How to find top talent for your open position

This “how to” begins with the question of “why?” Why can I not find top talent to fill the open positions at my company? The answer is simple. You don’t have any ground-level brand ambassadors recruiting for you. So what does not having ground-level ambassadors mean? This means your front-line workers do not love their jobs enough to recruit their friends, their acquaintances from school, or anyone within their social reach. They are not trumpeting your awesomeness in social media, conversations, or even in their personal presence. So how do I get ground-level ambassadors? Again, the answer is simple. Make your workplace awesome. Ok, so how do I make my workplace awesome? Four steps. One, hire people who are most likely to actually make your workplace awesome. Two, hire people who have the capability of being amazing ambassadors. Three, give people a crystal-clear vision of the opportunity that you can offer. And, Four, don’t quit. Let’s walk through these with more detail.

Step 1. Hire people who will make your workplace awesome.

 People who will make your workplace awesome have three key qualities. First, they care about relationships. They find joy in being a part of a team working towards a larger goal. They are kind. They tend to others. They want to know people on various levels. They are interested in people other than themselves. They celebrate successes of friends and family, and they are inspired by them, not envious to a fault. Second, they take pride in their accomplishments. Be it renegotiating a million-dollar deal or getting through the lunch-time rush with no red tickets on the screen. Be it making sure they crack a smile from even the most curmudgeon-ist customer or just giving a pat on the back to someone having a rough day. Third, they are loyal. That means they recognize when people have invested in them and have given them opportunity, and they are willing – no, driven – to pay it forward.

Step 2. Hire people who have the capability of being amazing ambassadors.

People who have the capability of being amazing ambassadors have a few things in common. First, they have scruples. They lead a life that is reputable. There is something in their past that they have learned from, grown from, and been an advocate for or against. Second, they have a comfortable demeanor. They don’t need to be extroverted. They just need to be approachable and kind. They need to have the ability to make others feel good about themselves. They need to not be cliquey. Third, they need the ability to tell a truly magnificent story. One that is symbolic. That is inspiring. Be it about something their child did, something they experienced, something they witnessed, something they heard from someone else…. They need to be able to tell it with conviction, wisdom, and descriptive detai

Step 3. Give your workers a crystal-clear vision of opportunity.

To do this you need to understand a critical concept. You need to understand how the mission of your company (or brand) intersects with your candidate’s personal mission. Your company (or brand) mission is probably already codified. Super. Your candidate’s personal mission is most likely not. You need to figure it out – as soon as possible – and preferably in the interview process - can you connect what your brand has to offer to the context of this candidate’s person’s purpose in life? Can you figure out what lights up this candidate? And can you cast a connection from that light to what your workplace can offer them? If the answer is no, move on. You have the wrong person. If the answer is yes, cast that connection with your words, your speech, your demeanor, and inspire a mutual understanding of possibility. 

Step 4. Don’t quit.

Don’t quit. It’s worth repeating. Don’t quit. That is code for “be sure to implement” or “live out what you speak” or “show what you stand for.” Ok. So how do I not quit? Again, the answer is simple. Set systems into place. What is your process for accepting applications? What is your process for interviewing? What is your process for onboarding? What is you process for delivering crystal-clear expectations on how to advance in your company? What is your process for amplifying talent that your can-be brand ambassadors have? What systems do you have for your brand symbols that your can-be ambassadors showcase? Do you train your people on how to use social media for recruitment? Do you develop your people in communication? Do you provide the team-building needed to make them expert story-tellers? What rewards do you provide top performers for helping to recruit the next generation of company employees? What systems do you have for training? For the bridge to align brand and personal mission? Where are you sending your company dollars in terms of investment? Is it to these spaces?

Hiring top talent is within your control. You are not a victim to economic prosperity or downturn. The question you need to wrestle to the ground is – are you doing what it takes to find and develop top talent? Or are you simply waiting for top talent to find you?