Where Are the Best-Hidden Talent Pools?

Looking to hire top talent for your company? You could simply rely on posting opportunities to a job board, but then you’ll have to wade through piles of resumes to get to the qualified candidates. Traditional hiring methods are useful to a certain extent, but if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve in your industry, there’s a better, more purposeful way to search by tapping into hidden talent pools.

Think about it: If candidates are encouraged to network beyond their resume and cover letter, shouldn’t employers do the same? Just as marketers study demographics to better reach their target audiences, employers should identify where their potential employees are and how best to reach them—especially those who aren’t in plain sight.

Here are seven hidden talent pools and how to dive into them for your hiring needs:

  1. Stay-at-home moms and dads. This demographic craves the opportunity to work hard while being available to raise their family. If yours is a company that offers a flexible work environment, make certain you’re effectively marketing to the work-from-home talent pool. While some employers use the allure of kegorators and lunchtime dodgeball leagues to get employees into the office, there are plenty of experienced candidates willing to forgo it all for the big-time perk of a home office.
  2. When these hard-working men and women come back stateside from their tours of duty, they want to continue their hard work in fulfilling careers as civilians. Here’s where you’ll want to broaden your search geographically as much as possible. After all, the military is known for frequent relocation, so you should think that qualified candidates would be willing to once again move for a promising opportunity with your company. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, the unemployment rate for Veterans was down 5.1% in 2016, showing that more companies are realizing this hidden talent pool has talent.
  3. A Career Builder study reported one-third of employers are looking to hire immigrants in 2017. About half of IT companies are recruiting immigrant talent, while financial services (38 percent), professional and business services (37 percent), manufacturing (30 percent), transportation (30 percent), health care (21 percent), and retail (18 percent) are following suit. If your company falls into one of these categories—and even if it does not—consider how hiring immigrants, many of whom are multilingual, can positively affect your bottom line.
  4. Disabled individuals. A diverse workforce extends to include those who have visible or invisible disabilities. By hosting virtual career fairs, you make it easier for physically disabled candidates to disclose their disabilities and focus instead on their qualifications for the jobs you are offering. We still have quite a ways to go in hiring disabled individuals, but companies who already do reap the benefits of loyal employees.
  5. Company alumni. It used to be that people stayed at a company for much of their career. These days, career hopping is the norm—and so is returning to a company. Boomerang employees is a trend that’s not going away anytime soon, nor do employers want it to. If you’ve ever had a good employee leave, think about how happy you’d be to see him or her come back a couple of years later, wiser and with more experience. Bonus: Onboarding the second time around is likely to be quicker and pain-free with returning employees.
  6. Word of mouth. This method is not only a good way to find new talent, it’s also an excellent opportunity to find out how engaged your workforce is. It’s simple: If your staff enjoys working at your company, they will be more likely to want friends and acquaintances to join them on the job. By recruiting this way, you’re more apt to create a congenial atmosphere because there are people who already know the incoming candidates.
  7. Social media. Tech savvy job seekers know their next opportunity might be out there online, but not necessarily on a job board. Instead, they’re looking to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Social media is about building relationships, so why not start building those relationships early and often with job candidates?

No offense to job boards, but they’re just a part of the big picture when it comes to hiring talent. By taking a multipronged—or pooled, as it were—approach to your recruiting, you will find more qualified candidates who are looking to work for employers just like you.

A version of this was first posted on

5 Tips to Spot A-Players in a Job Interview

Did you know that “33 percent of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone?” According to info gathered by Undercover Recruiter, first impressions are incredibly powerful, but as a hiring manager, you should put into practice the right tactics to make sure you are hiring the best possible candidate.

With big and small companies competing to hire the most talented candidates, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to spot A-players effectively. After going through the resume screening process, the job interview is the first chance for managers to meet the aspirants in person. Hence, making the most out of this opportunity is decisive to recruit top talent.

Here are some useful ideas and tips to help hiring managers detect the real gems during a job interview. 

  1. Always look for potential, not just past success

Reading the resume will give you an idea of the aspirant’s merits and abilities, but previous achievements don’t mean future success. When looking for top talent, it may seem more appropriate to choose candidates who have done a similar job with brilliant results. However, when hiring employees for a startup or small company, the ability to grow and adapt to extremely challenging environments becomes more significant than previous accomplishments.

On top of that, a young, bright and self-motivated employee can perform much better with a lower salary than a big shot that can be approached by another company with a better offer anytime. 

  1. Ask the right questions

You have limited time during a job interview so make sure you ask the  to identify the top candidates. Each question you ask during the interview should have a clear purpose and well-defined criteria to measure if the applicant fits in with what the organization needs.

As an interviewer, you should craft questions to discover if the candidate has the following abilities: specific skills for the job, organizational and leadership skills, initiative, problem-solving mindset, the capacity to work under pressure.

  1. Make applicants complete a task

A good way to test some of these skills is to present the candidate a real life case study and ask him or her to come up with a solution. People who have the right thinking process will be able to come up with brilliant ideas even when given minimal guidance.

There are different types of tasks you can present to your candidate depending on what you want to address. For instance, if you want to figure out if the candidate is innovative and a fast thinker, you can pose a complicated puzzle. Here is a case in point:

“Mr. John has 25 horses, and he wants to pick the fastest 3 horses out of those 25. He has only 5 tracks, which means only 5 horses can run at a time, even he don’t have a stopwatch. What is the minimum number of races required to find the 3 fastest horses”?

You can find the answer and other interesting puzzles on

  1. Do they ask the right questions?

The moment when you ask the candidate to ask any questions is a great opportunity to pay special attention and find out if you are in front of a genuinely talented employee.

As career experts recommend, motivated candidates show that they have “prepared and have thought it through. It’s important not just to ask a question that you could find the answer to online, simply so you have something to ask. Instead, ask a mixture of open questions, which help you to find out more, whilst displaying your interest in the company and the role”.

Questions about the culture of the company, training, current challenges, performance evaluations and opportunities for professional development show that the candidate is interested in working for the organization and looking forward to taking an important step in their career.

  1. Interview top candidates as many times as you need

Don’t feel embarrassed about asking candidates to come for one more interview. You are making an important decision, and you need to be sure you are selecting the right person. You not only need an individual who can perform the job better than the others but also someone who fits in very well with the company’s culture and gets along with all the team members. To get their opinion, if possible, arrange an interview with each member of the team and your top three candidates. Once the best candidates get to know all your team members, you will have a better idea of which one is the best fit for the team.

Although conducting many interviews can be tedious and time-consuming, think about it as a necessary investment. Hiring the right person from the beginning will save you time in the future and will be decisive if you want to exceed the business objectives.

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Five Tips to Win the War for Talent in 2017

When you have a low unemployment rate and a growing economy, it’s a job seeker’s market. In fact, 63 percent of full-time employees are looking for a new job right now. In other words, the companies that offer the best employee value will attract not only those who are out of work but the best of the best who are seeking greener pastures but not necessarily in a rush to jump ship.

With 70 percent of Gen Y employees and 50 percent of Gen X workers planning to spend fewer than five years in their current roles, don’t you want your company to be the one that wins the war for their talents?

To stand out from the crowd of employers, here are five tips to implement now:

1. Make it all about the perks (well, almost). Don’t worry, you don’t have to install a giant slide or hire an on-site sushi chef to make a strong impression. Perks can encompass any benefit that lets your employees know they are appreciated. Some to consider are free food, a superior health care package, flex time, or even having a pet-friendly office. If you think these things are superficial, consider that 43 percent of millennials in a Met Life survey said they’d switch jobs if given more flexible hours elsewhere.

What to do: Survey your employees to get a sense of what type of perks they’d appreciate most. Are they more apt to enjoy a game room or half-day Fridays? Then, begin incorporating a couple of benefits that fit your budget and appeal to the majority of your staff. Even small efforts can go a long way.

2. Cough up the cash. Of course, no one wants to be underpaid for his or her hard work, so a competitive salary offering is key to recruiting survival. Unfortunately, there’s often a disconnect between what employers perceive to be fair compensation, and how staffers actually feel about their paychecks. The 2016 Payscale Compensation Best Practices found that 78 percent of employers believe their salaries were adequate, but only 45 percent of employees said they felt valued by their employer.

What to do: To ensure you’re offering a fair wage, consider doing a market study to get a better sense of what your competitors are paying their top talent. Then, offer at least that, and/or try to sweeten the pot with additional perks.

3. Create a culture of innovation. No one wants to feel like a cog in the wheel—today’s employees want the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to help their companies succeed. While removing the traditional hierarchy structure from your firm might be extreme, having more of an open-door policy that welcomes new ideas and opening up collaborative projects to a variety of team members is a good start.

What to do: Provide staffers with autonomy and professional engagement, but more important, give them permission to fail. Innovation cannot happen if everyone is worried about of making a mistake.

4. Give them room to grow. As I mentioned earlier, people don’t necessarily want to stick around in one company for an extended period, and that’s usually because they end up stuck in a rut. Businesses that find ways to keep their employees engaged and challenged will have more success attracting and retaining talent. In fact, a recent report found that 63 percent of workers rank training programs as one of the top drivers of culture.

What to do: Give your employees a reason to stay by offering training and development programs, promoting from within, and helping them advance their careers.

5. Be inclusive. When the same few people make all the hiring decisions, you can end up with a homogenized workforce—and a limited talent pool. Instead, leverage your entire network of employees to help source potential candidates, which can contribute to broadening your search for talent.

What to do: Begin using an employee referral program to include your workforce in the hunt for talent, and incentivize them. You might also bring different members of the organization beyond HR in on the candidate interviewing and vetting processes to get some new perspectives and help identify the best cultural fits for the company.

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Tai Lopez on Social Media’s Role in Talent Recruitment

In a recent article published on the Entrepreneur website, Tai Lopez, who is himself an entrepreneur extraordinaire, spoke of his love affair with social media. His history with this platform goes back to the very early days when social media wasn’t even a recognized term and Facebook was still in its humble beginnings. The year was 2001 and from that moment on, Tai became involved in a love affair that would still be very much alive almost two decades later. As an entrepreneur with a huge staff working with him at his 67 Steps program, Tai Lopez understands just how easy it is to pick the right talent on social sites because of the potential for engagement. And, to Tai, engagement is key.

A New Way of Branding

Just as businesses use social media to brand themselves, so too can professionals make use of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to highlight their skills and strengths. Tai feels that through the major engagement possible with an audience, it is possible to grow your own brand exponentially almost overnight. That’s what going viral is all about, and a professional with the right approach can grab the attention of top corporations. If an entrepreneur can climb literally to the top of his industry by engaging an audience with social media, there is no reason to think that talented professionals can’t woo CEOs of corporations they would like to interest.

Social Media Is a Two Way Street

When you are having a conversation with someone, neither person does all the talking. That is what dialogue is all about. Social media is the same. While professionals seeking a position with a large corporation might be actively using social media to pursue corporate followers, corporations are doing the very same thing from their end. It is amazing just how many job applicants got their foot in the door through social sites. It’s a place where both sides get to learn a little about the other and once a ‘connection’ is made, the next logical step is to submit a resume and from there an interview is almost a non-issue. After all, you’ve already become ‘friends’ on your social site, following each other and so the interview becomes a mere formality. A face to face conversation after hours of digital dialogue.

When YouTube Is Your Preferred Media

Then there’s YouTube. As the social media site where your audience actually gets to see you in motion, what is left to discuss? Imagine going on an interview where you’ve followed a company’s videos and have seen their HR team in video presentation after video presentation? In reverse, that HR team has seen you talk about your trade, has a preconceived idea of just how personable you are based on your presentation and by the time you do meet face to face, it’s like you’ve known each other for years. More and more company recruiters are scoping out social sites of professionals they would like to talk to about a position with their corporation.

Video Remarketing Takes the Lead

Since Tai loves social media, and above all YouTube, he has found a way to make it work well with his promotional style – that would be remarketing. As an entrepreneur, and a very successful one at that, Tai knows just how important it is to connect with your audience and he lives by the old proverb, ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Since it is imperative to keep your connection with your audience, you can’t just let them bounce away from your site. There is no guarantee that they will click on your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page but you can still reconnect with remarketing! To do a little test, visit a few of Tai’s pages. Then, go to YouTube and watch a video or two.

Increase Your Odds the Lopez Way!

Chances are you will find Tai’s ad linked to the video you are about to watch. That is remarketing and it keep’s Tai’s face up-front and personal with his audience! They may not click on your pages but they will, almost certainly, view a YouTube video in the coming days, and this is your best way to use social media to your advantage. It’s much more effective than those click-ads on other social sites because – another cliché here – seeing is believing. With a YouTube ad, your audience sees you and you become more real. That’s the benefit and one that Tai has perfected. And, by the way, it can work both ways! A recruiter remembers an applicant better and an applicant remembers to follow up on applications they’ve submitted. This is remarketing in recruitment and it is ultra-effective!

SEO works the same in job searches as it does in marketing any other type of business, so all that recruiter needs to do is type in occupational terms and will soon be led to your social site. Tai Lopez advises anyone seeking a professional position to make use of social media because they will be light years ahead of other applicants. If the company has already seen and heard you, they must have a great enough interest to go to the next level, the interview. Having built a successful business or two (or 20) using social media, Tai Lopez knows just how effective it can be. You, too, can use it to your advantage now that you know just how effective social media can be in the recruitment process.

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