How to Find and Retain Top Talent (10 Pro Tips)

The job market is constantly fluctuating. There is always one constant, however. Whenever your business is looking for new team members, there is always a mix of good and bad candidates. 

It becomes more and more difficult every year to differentiate the top talent from the many applicants who would just not be the right fit for your business. So how are you supposed to pick? What attracts top talent? How do you keep the best employees after you hire them?

If you recently started the recruitment process for your company, the unemployment rates and retention statistics can definitely look staggering. 

You are not alone in these concerns; in 2018, unemployment rates hit an all-time high at 4.1 percent, a number that had not been seen for decades. 

There is also a discrepancy in an excess of job openings compared to the number of people qualified for those jobs over the next 10 years. In fact, there are 2 million more job opportunities than there are job seekers who can fulfill those roles. 

Don’t worry, though. We did the research, ran the numbers, and put together a list of the 10 best ways you can identify the best candidates for your company. We did not stop there: we also gave you some tried-and-true tips on how to retain them after they are onboarded. 

What Makes a Top TalentWhat Makes a Top Talent?

There are several key characteristics of top talent that talent management should take into account when you are looking to recruit. All of these characteristics relate in some way to our tips for finding and retaining the right employees, but we will go into more detail about that later. 

First, the prospective candidate should have the right priorities, which you can identify during the hiring process. Take, for example, a contender for the position who wants a sign-on bonus you offer. If this is the case, they don’t focus on the results you want for your company as a team member.

This can go both ways, though. With excessive referral bonuses, your internal employees could be encouraged to focus their energy on recruiting just anyone, regardless of their goals in relation to your company. 

Top talent can also be identified by how interested they are in your business specifically. To find the right fit, you want someone who is passionate about the same ideals that your business was founded on. If they have not researched those ideals and company standards then they probably will lack in effort as their career with you continues to grow. 

You should look at the results of their work, too. An efficient team member will deliver results that are conducive to the positive growth of your company. To ensure that this will be a quality in your potential worker, you could ask them during the interview process to share an experience where they overcame an obstacle.

That would be subjective, though; you should also consider the objective data of their past work experiences to see if they genuinely drive results. 

You probably want someone who works well both with others and when they have to deliver self-driven results. Your talent agent should have a clear and ultimate talent development plan when targeting top talent for recruitment. 

What qualities is your company looking for to fulfill a particular role? Create a framework to measure interviewees up against. 

Why Is it Important to Identify Top Talent?

It might seem self-evident to question the importance of identifying top talent. However, a lot of businesses fail to do so. This inevitably leads to hiring the wrong talent. 

Hiring someone who does not meet the standard definition of “top talent” is essentially hiring someone who cannot and will not meet the standards, expectations, and goals of the business you are trying to maintain and improve

You will most likely end up spending time and resources on training, retraining, and stressing over how to properly manage these below-average or simply average performers. You might even find yourself wasting valuable company hours on correcting their behavior and mannerisms. 

In turn, you waste money when you could profit and expand revenue instead. When you identify, hire and retain top talent, you promote a valuable selling system and foster a creative environment.

Pro Tips for Finding and Retaining Top Talent

Once you have a firm grasp on what makes someone top talent and why it matters, you are probably itching to know how to actually carry out the process of finding and keeping them. Look no further. We research other successful companies and made a list for you. They hire dedicated and choice talent.

Follow these tips and you are sure to prosper.

Build Long-Term Relationships

Build Long-Term Relationships

If you build long-term relationships with people, it shows that you care about them and about what your business set out to accomplish. 

This way, when someone decides they want to switch jobs and continue their career development elsewhere, you are the first person to come to their mind. 

You also do not want a job candidate who is just looking for an odd job to get them by and pay their bills. Rather, you want someone who stands for your company values. If you promote those values through a company culture that you have consistently talked about while building those long-term relationships then they are far more likely to seek you out when you have a job opening. 

Think of Sales Funnel During Recruitment

Only thinking of the small picture when you are recruiting talent is never a good idea. If you catch yourself doing this, it is time for a fundamental shift in your hiring thought process. 

Instead, literally think of a sales funnel when hiring. Recruiting is a part of marketing because you are marketing your business to someone who can continue doing so upon hire. After hiring the candidate, their overall goal is to make sales. 

Sell your brand. Not just to your customers and clients, but to your talent as well. If you think about and talk about your company like it is a sales funnel, you encourage that same energy within your team. This brings about a natural approach to marketing which customers and employees alike can relate to. It then attracts more and more top talent to your brand.

Use Your Marketing Assets

You know better than anyone that your business has many assets. So if you are not taking advantage of those assets to show talent and everyone around you just how much your company can do, you are missing a huge opportunity. 

All of those assets can and should show your business in an attractive light. When recruiting, think of how they can relate to brand cohesiveness and capitalize on that. It will truly allow for recognition of who you are as a brand and what it could mean for the benefit of your talents’ career paths. 

Use Your Referral ProgramsUse Your Referral Programs

We mentioned earlier that if referral programs are used improperly, they do not create and sustain a constructive workplace environment. By the same token, they can have the opposite effect in a lot of very positive ways. 

Referral programs are used creatively to recruit top talent. First of all, you should not only use referral programs internally. By allowing external elements like the general public to reap the rewards of a referral program, you can reach larger audiences. 

If you constrain these programs to internal team members, you assume that they know every candidate that could possibly be a good fit for a job opening. In reality, there are plenty of people outside of this realm who could be exactly who you are looking for. In essence, you have a larger pool to choose from. 

Additionally, by opening up referral programs you create more traction for your company. If someone hears through the grapevine about a job opportunity, they very well might continue sharing the information. This can lead to positive press and ultimately, less money and resources spent on officially marketing your brand. 

Finally, the proper use of referrals also gives your current workers a chance to feel involved in the decision-making process. This then provides them with more trust in the process and in their higher-ups. It is an exciting and productive outlet for creativity. Most employees would love an opportunity to work with their referred friends, and those friends could turn out to be the perfect fit. 

Take Advantage of Hyper-Specific Keywords on Social Media Platforms

Whether you are trying to drive traffic by posting about job opportunities through Upwork jobs, Linkedin or common social media like Facebook, taking advantage of hyper-specific keywords will definitely help. 

Keeping your social media job advertisements short and to the point, while using these specific keywords is a recipe for success in the talent hunt. 

You want to accurately describe the job with its benefits and unique qualities using specific keywords, but without all of the details about day-to-day activities that you can describe later on in the hiring and interview processes. 

When you are searching for the ideal fit by using social media platforms, however, you should input those specific keywords such as “promoted,” “awarded” and other similar ones. This way, instead of individually reading through applications and relevant qualifications, you narrow down your search to locate more appropriate candidates and applicants. 

Have a Proactive Hiring Manager

Doing all of your outreach with a recruiter can lead to gaps in the communication chain. But if you use your hiring managers to directly reach out to talent, you will find that the prospective talent will answer much more quickly. 

This is a particularly important tip if you are urgently hiring. You do not want to ever get to a place where you are in a bind with time due to lack of preparation and foresight, but if you are, having a proactive hiring manager seek out new hires can help immensely. 

A hiring manager is also a key to success because approaching the recruitment process proactively instead of urgently, shows the talent that they actually want to engage and talk to them instead of frantically networking.  

Use Facebook to Elevate Job Ads

Data shows that Facebook is the most popular social media platform worldwide. In fact, you yourself have probably scrolled through Facebook only to discover job ads popping up. 

If a platform already exists that generates so much daily traffic, there is no reason to not take advantage of it for job ads for your company. You can also add a link to your Facebook business page that takes job seekers to a list of all open positions. 

Facebook serves as a great tool to check the existing networks of all potential hires. 

Don’t Fixate on Skillset Checklists

If you have an all-encompassing candidate checklist, you might want to throw it out the window. 

These skillset checklists could include all of the personal traits you are looking for in a new hire, all of the accomplishments that you believe they should have already reached, any certifications you feel are relevant or their past work experience. 

No matter what they entail, these checklists give a lot of room for judgment and not a lot of room for the bigger picture. Do you know anything about this applicant besides what you assume to know? Make the time and effort in knowing them and their potential and you might find that they were the perfect match all along. 

Consider Workplace Diversity

Between 50 to 80 percent of job seekers scroll past your job advertisement if they find they do not meet every requirement you listed. That is a pretty significant number of people, probably made up of a lot of great fits. 

Diversity is important in the workplace, especially if you want an all-inclusive environment that generates new leads and fosters creativity. 

Do not aim for specifics. This will exclude a huge population of applicants and probably end up boring them in the process. 

Bring Up Compensation and Work-Life Balance Early

You can spend a lot of time with talent and even end up hiring them before you realize that you both had different expectations for one another. 

To eliminate miscommunication regarding compensation and work-life balance, clearly lay out the expectations and compensation before you get too far. Otherwise, you risk wasting a huge amount of time and money on an employee who might not be the ideal choice for your company. 

A competent workforce directly contributes to business success. By referencing and correctly adhering to these tips, we can guarantee that you will find and retain top talent. For more tips like these, you can check out our blog. For personal advice and specialized direction for your business, book a call with us and find out just how far you can go.