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7 Steps to Finding & Hiring Your Next Rock Star

December 11, 2009

In this economy, smart managers understand that great talent is available to them – if they know where to look (and how to attract it). Here are a few tips to help your company gain an edge over the competition:

1) Make Sourcing a Process, Not an Event

Knowing where the Rock Stars are starts right now, before you need them – not after you’ve exhausted all of the job board candidates and are pushed up against a tight deadline. You need to have processes in place that give you a consistent pipeline to great talent.

2) Spend Time on the Job Description & Qualifications

These must be clear, concise, & thorough with input from the team members involved. Most companies fall way short here with weak boilerplate descriptions dictated solely by HR, or with minimal input from the hiring managers & team. This will be your recipe for success now and should be used as a measuring tool down the road.

3) Look Inside

Your company, your clients, your networks. Ask around and offer serious rewards for referrals – the ROI of hiring an A-player justifies sweetening the pot for those close to you that can help. This is a great opportunity to be creative & reward your team for helping your company become better.

4) Look Outside

Rock Stars openly share their knowledge and are easy to spot. Check LinkedIn profiles, Twitter, blogs and websites to see who is writing about what they do. Interact with networking groups and find the players that are offering innovative solutions to their colleagues. Check with your trusted recruiters, as they should be able to put you in contact with these Rock Stars ASAP.

5) Create a Target List

Chances are you know which companies have trained the specific skill-sets you are looking for, whether they are in your industry, or even a direct competitor. Make a list of these companies and then tap your network for connections to get you to the right people. If the search is confidential, have your recruiter do it for you.

6) Reference Checks

Make all candidates aware early on that references will be checked and have them provided up front. Rock Stars have great references on-hand and are happy to share them. Emphasis on this step alone will weed out many of the weaker candidates that waste valuable time.

7) A Clearly-Defined Hiring Process

Let the candidates know up front what’s in store for them. Rock Stars entertain multiple opportunities and nothing turns them away faster than a disjointed, drawn-out process. I’ve seen more companies lose out on great candidates because of poor hiring processes than anything else.

The fact is, most companies spend very little time and effort up front and end up interviewing what they believe to be the “best of what’s available.” To gain a serious advantage, make consistently hiring Rock Star a top-priority and hold the people involved responsible. Mis-hires are extremely expensive so do the work up-front and you’ll soon reap the rewards of a Rock Star team.

*Extra Info: Mike Michalowicz has a great post on his website about the new rules of hiring in this economy.

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