How to hire top talent

Having worked with hundreds of companies, we have experienced many different hiring practices. Some work well, others not as well, but overall our results have been very good. Here is a compilation of what we feel represents the best methodology to get a great hire:


● MOVE FAST. Top talent is always in demand. Passing time is probably the number one reason that great talent ends up going to a competitor. Too many steps is a turnoff and taking too long gives other companies the opportunity to interview and hire the candidate out from under you.

● HIRING IS PARAMOUNT IN IMPORTANCE: Hiring needs to be a priority. Proper staffing has to be paramount in importance and hiring managers need to instill a culture that makes interviewing so important that evenings and weekends are options for interviews. Weeks cannot pass without action. If a position can be open for 6-12 months without significant pain, it probably shouldn’t be filled at all.

● DIVERSITY: Beyond being an equal opportunity employer, seek out, on purpose, diversity of background, race, industry, education and thought. Great companies embrace diversity and seek it out, they don’t look for more of the same. If everyone is the same and thinks the same you end up at the same place next year. Diverse employees give you diverse thoughts and challenge to the status-quo. That diversity is paramount in making sure your company grows and leads your industry. Seek it out, embrace it.

● USE KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS as requirements, not typical requirements. KPI’s are how you know if someone will be, or is, successful in their role. Click here for more details.

● KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CANDIDATE AND APPLICANT: Companies tend to treat candidates like applicants and that they are doing them a favor to interview them. In ANY market, that is a mistake, but in a talent short market like this, that’s a recipe for disaster. Companies need to treat candidates like VIP’s every step of the way, making the process easy and enjoyable, making all travel arrangements, having people check in on them, and so forth. Then once on board, treat your employees the same way! Your people are your only competitive advantage, so keep them happy!

● FIND REASONS TO HIRE: That seems intuitive enough, but it seems like experienced managers automatically look for all the possible disqualifiers. This is a candidate-short market and it helps to keep an open mind. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get specific. You have candidates in front of you from your work, referrals, recruiters or your website. What do you do next?

● BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING: As part of a multi-faceted approach to making the right hire, many experts, hiring managers, and recruiters rely on behavioral interviewing techniques and questions. Asking open-ended questions on how people accomplish objectives, overcome adversity, show initiative, solve problems, work with others, or their creativity can provide valuable insight into how they work on the job. You can find a list of behavioral interview questions here for your review.

● “BEHAVIORAL” REFERENCE CHECKS: Company managers have an in-depth reference checks using behavioral interview concepts. Click here for some ideas for more information on reference checking.

● ASSESSMENTS: Personality assessments are part of a multi-faceted approach to candidate selection that helps increase the odds of a good hire when used in conjunction with behavioral interviewing, in-depth reference checking, background checks, and appropriate interview techniques. We offer Caliper assessments as one of our services to our clients. Assessments are included with Priority and Retained searches and are offered at cost for other searches for the chosen candidate. See contract for details.

● BACKGROUND CHECKS: Background Checks from various sources are another tool in our multi-faceted approach to helping clients select the right talent. These are included with Priority and Retained searches and are offered at cost for other searches for the chosen candidate. See contract for details.

● DEGREE VERIFICATION: Good locks make honest employees? Check degrees. Degree verifications are included with Priority and Retained searches and are offered at cost for other searches for the chosen candidate. See contract for details. If these concepts and tools are put to use, there’s a very good chance you will make the right hire. Good luck, and we look forward to helping you.