How to Empower Your HR Team to Attract Top Talent

Attracting talent is a challenge. Attracting top talent feels simply impossible. But that’s only because you don’t know what the real HR MVPs are doing.

Sure, you have access to a seemingly unlimited number of potential hires. But as you know, that’s both a blessing and a curse. The sheer number of candidates results in analysis paralysis.

The fix? Some companies outsource their recruitment process.

But that’s kicking the can down the road.

See, recruitment agencies face the exact same challenges, but the stakes are lower for them. They simply don’t have skin in the game.

The recommended candidate is sub-par? No worries, we’ve got 10+ queued up!

Don’t worry, though. You can attract top talent and get quality, not just quantity.

Here’s how:

Provide Your Recruitment Team with Insight About the Position

Spend time and resources on training your hiring team. And no, this doesn’t mean you can send them to Yet Another Soft Skills Workshop 2018.

The last thing you want is to risk losing a great candidate because your recruiters don’t know enough about the position.

Effective recruiter training should provide insight into how departments operate and how employees in a given position work day-to-day.

Arrange meetings with department heads and team leaders to confirm the skill sets required for open positions, as well as other crucial details.

Successful recruiter training involves observing the best employees in a given department, as well as evaluating the department’s KPIs, OKRs, and how the team contributes to the bottom line.

Even if recruiters still have trouble putting their finger on who it is exactly they should hire, they’ll know who not to bring on board. And that feels like 90% of the job done.

Leverage the Power of LinkedIn

Job search boards show off big numbers, but the truth is most ads, as well as replies, are spam.

Let’s be honest: the probability of high-skilled candidates scouring job search boards and actually replying to posted ads is slim to none.

If they’re great, they likely already have jobs. That’s the brutal reality (if anything, you might want to try with industry-specific niche job boards.)

There’s no better website to find passive candidates than LinkedIn: “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.”

I know, you’re about to say that you’re already doing it (much like at least 87% of recruiters.) But are you doing it right or just going through the motions?

You can base much much of your talent search strategy on LinkedIn. It’s almost certain you’ll find some of the best talent on there—at least among business, marketing, and… HR experts.

Here are some ways in which LinkedIn can be used efficiently for optimal recruiting results, especially when searching for top talent:

  • Make strategic use of specific keywords to identify suitable top candidates’ profiles.
  • Establish connections with highly-skilled candidates of interest.
  • Look within specific networks and groups for suitable candidate profiles.
  • Build a database of top-tier candidates.
  • Create a targeted and attractive recruiting message and call-to-action.

An increasing number of users know how to fine-tune their LinkedIn profiles. Warn your team against relying on vanity metrics such as number of connections, references, and a hype.

Strategically Shorten the Recruitment Process

Using LinkedIn is great, but if you really want to hire the best of the best, you simply have to speed up the recruitment process.

According to Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, in 2016, companies needed an average of 23 days to screen and hire new employees. This is up from 13 days in 2010. However, it appears that top candidates are gone within 10 days (unless they’re snatched even earlier on by more agile recruiters).

The point: the shorter the recruitment process, the more effective it tends to be.

  • Both HR and recruiters should check candidate applications on a daily basis and follow up ASAP.
  • Interviews and follow-ups should be scheduled upon accepting a top candidate’s application.
  • HR and internal recruiters should make every effort to accommodate top candidates’ schedules—not the other way around.
  • Once a line manager makes a positive decision regarding a candidate, an offer should be drawn out as soon as possible to keep the recruiting momentum going. The longer it takes to make an offer to the candidate, the greater the chance of a counter-offer, which may delay the recruiting and the hiring process.
  • Both HR and internal recruiters should make it a priority to keep the candidate informed about the stage of the process they’re in while preparing them for the next.

Using various organizational tools, such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), can help in managing the process as effectively as possible. Just bear in mind you can’t rely too heavily on automation.

The cream of the cream are not used to tweaking their resume to each and every job offer. Plus, they might be used to sending out resumes directly to decision-makers, so their resumes may not be ATS-friendly. And this time it’s not their problem, it’s your problem.

Understand the Link Between Top Talent and Revenue

Acquiring top talent has a direct correlation with company profits. According to the March 2015 Global Leadership and Talent Index, companies actively sourcing talent produce 2.4 times more revenue than those who don’t.

Before you rightfully throw that correlation-does-not-imply-causation meme at me, let’s simply meet halfway.

The bigger the budget, the better the employees. The better the employees, the bigger the budget. And so it goes.

It’s hard to tell how much a given employee contributes to the bottom line. You can only rely on proxy measures. However, if your hiring staff understands the ins and outs of the position, they should be able to dial in on what really matters.

Being able to perform a revenue analysis of recruiting efforts raises the recruiting process to a higher level in the company. Nine out of 10 CEOs would like to see HR perform more performance analysis to show the impact of recruiting and hiring on companies’ revenues.

When recruiters are able to analyze a top candidate’s performance, they can make more informed decisions, while providing solid evidence to back up recruiting decisions:

  • Train recruiters to increase the business ROI when it comes to their recruiting offers.
  • Focus on candidates’ efficiency when it comes to implementing fresh and innovative ideas.
  • Evaluate the cost of failed recruiting efforts and include them in the general assessment of recruiting efforts.
  • Rejecting candidates is fast and easy, but because it’s a numbers game, costs really add up fast.

Pay Extra Attention to Hiring If You’re a Startup

According to the State of Startups 2017 report, 3 out of 4 early-stage founders say hiring is their main concern, but the same amount say they spend less than 20% of their time on it.

One in 2 say they waited too long to fire, and 1 in 5 say they overhired before dialing in on product-to-market fit.

Overstaffing and being too slow to fire isn’t unique to startups. However, for larger corporations, this is simply a cost of running a business. A faulty recruitment pipeline can tear a startup apart or drastically slow down growth.

Thought hiring engineers is tough? The same report suggests sales positions are hardest to fill, so you might have to prioritize talent from this pool.


Overall, you should keep in mind that an effective recruiting process is not only the key to hiring and retaining top talent. It’s also a strong component of a company’s brand and identity.

Running an innovative, efficient, and responsive recruiting program is a great asset to any company. It helps build a positive image and generate buzz.

Most importantly, it’s a crucial factor in ensuring the success of your business across the board.