Want to Recruit Top Talent? Three Ways You Can Be a Talent Champion

Talent champion interviewing job applicantHiring managers often view recruiting as outside of their job description. Some view it as an interruption to their “day job” or outsource the entire thing to an internal or external recruiting team. But that type of thinking is detrimental to their success. 

The best hiring managers, those who truly hire the best talent, and in turn build successful teams, are what John Vlastelica of Recruiting Toolbox dubs “talent champions.” They view recruiting as vital to their success and in turn they reap the benefits of being more engaged and involved in attracting great talent to their team.

In July 2021, John, Founder and Managing Director of Recruiting Toolbox, joined Jenifer Lambert to present Winning More Talent — It’s an Inside Job, as part of TERRA’s HR Hotspot webcast series.

In this informative webinar, John emphasized the importance for hiring managers to be “talent champions”. He explained that “top talent has a lot of choices. They demand excellent hiring managers. If the hiring manager isn’t good enough, they will go elsewhere.” 

But what does it take to be a talent champion? 

Here are three strategies to becoming a talent champion: 

  1. Be proactive.
  2. Champion high hiring standards.
  3. Create a culture of recruiting.

We’ll break down why each of these strategies matter, and how you can implement them to become the best possible hiring manager. 

How to be a talent champion:

1. Be proactive.

If you want to get the top talent, the best thing you can do is to always be recruiting. Don’t wait to recruit until you actually need to hire someone, but always keep an eye out for people who might eventually be valuable to your company. 

Look ahead to your future needs. What roles might you want to fill in the future? Where do you see your team growing? Think ahead so you can then start reaching out to potential future hires. 

John explains, “Identify talent that’s passive and have a pre-funnel strategy to get them interested before you actually need them. You may not have a need right now, but the talent you will eventually need requires that type of courting.” 

Consider taking talent to coffee or inviting them to company events. Get them connected with people in your firm and start establishing a relationship with them. If you take the time to establish a link between top talent and your business, they’re much more likely to be interested in working for you once you have a job to offer. 

Not only that, but by spending some time getting to know them proactively, you’ll already have done some of the interviewing process and have a good sense of whether they might be a good hire for your team

Finally, do remember that talent champions are not just proactive in external recruiting. They also think ahead internally. You’ll benefit from thinking about potential internal moves and promotion paths. That will help you make the most of your team, and in turn will also make a good impression on potential hires, that will see that you put thought into developing your employees. 

2. Champion high hiring standards.

According to John, “if you want to raise the bar on who you hire, you need to raise the bar on how you hire.” Simply put, if you want the best talent, you need to be the best at attracting talent. 

Among other things, this means making your hiring process as streamlined and easy to follow as possible for potential hires. It also means you, as a hiring manager, need to be fully engaged throughout the hiring process. The best talent will require you to showcase all the reasons they should want to work for you and your team. 

More importantly, championing high hiring standards is about making sure you’re always looking to hire people that make your team better. Rather than only searching for people who are similar to you, look for people that have different skills, personalities, and perspectives. 

Of course, it often feels easier and safer to look for people that are similar to you and are culture “fits”. But by doing this, you could be inadvertently excluding entire groups, and in turn, limiting your team’s potential. 

John emphasizes that you’ll benefit from “swapping out the concept of culture fit and replacing it with culture add”. Rather than trying to hire someone with the exact qualities other members of your team have, ask yourself, “If we hire X on our team, what are they going to bring that we don’t have? How are they going to complement our existing team?” 

If you spend some time thinking about how new hires will make your team better, rather than how they will fit seamlessly with your personality, you’ll open yourself to hiring a more diverse range of people, and encourage growth within your team.

3. Create a culture of recruiting

Talent champions make recruiting part of their team’s culture, and help make it part of their company as a whole. That’s because talent champions view recruiting as a core part of their success and their team’s success. 

They know that investing the time to hire the right person will end up saving them work and contribute to their team’s performance. Because of that, they view recruiting as another aspect of their day job, not an inconvenience. 

As John puts it simply, “top talent demands it.” So if you want to attract top talent, remember to build recruiting into your job. This will be a lot easier if you partner with recruiters and work with them as a team. 

One important part of partnering with your recruiter is to listen to their advice and feedback. John emphasizes that you need to “be willing to adapt your process and be receptive to the recruiter feedback. The recruiter can tell the hiring manager why they’re losing talent. If the process is too slow, the talent has to jump through too many hoops, or if the pay is lower than the competition.”

And remember that you don’t have to do it all on your own. Building a culture of recruiting also means showing the importance of recruiting to your team, and other hiring managers when possible. Involve your team, encourage them to think of recruiting as well, and give them ways to network with potential talent. If your company has a referral system in place, encourage your team to give referrals. 

If your whole team views recruiting as a priority, you will have a strong network ready to help you find the perfect talent. 

Become a talent champion

All in all, remember that talent champions get top talent! The more proactive you are, the more you promote high hiring standards, and the more you create a culture of recruiting in your team, the more set up for success you will be when you need to hire people. 

Want more information on how to get top talent? Watch the full webinar here: 

And if you need some hiring help, here are some resources from our blog: 

How TERRA Can Be a Resource 

TERRA Staffing Group is a leading staffing agency, headquartered in the Pacific Northwest. We work with many companies across a variety of industries in the Seattle-Puget Sound, Portland, Phoenix, and Denver metro areas.

Our monthly HR HotSpot webinars provide guidance, solutions, and best practices for HR professionals, managers and business leaders.

These free webinars feature insight from industry experts on a wide variety of timely workplace topics. Subjects include: recruiting, talent acquisition and retention, diversity and inclusion, talent engagement, communication, HR advice, and more. 

If you find yourself needing staffing help, don’t hesitate to reach out to TERRA. Our expert team is eager to be a resource to you.

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