A 5-Step Action Plan To Recruit And Hire Top Talent

Luis Congdon

Steve Jobs, the Co-Founder of Apple Computer once said: “Great things in business are never done by one person; they're done by a team of people.” He not only knew this, but he lived it by personally interviewing over 5,000 applicants at Apple. That kind of attention to building the right team helped Jobs create a billion-dollar empire, and it can make your company incredibly successful too. 

Having the top talent working with and for you is like making sure you’re using the best oil, gasoline, and tires on a supercar. Do it right and your company's growth can accelerate in record time. Do it wrong, and you’ll stay stuck at the tracks while your competitors surpass pass you. Sadly, over 50% of employers complain they can’t fill positions with the right quality team members. 

Looking at those stats, we have to ask, why do so many companies struggle to fill job positions? Could it be that they have: 

  • Job descriptions that aren't enticing to the ideal candidates? 
  • Job postings in the wrong places or not in the right spots?
  • Interview processes that like bad first dates, scare away good people?
  • Not enough perks to appeal to the candidates they want? 
  • A weak mission statement that detracts top talent and makes the company look devoid of having a purpose?

Or is it something else, what could it be? If half of employers struggle to fill job roles with their ideal candidates, something is definitely amiss. We don’t want this to be you, so let’s dig in and show you how to avoid the mistakes that get you overlooked. In this article, you’ll find what helps you attract, recruit, and keep the best talent in your industry.

Here is a 5-step action plan to help you attract and build the most exceptional team with the finest talent possible: 

1. Create A Job Description That Actually Entices Your Ideal Candidates 

If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of looking at job boards, you know how boring most job descriptions are. Many of them don’t inspire applicants and make the whole affair very monotonous and unenjoyable - hence, why over 60% of job applications are abandoned by job seekers every day. 

To attract the right people, you’ll want the right bait, and quite often, it starts with a job listing that looks interesting — followed by a process that invites the best applicants to participate in sending you their information. 

To stand out, you’ll want a job post that appeals to your ideal candidates. To do this, you’ll want to get clear on: 

  • What exactly the job entails. This part is essential because studies show only 36% of candidates say they are provided with clear job descriptions
  • Think of what your ideal candidate wants. The duties, the hours, all the stuff that might help interest and entice your ideal hire, put those details in the description. 
  • What makes your company fun, unique, and attractive (don’t just put ‘fun, awesome’ get as concrete as possible). Maybe your company has weekly Taco Tuesdays, bring your dog to work days, or maybe it’s grown at an astounding rate that ensures job safety and growth for applicants? Put down what comes to mind; this helps you stand out. 
  • What are other companies posting and ask yourself, “What can I do differently to stand out?” 
  • What kind of training and support you’ll offer the candidate (most ideal candidates will want to learn and feel like the company supports their aspirations for growth) 
  • What are the qualities you’d like to your ideal candidate to have? 
  • What is the day-to-day at the job and with the team like? 

Getting clear on the job description might seem like an obvious part of attracting and recruiting top talent, but if you spend just ten minutes job hunting, you’ll find most job listings lack clarity and are likely to detract the best candidates from even applying. 

2. Build Your Talent Pipeline 

Just like hunting and fishing is all about knowing where to find the best catch, attracting talent is about knowing where the talent pool hangs out at. 

It seems like most companies know to post their job on Craigslist, Indeed, Linkedin, and Monster, but many overlook their most powerful asset - employees at the company. Yet, research shows that employee referrals are the best source for generating the best return on investment. 

To help you stay organized and recruit the best talent, follow this 3 Step Plan For Recruiting: 

Step 1: Ask your employees if they know someone who fits what you’re looking for. Share your job description and offer your staff an incentive to recruit for you. Given that referred candidates are 55% faster to hire, compared with employees sourced through career sites, it’s a good idea to create a strong incentive for your staff. 

Step 2: Share an email with customers and staff announcing the open role. Quite often, your best candidates are people who have made purchases with you and know your product well. A simple email announcing that you’re hiring and have an open role with a link to the job posting suffices to help you scout out talent from your current network. 

Step 3: Post your job listing far and wide. Don’t just use the popular websites that everyone else is using, stand out, and use some of these sites like: 

  • Angel List (create a strong company profile, have staff profiles optimized and then put up that enticing job posting you created)
  • GitHub (Make sure you have good filters, review candidates, message the ones that are a fit and refine your filters as needed)
  • Dribble (This site is for finding designers, so if you want a designer this could be a great place) 
  • Facebook Jobs (Along with posting your job on Facebook, you can also use the search bar to find talent. Try search queries like; designers who live in Seattle, graphic designers who work at X company, people who like drupal and live in San Francisco, the list of search options is endless, so give it a shot). 
  • For remote jobs, you can also try these sites: Idealist, Jobspresso, We Work Remotely, and Remote.co

Just like casting a wide net is essential to getting the best catch, posting far and wide assures you’re able to be more visible and attract the best talent - so don’t forget to post at all the usual places like LinkedIn, Monster, Craigslist, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and anywhere else that is popular and well-known. 

3. Use Smart Interview Strategies To Find The Best Talent 

Now that you’ve incentivized your staff and cast a wide net - it’s time to interview. Since it’s likely you already know a fair amount about interviewing, we’ll keep this brief. 

During your interview, you’ll want to screen potential toxic hires by asking questions about challenges and how your potential hire would handle them. Then be sure to ask questions about company culture and include your staff in the interview process. By allowing team members to participate in the interview, you’ll also help the candidate get to know who they’d work with and more about the people at the company. 

Then make sure to leave time to let the potential candidate ask questions. Take note of what they ask, what they don’t, and use all the information you gather to help you recruit the best fit for your company.  

4. Follow Up With Everyone - It Matters 

After your interviews, you’ll have to make a tough decision and pick one person to hire. While everyone knows how to do this, what they miss is following up with everyone else who didn’t get hired. That follow-up can help your brand or hurt it. 

According to studies at Career Arc, nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly. A poor experience for candidates that maybe you wanted to hire but didn’t quite make the cut can impact you negatively - whether later when you’d like to hire them, or online if they leave reviews. 

To avoid or at least dampen the negative impact of turning down good candidates, you can follow up with a simple email. Your email can inform them that while they were an excellent interviewer, you had to make the tough decision of choosing just one person. Then end by sharing a link to a careers page on your website or let them know they’re welcome to check back in a few months, and if you have something open, you’d be glad to consider them. 

5. Hire The Best Candidate 

Lastly, hire your favorite candidate - the one that is the most qualified for the job and who fits in well with your company culture. And if someone at the company referred your new hire, be sure to give them the promised incentives. Then be sure to repeat these steps next time you have a job opening. 

Hiring The Best Takes An Action Plan 

As you can see, engaging and hiring the best talent requires an action plan. One of those steps is incentivizing your employees and using your staff as a team in the process of recruiting. The other steps involve creating an appealing job description, posting far and wide, and making sure to follow up with everyone you interview so that your talent pool still full for the future. 

Having a plan and a process for recruiting is what helped people like Steve Jobs hire successfully, and it’s something that will give you positive results too. 

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