Recruiting the Best Talent: Tips and Tricks for Finding "The One"

Business.com / Hiring / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you want to know how to convince the top talent to join your team here are several tips and tricks you should consider.

A recent Jibe survey revealed that 37 percent of recruiters feel they are not getting the best applicants because of their poor outreach strategies.

If the professionals who in this game are experiencing this, what does that tell you about your efforts?

How do you compete with the big boys in finding and convincing the top talent to join your team?

Related Article: Hiring for Attitude Over Experience: What the Numbers Show

Here are several tips and tricks you should consider. 

1. Build Your Online Presence

Any applicant who has become aware of an opening you have will immediately go to your website.

Your job is to be certain that it loads quickly, that your homepage is sleek, clean and simple, possibly with a photo of your team.

Your other pages should feature your products or services, of course, but your brand must be present on an “About Us” page.

Customers may not want to view it, but any prospective applicant certainly will. Mention company events and provide a link to your Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat pages for viewing (more tips on this later).

Be certain that you have a link for career opportunities and an easy way for someone to apply right there. And that link should be placed everywhere else you are present online. 

A website is so important today. It provides applicants with a feel for who you are. It should look current and progressive.

If you need to spend some money for a professional designer/developer, spend the money. It’s not just applicants looking at it. Your customers are, too. 

2. Hiring Perks

Some out-of-the-box perk may just be the thing that tips the scales in your favor should a top candidate be considering you and another opportunity.

A gym membership, more vacation days, a weekend getaway, for example. While this may sound cheap or cheesy to some hiring managers, it tells applicants that you are interested in their off-work life as well.

That’s a nice message to send. 

3. Consider Remote and Onsite Combinations

If you are a traditional employer, this may be a hard concept to swallow. More and more, however, top talent values the option to work from home, a favorite coffee shop, or another environment that doesn’t feel like an office.

Moreover, such talent wants to be evaluated on their work outcomes, rather than on the number of hours spent on-site each day.

Providing this option, even in combination with days on-site, can make you a more attractive employer.

As long as projects are completed in an exceptional manner, does it really matter where they are completed? 

4. Use All of Social Media

Having a presence on LinkedIn is certainly a good start. However, there is so much more to do to find candidates on social media.

Top talent is everywhere, and LinkedIn may not be the first choice. Still, joining niche groups on LinkedIn will allow you to informally recruit by asking for referrals from group members. There are a lot of passive candidates out there who might find a change quite attractive. 

Related Article: Millennial Time: Youth-enize Your Business Before It's Euthanized

  • A Facebook presence is your opportunity to showcase your brand and culture. This is where you can display the human side of your business. Featuring team member profiles, events and social gatherings that you have, and even providing great visuals on a local charity you are supporting appeals to Millennials and Generation Y candidates. 
  • Twitter can also be used to feature your culture and your team; Instagram is a great place for team members to post a photo and comment about why they love working at your company. 
  • Use Snapchat to tell a story of a day in the life of your company.
  • Create a YouTube video (it does not have to be professional) featuring the operations and team members ad link to it from your website and all of your social media platforms 

5. Another Out-of-the-Box Tactic: Watch Them Work

You believe you have the right candidate. Just one more thing. All companies have cultures, just as people have personalities.

And it will be important for your team and for your company that there is a fit of this applicant with your environment.

An unusual part of your hiring process may be to put the candidate with a team working on a project, maybe for a day.

If your environment is based more on individual projects, assign a project and give a deadline. Of course, you will offer an agreed upon amount for payment.

What better way for your other team members to gauge the “fit” or for you to determine a quality of work?

Some employers handle this by having members of the team interview the candidate. This can also be a good tactic if the right questions are asked.

6. Use Your Networks

Pick up the phone or email your network contacts. They can reach out to passive candidates who are top notch and not openly looking at the moment.

You may have connectors, people who are not or who have not been in your niche but know of other A-listers who are.

And just one note here: do not discount an older applicant or someone without a college degree who comes highly recommended.

You might be quite surprised to find that people in their 40s and 50s can be quite progressive and forward-thinking. And experience will often trump that degree. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t have a degree.

7. Level Up Your Interview Questions

Stop asking generic questions such as, "What has been your greatest accomplishment?" Or, "What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?"

Candidates expect this and already have their answers prepared. Provide scenarios related to the position and to interpersonal relationships and ask them what they would do. This is how you get a real feel for a candidate.

8. Move Fast

When you have the right candidate, don’t hesitate. Maybe you have others to interview, but if this is the right one, make the offer.

Top talent usually has a few “irons in the fire,” so seal the deal as soon as you know.

Utilizing all of these eight strategies may not be right for you and your organization. However, as you look through the list, see if you can apply some of those unique tactics.

Related Article: Disaster Detour: How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Employee

Getting creative with your recruitment and employment strategies may just get you the perfect person. 

Ultimately, there’s no magic bullet or secret formula to landing top talent in the competitive hiring environment we’re facing.

But there are ways to attract these candidates with unique employee perks and a positive company culture.

This will help to attract and retain ideal candidates from outside, and within your company for years to come.

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