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Hiring Superstars Part II: Winning top talent AWAY from your competition

Simply the best.

That’s what you want when you hire top talent. You need to attract and retain the very best – and to do so, you need to catch their attention, give them a compelling vision of your company and how it aligns with their future, and let them know they’re an essential part of that plan.

These tips and guidelines can help you get started:

  1. Go above and beyond when it comes to your compensation package. It’s not just about salary. Healthcare coverage, stock options, matching 401(k) plans, bonuses and incentives all rank high. If you employ working parents (and who doesn’t?) on-site day care is a major plus.
  2. Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility! Today’s workforce wants flexibility on the job and balance in their life. Offer telecommuting, job sharing and/or four-day work week options. In 2010, 84 percent of Fortune Best 100 Companies to Work For allowed employees to telecommute or work from home at least 20 percent of the time.
  3. Offer training and development opportunities. Allow – in fact, encourage – employees to attend seminars, workshops and conferences to help them build their professional skills. Offer on-line educational opportunities, as well. Word will get out that you really care and are willing to invest in the professional advancement of your workforce.
  4. Make yours a model company culture. Foster an environment of open communication and involvement. Listen to what your workforce has to say. A recent report based on exit survey data noted that employees want to be influential in decision making and contribute to mutually agreed-upon company objectives.
  5. Recognize jobs well done. Nothing is more motivating than positive recognition. Loyalty increases and goodwill spreads when people feel respected and acknowledged for what they do. Recognition awards are an effective way to reinforce corporate values and can be a low-cost, high-impact means of building morale.
  6. Involve your current employees in your recruitment process. Tell them when you’re working to fill a vacancy. Offer a “finder’s fee” if they bring new talent to the organization.
  7. Put the media to work for you. Reach past the traditional “help wanted” ads in the Sunday paper. Match your media plan to your target audience and use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media outlets to spread the word. Put your PR team to work to land free media coverage via a well-placed story about your company’s success, unique products or services, innovations, or community contributions.
  8. Clearly define every job before hiring. Develop job analyses and well-defined job descriptions. Consistency is key.
  9. Plan your recruitment strategy. Determine who will be involved in filling key positions and develop a time frame that is realistic but efficient.
  10. Execute your plan. From initial resume reviews and background and reference checks through prescreening, interviewing and candidate follow up, utilize a hiring checklist and uniform, across-the-board questions and steps to ensure objectivity and optimal organization.

It’s a lot to think about and a lot to do, but it’s more than worth the investment. You may want to consider partnering with a staffing firm to access their resources, expertise and contacts for hiring Grade-A talent. Contact the team at BrainWorks to learn more.

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