When you have a position you would like filled, you want to hire the industry’s best talent.  But often, the best candidates already have a job. Not only are they currently employed, they may not be actively seeking a new employment opportunity. This means that you are faced with identifying these professionals, in addition to enticing them away from their job. So, how do you do that?

Before you start looking for top talent, you need to make sure that the job you are offering is compelling enough for them to consider leaving their current position. The job you are offering them needs to be not only a better position than their current job, but also offer them a better career opportunity long term. In other words, your job needs to be an exceptional opportunity they couldn’t turn down. After you have refined the position, you are ready to start looking for these superstars.

OK, So How Do I Find Them?

There are a number of tactics you can use to recruit top performers who are currently employed:

  • Play in their sandboxes. Seek them out at industry conferences and professional presentations, meetings and networking events.
  • Contact high performers who have left your company. If it works out, the results can be twofold. First, see if they are happy, or might consider returning. Sometimes, the grass really isn’t any greener. Secondly, see if they have made new contacts who may be a good fit for your organization.
  • Tap into your current employees. Many companies successfully recruit by offering a “finder’s fee” to members of their own workforce who recruit others. As an added bonus, this can be a morale boost for the employee who successfully does the recruiting.
  • Show prospects how you can help them advance. This can take the form of either vertical advancement – future opportunities to move up within your company – or horizontal advancement – opportunities to expand their professional skills and growth potential. Perks like tuition reimbursement and time off to attend required classes are tremendous recruitment and retention assets.
  • Offer flextime. Increasingly, employees are in need of flexible scheduling as they balance work with child care, eldercare or other lifestyle issues. Studies have shown that the most valuable and sought after individuals are those who most appreciate this benefit.
  • Work with community organizations. This could include teaching a business course at a local college or continuing education program, or working with a chamber of commerce or service club. These are potential venues for meeting superstar candidates and building your network bank.

By using these methods, you will be able to build your network and identify top talent you would like to bring onto your team. But before you start talking to them about the job opportunity, make sure that you understand why they might want to leave their current job. This understanding will prove vital as you look to recruit them away from your competition.

Why Would They Leave?

Just because high performers currently have a job doesn’t mean they don’t have reasons to consider leaving. Several reasons include:

  • Dissatisfaction with management. As one industry expert has noted, employees don’t quit their jobs; they quit their bosses. If they’re not being heard or included in decision making, if management changes direction too often, shows favoritism or otherwise makes their work environment dismal, employees begin considering other options.
  • Lack of advancement opportunities. Employees worth hiring – and keeping – are those who continually seek out opportunities for training and career development. People want to work for a company where they can grow.
  • Lack of respect. If they’re expected to commit to an employer for the long term, individuals deserve and need a sense of value, as well as ongoing input into the work they do. This includes recognition for a job well done, being kept in the loop when it comes to pertinent company decisions, and consideration of their work/life balance.

By understanding possible reasons top talent might leave, it is easier to compel them to consider your new career opportunity. Finding a candidate who is already employed and enticing them to leave requires a little creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. But it can be well worth the effort, as you secure the A-team performer you need. Stay tuned for our second post on this topic and learn how to lure top talent away from your competition!

To learn more about this and other aspects of your recruitment strategy, give BrainWorks a call today!


Share this article