How To Recruit Top Talent for Your Company in 7 Steps

Updated February 3, 2023

Recruiting top talent is important in every industry, and in some industries, hiring qualified people is especially competitive. There are certain strategies human resource (HR) professionals and hiring managers can use to recruit talented people. Understanding how to appeal to top talent and move them through the hiring process may help you increase the number of highly qualified employees at a company. 

In this article, we explain what recruiting talent means and discuss how to recruit top talent, including improving company culture and making quick job offers.

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What does recruiting talent mean?

Recruiting talent is the act of finding high-quality candidates to hire, either while working as a recruiter or hiring manager. Organizations generally want to ensure they have the best workforce possible, and finding, hiring and keeping top employees can be a complex process. Recruiting talent requires companies to not only select the best candidate out of a pool but also follow certain practices to attract the best talent and keep them long-term. This is often a combination of talent recruiting, talent acquisition and talent development.

Related: Talent Acquisition vs. Recruitment: What's the Difference?

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How to recruit top talent

Here are steps you can take to recruit top talent, either as an HR professional or a hiring manager:

1. Create a positive workplace culture

One of the most important parts of recruiting and retaining top talent is having a positive workplace culture. Current employees may be more likely to refer their talented friends for positions within the company, which can grow your talent pool. The high-quality employees you already have can also develop their skills in a positive workplace, which grows your internal talent.

While a positive workplace culture requires owners and executives to be involved, HR and managers also play an important role in developing a company's culture. Having policies to prevent and resolve problems quickly can help create a positive work culture. Ensuring the workplace is welcoming and free from harassment or discrimination is another necessary component.

Related: How To Promote Cultural Change in an Organization

2. Develop effective job descriptions

Job descriptions are often a candidate's first introduction to an open position, whether a friend sends them the information, a recruiter provides it to them or they find it on a career page or job site. The job descriptions created for a company are as effective as possible. While including a list of the role's responsibilities and qualifications is useful, it's also helpful to include information about what it's like to work at the company or how a candidate can benefit from working there.

Top talent may be interested in a job description that discusses the basics of the job and includes relevant information about the company or industry. For instance, a software developer likely wants to know what training they need, what programming languages the company uses and what types of software you're developing. These are all important pieces of information for deciding if a job is a good fit. Including what makes the company special and how an individual could thrive and improve the company can make the position even more desirable.

Related: How To Write Resume Job Descriptions (With Tips and Examples)

3. Know your best sources for talent

There are many ways to find candidates for open positions, including the company's career site, job boards, external recruiters and employee referrals. How a company finds candidates is often unique to each company and industry. In a highly competitive industry, a company may rely on recruiters and referrals, whereas a company with a large, quality candidate pool may post job openings online.

Effective recruiting usually involves targeting several talent sources and conducting regular analysis of what’s most useful for the company and the areas in which it could grow. If top talent isn’t applying to the company through its career site or job boards, you may need to concentrate on recruiting passive candidates, asking employees for referrals or using external recruiters.

Related: Passive Interest: How To Recruit Passive Job Candidates

4. Plan interviews based on talent

Most companies have a standardized interview process all candidates have to complete. This might include a screening interview with a recruiter or HR staff member, any necessary skills assessments, an interview with the hiring manager and possibly their team, a reference check and an offer. While this is an effective method for most candidates, if you have a candidate you’re extremely interested in hiring and you want to move quickly, you might decide to change the process.

Some ways you could do this include having the hiring manager perform the screening interview, having the candidate meet multiple team members at the same time or during the same visit and creating a standard list of questions to ask every candidate. If you have a positive feeling about a candidate early on, you could check their references while scheduling the next interview to speed up the process. Using professional recruitment software to track candidates and compare feedback from each interviewer can also help you evaluate people quickly.

Related: How To Conduct a Job Interview

5. Verify candidates' credentials

Once you're ready to make an offer to a candidate, it's important to verify their credentials. Making sure that the people you hire meet the company’s qualifications and can perform well is an important step in recruiting top talent. This might include verifying a candidate’s education and work experience or calling their references.

Related: How Do Employers Verify College Degrees?

6. Make an offer fast

If you have a candidate you want to hire and you’ve verified their credentials, making an offer fast is important. Many candidates anticipate lengthy hiring processes, but someone who’s actively looking for work may have other offers or be interviewing elsewhere. 

Most highly qualified candidates are aware of their qualifications and the demand for their skills, so showing confidence in them can help them see why the company you work for is the right fit. Being ready to offer a job to the ideal candidate can help you fill the position quickly and allow you to be more competitive with any other offers they’ve received.

Related: How To Make a Job Offer (With Script)

7. Stay in contact with quality candidates

If there are high-quality candidates that would’ve been a good fit for the company, but they either declined your offer or you chose a slightly more suitable candidate, it's helpful to maintain contact with them. You may find a position that's a better fit for them, or they might reapply to the company in the future. They may also grow useful skills over time that could make them more valuable to the company. If you believe a candidate is the best talent in your industry, stay in contact with them and find a way to hire them later.

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