Hiring and retaining great talent is one of the biggest challenges of today’s SMBs (small to mid-sized businesses.) On the one hand, knowing how to engage employees and keep them motivated is key to improving job performance and to achieving outstanding results. But before you get there, you need to be able to find and select the most talented candidates for your organization.

So, how can you hire great talent and where should you look to find exceptional candidates? Follow these tips, and you will begin a smooth and successful hiring process.

Hire great talent from your competitors

If you want to hire people who have the right expertise and know your industry inside out, who better than your competitor’s employees? They are the ideal candidates because they may already have strategical connections and these relationships developed over the years will be a priceless acquisition to your company.

When taking this approach, you have two options: you can contact people who are still working for your competitors, or you can get in touch with old employees that you know no longer work for the organization. If you go for the first alternative, remember to offer them a salary increase as well as other attractive incentives. It is important never to ignore a non-compete agreement and if you are not sure about how to proceed, ask a solicitor to help you out. If you opt to aim for ex-employees, you may want to stay abreast of your competitor’s personnel movements to be able to contact them as soon as they leave the company. In any case, it is highly recommended to develop an online relationship with them via Twitter or Linkedin, before you get in touch directly. This social media connection will help you increase your chances to hire that desired talent and show your interest gradually.

Look for prospects on social media and blogs

Another way to find great talent is looking for references in your industry in social media channels and blogs. Professionals who run blogs about your industry or have work-related social media accounts with engaged followers are showing a clear commitment to their profession and are potentially better hires.

The best way to approach them is to start a relationship via social media. Before you contact them to work for you, you can connect with them on Linkedin and Twitter, comment on their posts and retweet their best tweets. If they have an influential blog, you can share their posts with your business accounts and help them amplify their reach.

Consider hiring remote staff members

As Nicole Fallon Taylor explained in one of her articles on Business News Daily, you have to “expand your search area.” “If your company is located in a competitive hiring market, you’d be better off searching for top talent in a less competitive area,” said Anthony Smith, founder, and CEO of CRM software company Insightly. “Technology allows for smooth collaboration and communication no matter where employees are located, so you don’t need to lose out on experts in your field because of where your company is based.”

Old fashioned networking still works

According to The Wall Street Journal’s guide on how to hire your first employees, an entrepreneur’s best option for finding talent usually is networking, “start-ups typically find their first 10 or 15 employees this way”. And they recommend “asking for referrals from your friends, industry colleagues, and advisers, such as your accountant, attorney, board members and organization members. If one of your advisers or colleagues recommends somebody, they’ve done some of your employee screening work already”.

The pull marketing strategy adapted to hiring

You have probably heard of the push and pull marketing strategies. In the first case, you take the product to the customer while in the second instance you get the customer to come to you. Well, this marketing strategy can easily be adapted to hiring, and if you are running a startup or SMB, this option is highly recommended.

This approach to finding great talent entails making your company extremely attractive to grab the interest of key candidates and invite them to come to you. And as Sharlyn Lauby explains in her article 3 Ways to Find Top Talent for your Startup, for Open Forum, “finding talent doesn’t always have to be about companies making the first move. Creating an environment that entices candidates to come work for you is a sound strategy.”

As companies are competing to hire the best talent in each field, running a small to mid-sized business, you need to be smarter and create a talent recruiting strategy. Use a combination of the tactics mentioned and invest time and resources to make sure you hire the team that will help your company grow in the right direction.

Photo Credit: CEO Magazyn Polska Flickr via Compfight cc

Join Thousands of Your Peers

Like what you're reading?
Stay up to date with the latest news and updates from our team.

You're in! Best decision you've made all day.