10 Top Tips, Tools & Techniques to Attract & Recruit Top Talent

  1. What is your UEP (Unique Employment Proposition)? What do you offer that your competitors don’t? Make a list of the top 10 reasons a STAR employee should come to work for you. The easiest way to come up with a list of why STAR employees is to ask your best employees why they came to work for you; what makes them stay; and what they like most about their jobs and the company.
  2. Ask everyone who gives you an employee referral one question: Is this a referral or a recommendation? This will tell you if the person who gave you the referral actually knows the person and is willing to put their own name and reputation on the line. (This question is worth asking when you get a referral for a vendor you think you may want to work with, too.)
  3. Do not help your competition. When you get a call asking for a reference on a STAR employee who left you, you’ve just been put on notice that he or she is looking for a new job. So, before you give the requested references, tell the caller that you will have to call the former employee for their permission to release the information. Ask the caller for the former employee’s current telephone number, then call your former STAR and ask if he or she would consider coming back. If the answer is no, you’ll still have made the person feel good and he or she may very well think of you next time they’re ready for a change.
  4. To change the results, change the sign. The same headline, same message, and same location will continue to attract the same types and kinds of applicants. If you want more and/or different kinds of applicants, change your headline, message, and/or location. For example, if you mainly hire men, take your ad out of the employment section of the newspaper and run it on the sports page. For part-time jobs, try: Be Home When Your Kids Are Home.
  5. Think inside the box. Before you go looking outside your organization, look at the people you already have on board to see if anyone on staff can do the job or if there is someone who this job would be a stretch for, but who deserves the opportunity to grow. Promoting from within motivates your entire staff and it’s nice to discover the person you need for the new position is a person you hired two years ago.
  6. Divvy up recruiting responsibilities. If you have more than one manager at a location, divide the recruiting responsibilities between them. Have one focus on referrals, another on outside organizations (schools, church groups, state employment agencies), and another on the Internet (Facebook, LinkedIn, and all the other social media and job boards).
  7. Get rid of “Help Wanted” signs. “Help Wanted’ isn’t a good reason for anyone to want to work for you. If you want to recruit STAR applicants, you need to tell them why they want to apply. Instead of Now Hiring, how about: Our growth is your opportunity or Come for the job, stay for the career. Santa needs helpers and so do we is a much better message than Holiday help needed.
  8. Frustration is good as long as it is the other company’s employee who is frustrated. Somebody else’s frustrated employee is most likely one of your best prospects. Research shows that over 20 percent of the people who are employed are frustrated by their jobs. The same research shows that these people, in most cases, are some of the best employees and are trying to do a great job, but they have not been given the tools, training, and respect they deserve. They are overworked and under-appreciated. Why not run an ad that reads: Are you frustrated and looking for a change? Or, how about: Frustrated Nurses, Apply Now with your 24/7 job hotline number. (Just drop in your job title in place of the word “nurses.”)
  9. Never stop looking for your next employee. Today’s employees do not believe it is disloyal to look for a job while they are working for you and the same needs to hold true for hiring managers. You always need to be looking for your next STAR employee. Recruiting is a proactive function and a key component of building your business.
  10. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Nobody really wants to buy light bulbs. We buy light bulbs because we want light. The same goes for work. No one really wants a job; they want the benefits the job gives them: security, growth opportunities, challenges, recognition, respect, relationships, and the list goes on.

I cannot tell you what each applicant wants most because only the applicant knows that, but I can tell you how to find out what applicants value most: Ask them what they want or expect from their jobs.

Excerpted from 1oo + 1 Top Tips, Tools & Techniques to Attract & Recruit Top Talent, by Mel Kleiman. Copyright © Humetrics 2013

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Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.


4 Comments on “10 Top Tips, Tools & Techniques to Attract & Recruit Top Talent

  1. Appreciate you sharing these tips Mel. As a hiring manager and operations manager, I find it quite difficult to recruit new talent. My day job of maintaining the operations of the company seems to always get in the way.

    Sometimes, working with a great quality recruiter helps (note the emphasis on “great” and “quality”). I just wrote an article for my colleagues which will help folks decided when it makes sense to use a recruiter and when it makes sense to “go it alone”. I would love to share with your readers and hope it helps someone.


  2. Thank you for sharing these tips. I support the idea that Talent
    Recruitment is “the” most important job in an organization and we have
    innovate how we hire.

    I strongly encourage reading “Creative Hiring” here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014PZ7EBI/ It shows the path to making the best analyses regarding personalities and competencies possible prior to the hiring decision.

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