining interest throughout your process is a must if you want to land the cream of the crop in terms of talent. Below you'll find a few quick tips on how to enhance your recruiting strategy today:

1. Lean into the Silence

People naturally love to talk about themselves, but in an interview setting, things can feel very rehearsed and formal. Think about a first date, everything is new and exciting, and everyone is on their best behavior. It's challenging to weed out the pretenders and find genuine talent among your pool. One tool you can utilize to get a little more information is silence. Silence is awkward for everyone, and may feel uncomfortable the first few times you try this tactic. During an interview, either on the phone or in person, once the applicant has finished answering, give about 5-8 seconds of additional silence, almost like you are prompting them to provide more info. 90% of applicants add additional information to their answer—the more information you have, the more likely you are to make an informed, data-driven choice.

2. Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are one of my most significant recommendations to companies. Job descriptions should read like a great novel—it should read like the hook on the back of the book causing you to run to the cashier because you can't wait to read it. Sticking to the "bullet point only" style is going to lose top candidates. If candidates don't feel inspired or connected to your mission or vision, they won't fill the application for the job you posted. Get creative, tie your values to your job descriptions, state your why, and be clear about why someone should be excited to come to work for you. Use verbiage like "family" and "team" to make sure the applicant knows this will be a place they'll feel welcomed.

3. Hiring Manager Relationships

Hiring Managers can help or hinder the hiring process. An unengaged hiring manager can waste precious time mulling over resumes, interview feedback, and ultimately cost you top candidates due to the lengthy timeline. Make sure you're building these relationships and nurturing hiring managers along the way. You don't need to be their best friend. However, if they trust your judgment and competency to find great candidates, you'll have more freedom to run the process. This allows you to keep everything on track. Don't underestimate the power of relationships and trust.

4. More Touch Points, More Information

This one seems like a no-brainer, but make sure to use every single opportunity to connect with the person you intend to hire. Outside of the phone interview and/or in-person meetings, make sure you are making contact. For example, call to schedule the interview instead of emailing someone. If you do choose to email, make sure to structure your email in a way that deserves a response. Receiving a response provides an opportunity for you to assess their professionalism and attention to detail. Throughout the process, you're creating opportunities to gather data points. Every piece of information you have, starting with the resume review to the feedback session, will lead to an informed, data-driven decision. Making decisions with data ensures you're hiring a qualified, well-rounded employee. Using data keeps us from getting caught in "gut feelings" and other bias that we bring with us to the table during interviews. Although we can't remove 100% of our bias, everyone has it; we can mitigate the risk by using data points from diverse sources to make informed decisions.

5. No Cold Shoulders, Keep Your Candidates Warm

I cannot stress this enough. Don't alienate your top candidates; you need to keep them engaged throughout the entire process. If your candidate is truly as fantastic as you imagine, then it's likely you're not the only employer looking to hire them. Stay ahead of this by keeping them in the loop on the process, even if it is just an email saying hello and that you have no updates—contact is contact. It shows you're invested in them. Taking time out of your day to connect sends a message, and it helps them generate feelings of loyalty and excitement around the prospect of working with you. In some cases, the hiring process can drag on for months, counteract this by making sure your top candidates know they're still being considered and you're excited about them.

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