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Five Steps to Recruiting Your Key Players

Five Steps to Recruiting Your Key Players

Finding executive, management, and sales stars who can help take a company to the next level is one of the biggest challenges we’ve noticed our clients experience. There are many possible candidates out there but a limited pool of superstars. Finding the right talent is essential. With an established process in place, this daunting task is doable. We’ve complied these five steps to help get you started finding the ideal players for the key positions you’re seeking to fill.

Step 1: Identify the key skill set needed. What is your ultimate goal for bringing a new player on board? Think about what this person is going to do to make your company more competitive, more profitable – a leader in the marketplace. Who are the stakeholders? Engage those in the company whose departments will be affected by the hiring decision. What skills do they think necessary to make a candidate excel in the essential areas? In addition, you must understand your company culture so that you can hire a good personality fit. Any reputable staffing firm should be able to help with this process.

Step 2: Craft a job description that tells and sells. The job description you post is your beacon for attracting the ideal candidate. An effective job description not only clearly communicates the skills required to be a stellar performer; it also gives potential candidates a glimpse at “a day in the life” in the position – and in the company. Paint a picture that lets candidates know how your company differs from most. Paint an accurate picture for a good corporate fit. And it never hurts to start with a hook to attract the attention of discerning top talent in today’s competitive marketplace.

Step 3: Target referrals for the job. Good people know good people. Referrals are the best way to recruit key players. Seek referrals from your current employees, clients, competitors, vendors, personal network, and local trade associations. Spread the word of your candidate search through social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Here again, your staffing company can help – they are engaged in the referral process day-in/day-out in a broad variety of vertical markets and can expand your talent pool exponentially. Nad Elias, HT Staffing managing partner, says, “We are in contact with several hundred individuals on a weekly basis. We always ask for referrals, whether it be from potential clients or candidates. Everyone knows somebody who may know somebody else.”

Step 4: Conduct a well-planned, in depth interview. To uncover the skills your stakeholders identified in Step 1, plan your interview carefully. Divvy up identified skills by stakeholder and let individual interviewers focus on the qualifications that matter most to them. Behavioral interviewing – asking questions that begin, “Tell me about a time that…,” allows you to predict the candidate’s future success based on his or her past performance. The bonus is that the narrative answer to this type of interview question gives you a look at the candidate’s on-the-job experience. We’ve observed that our clients who use a well-defined behavioral interviewing process excel at finding better-qualified employees – employees who are more successful and stay longer than those selected through a more traditional approach.

Step 5. Do your due diligence. So, you’ve found a candidate you’re excited about? Take a deep breath. You owe it to your company to proceed with caution. A recent CareerBuilder.com survey cites that 57% of hiring managers report catching a lie on a candidate’s application. Due diligence may consists of a skills assessment, a personality assessment, a criminal background check, a credit check when appropriate, degree verification, and reference checks – at least two professional and one personal. For the professional references, go beyond confirming dates of employment. If possible, speak with a direct supervisor and use the behavioral, “tell-me-about-a-time,” approach. References from friends will often uncover revealing personal information not available from professional sources. With any reference and background checking, make sure you have written permission from the candidate.

What challenges have you encountered in hiring the right people for your top jobs? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Better yet, try our recommendations and let us know how they worked for you—we’d like to hear from you. Happy recruiting!