Lindsay Olson

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5 tips on hiring extraordinary talent

Number 10

Seth Godin posted the 90/10 rule of marketing a job today on his blog. It goes like this:

"It only takes 10% as much effort to hire someone in the bottom 90% of the class.

And it takes the other 90% to find and cajole and retain the top 10%." - Seth Godin

This is very true. I posted yesterday about the ridiculously lazy job posting. Lazy efforts in filling a key position will find you the same type of candidate.

To find the top 10% of the talent means you need to be doing more than posting a job out there and waiting for resumes to start piling in. Sure, you will find good or good enough. You might even find a rock star, but don't expect to strike gold twice. It's going to take a lot more than sitting around and waiting for them to come to you to staff a company of extraordinary talent.

Here are some suggestions on recruiting and retaining extraordinary talent:

  • Know and be able to articulate what sets your company apart. I am surprised at how many hiring managers can not do this. Not only hiring managers, but every person in your company should be able to have this conversation. This is hiring extraordinary talent 101.
  • Don't just talk. Sell and deliver. Companies must deliver on the promises they make in the interview process. This is the main reason I find people leave their new position within the first few months on the job.
  • Network, network, network.

    Hang out where the rockstars hang out. More than likely they aren't even seeing your job postings.

  • Partner with a recruiter (not 20 recruiters) to find the talent. Ok, we all know I'm a recruiter, but this isn't a plug for me. It's a worthy investment if you are serious about filling a position and marketing the company.  Just make sure you partner with a specialist in your industry or discipline and freely give the information he or she needs to sell the opportunity. Keep in contact, give feedback and remember the recruiter is working with the candidate directly too and is positioned to smooth out negotiations and the offer process.
  • When you hire a rockstar, develop him or her. Rockstars require and seek out opportunities for continuous professional development. Don't be scared they will run off someone else by over-training or giving too many opportunities. They won't stay with you forever anyways. But they will definitely be a short-term hire if you aren't giving them opportunities or investing in their professional development.
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