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Building a team of stars can take your company to the next level, but are you prepared for the challenges it can bring? “A” players aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They look at things differently. They bring big ideas and come ready to make improvements. If you’re not a leader who embraces change, hiring stars could bring challenges you’re not ready for.

If you are a confident leader, you’ll want to hire the strongest people you can find. The most respected CEOs in the world hire superior talent. Jack Welch, formerly CEO of General Electric, said that when you’re a leader, you never want to be the smartest guy in the room. Commit to surrounding yourself with the best people. If you want to take your company to the next level, choose people who are at the top of their craft.

How can you identify stars?

Look for people with a track record of relevant success – past results indicate future performance.  Look for intelligent people, of course, but they must be able to apply that intelligence to solve problems. Anyone can notice problems, but winners find solutions.

Use behavioral interviews to analyze behavior. Ask questions about typical work issues and have the candidate explain how he would handle them. Probe for specific examples where he had to address a similar issue, not just vague generalities about how he would typically handle it.

Interview well. Listen to what’s really going on behind the words. Is there passion and interest? Stars are passionate.  Look for cultural fit to see how he will mesh with your team – it  is more important than most people admit.  Look for leadership skills. Can he give examples of how he motivates or inspires his team and manages for results?

How do you find winners?

Reach out to your network. Winners know winners. If you have a specific opportunity, tell some of the strongest people in your network about it and ask for five strong candidates – reach out to the best of them.

Use LinkedIn as a jumping off point. Of course, you’ll need to vet any candidate you find there, but it gives you a place to start.

How do you attract the best professionals?

Stars need to be wooed. Chances are that they are happy and successful where they are, but the best professionals always have an eye out for their next career move. When you approach them you must present an intriguing opportunity at a compelling company.

Stars look for challenges where they can make a significant impact on business outcomes. For example, I once represented a home goods manufacturer whose luxury segment had fallen on hard times. The company needed to hire a new VP of marketing and product development, but their hiring strategy was all wrong.

They thought of the position as a hard sell because of the company’s damaged reputation in the marketplace. But I saw opportunity. I knew I could recruit a winning candidate for the position.

This role would offer the new VP an opportunity to rebuild. A chance to restore a legacy brand – a household name ­– to its former glory. Get it right and you can write your own ticket. Get it wrong – well, winners don’t think like that.

If you want to attract stars, present them with challenges. Bore a star and you’ll lose him fast.  Give him a clear career path. Stars are always eyeing the next rung on the career ladder. If you want to hold onto them, that rung has to be within your company and there has to be a clear path to get there.

Hiring process is crucial.

A strong hiring process is a must. Drag the interview out for six months and you will lose the candidate. Someone else will snap him up.

This is where BrainWorks excels. We manage the whole process from stem to stern. We’ll keep you on track by nudging the process along with consistent communication. We’ll help you keep the candidate in the loop, so that he knows where in the process he is.

We can act as a champion for your company. Winners don’t respond to stock job descriptions, they respond to compelling opportunities. We can help you craft that unique selling proposition that attracts the strongest candidates.

BrainWorks can reach out to already employed people.  That’s where the winners are. Seventy-five percent of the people we have placed over the years were perfectly happy where they were. We can convince them to at least discuss a new opportunity by offering them a chance to enhance their career.

Contact the recruitment experts at BrainWorks to learn how we can help you identify, locate and hire stars. We can create strategies to drive your successful talent acquisition and help you to manage your search process more efficiently.


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