Better Hiring: 7 Ideas to Boost Recruitment

Let the unicorns find you.

You want great talent on your team – the best, actually. Do you have the right mix to attract those seemingly-elusive-yet-outstanding team members often referred to as “unicorns”? Maybe. But, also, maybe not? How do you know if your organization is properly set up to recruit these not-so-mythical professionals?

The usual hiring routine involves updating a job description, posting the role on the company website, and, perhaps, sharing the opportunity on social media. A couple resumes come in. They’re sifted through and sorted into ‘yes’ or ‘no’ piles. Interviews are arranged.

The problem with sticking to the usual? No unicorns. To hire top talent, you need to actively find candidates instead of hoping they find you. Developing a solid network, sharing your corporate culture, and ensuring those who hire have the right skills can all boost your recruitment efforts.

So how do you make your organization and open roles stand out as “must apply today” opportunities?

  • Meet people: Get good at spotting talent, identifying people who bring something special to the table who you’d like to work with or could recommend to others. Keep their names in your metaphorical back pocket. You may not be hiring, but developing strong relationships with skilled individuals gives you a network to draw from when the time is right.
  • Know your corporate culture: Can you describe your culture, values, and philosophy to others? What are the qualities of successful team members? Culture is your differentiator. You must be able to clearly define your culture to attract the people you want on your team.
  • Tell your story: Don’t be boring. The vague (and overused) statements of “great culture” and “competitive benefits” don’t cut it. Compel people to want to join your team and to want the professional challenge presented by your opportunity. Tell a lively (and truthful) story of employee development, leadership training, goal setting and measurement tools, and what celebrating successes looks like.
  • Paint a picture: Articulate the career and growth opportunities, not the job requirements. Focus on what your preferred candidate will want to hear: challenges offered by the role’s key project areas, new skills to be learned, professional development offerings. Painting a picture of role will move potential candidates beyond interested and toward wildly enthusiastic after hearing your pitch.
  • Balance vetting with romance: While you want to thoroughly vet A-player candidates, you also want to “romance” them too. After all, they have options. They’ll bring a level of scrutiny to ensure this is the best move for them. Make sure you follow steps 2, 3, & 4 above and make the interview process a positive experience that reflects your culture, respects their time and keeps them engaged and informed.
  • Interview from divergent angles: In his book, The Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni suggests stepping away from traditional Q&A interviews and getting creative with the venue (e.g. going for a walk or run, taking a candidate on an errand). He believes you can observe a person’s true character and behaviour better when immersed in real-life situations. Alternately, you could ask the candidate to do something instead of telling you how to do it. These options not only demonstrate their skills but also their ability to perform under pressure and adapt to change.
  • Measure top talent hiring outcomes: Hiring well is a specific skill that should be a measured performance objective for team members who make hiring decisions. Gauge success rate based on achieved performance objectives of the new team members, not on how many staff are hired or how long they stay.

Another excellent option for finding top-notch candidates is hiring us to do the work for you. As marketing and communications recruitment experts, it’s our job to stay connected with the best-of-the-best in the Pacific Northwest. Visit our Find Talent page to get started today!