How to Recruit Top Tier Talent

How to Recruit Top Tier Talent [square]

How to Recruit Top-Tier Talent: 7 Best Practices to Follow

By: Patricia Bell Newson, TalentMap

Finding and recruiting top talent takes a certain knack. Among the business world’s most successful organizations perfect matches aren’t made in heaven; they’re made by keeping abreast of trends and best practices, like these seven:

1. Embrace social media

Elevate and manage your organization’s public reputation in the online world. Content and interactive dialogue, like everything your organization does, should be reflective of your social and cultural mores. Create a social media trail for potential recruits to follow and follow the trails they leave. To reach top-tier talent, build social media strategies into your recruiting practices. Be innovative about where alignments can be found and made: your own employee databases, career websites, social media platforms, and networking forums.

2. Proactively pursue

Star employees work hard to shine and climb. As a rule, top performers are self-aware. They know their value and importance. Actively pursuing a tier-one candidate shows that you value what they offer. Important industry-related conferences and events, popular social media channels, professional associations, internal employee referral campaigns, alumni outreach, colleges and universities are great pools for high-caliber talent

3. Welcome nomadic thinking

A good 80% of employees, top talent or not, say they like the idea of working remotely at locations of their choice during hours of their choice. Star employees tend to be disciplined, self-motivators. Playing the remote card is a compelling deal for these folks. Tossing greater autonomy into their hands can sweeten the deal and ace your organization’s recruiting edge. Don’t fold under discussions about part-time or contract arrangements. As long as output is where it needs to be (and then some) and your high performing talent remains motivated and engaged. The where, when and how really shouldn’t matter.   

4. Talk up soft skills

With some 62% of employers ranking soft skills (interpersonal relations) on par with hard skills (technical know-how) it makes sense to give both abilities equal billing in recruitment postings, job descriptions, and interview sessions. To focus on tasks and capabilities is a disservice to your organization and the person looking at your organization. A strong case can be made to top talent when a good match means more than functional fit.

5. Recognize reputation matters

Research shows top-tier talent is concerned with the vision and values of an organization. Marketers call it branding. Executives call it strategic. In simple terms, it’s about establishing a purpose and achieving goals by articulating, promoting, and holding true to cultural values at the heart of your organization. When candidates share those values, they’re one step closer to joining or returning to the fold.

6. Listen and engage

Mark Stoever, Chief Operating Officer of Monster Worldwide says: “Brand marketers think about how they will develop relationships with people over time, not only when a specific need surfaces. Recruiters must think like this, too. This means listening and engaging all the time.”

Point on.  So how do you listen and engage all the time?

  • Start by using onboarding survey questions and data collection tools like those available from TalentMap to smooth out the transition period. Systematic feedback at 30, 90 and 180 days helps spot potential problems before they happen. Asking for insights, especially in the early weeks and months of a star performer’s employ, reinforces their value and their organization’s gratitude.
  • Notice and acknowledge their contributions. Give lots of accolades frequently and genuinely. 
  • Invite top performers to “stay” interviews where manager and employee explore career aspirations, skill development opportunities, factors that inspire and engage, barriers that dissuade and frustrate.
  • Create opportunities that exercise creativity and challenge problem-solving skills – bonus if these opportunities are outside usual areas of responsibility.
  • Encourage risk taking. Most of our greatest innovations come from unconventional thinking. And many of our biggest lessons are learned from mistakes.

7. Catch the boomerang

Keep doors open for the return of star talent. If the time comes when one of your best and brightest decides to accept a new challenge elsewhere, celebrate their success. Follow their career. Keep in touch by way of social sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. Create an alumni program to make that “keeping in touch” easier. At the very least they may turn out to be one of your organization’s best ambassadors.

About the Author

Patricia Bell Newson, Chief Content Specialist, TalentMap

A graduate of Canada’s leading Journalism Degree program, Patricia Bell Newson is an accomplished writer and communications specialist. Pat’s background in strategic media, stakeholder and government relations has benefited grassroots non-profit organizations through to federal government departments and multi-national corporations. She is currently TalentMap’s chief content specialist.

Back to listing