We asked recruiters, hiring managers, and business leaders for their Superpower tips for successfully hiring the best candidates.
What’s your “secret” recruiting superpower?
Is it your process? Your structure?
A special set of tools or tech?
Your ability to listen and get people?
Get to an Offer in Two Weeks or Less
My recruiting superpower is to streamline our hiring processes so we can get to an offer in 2 weeks or less, from my first conversation with candidates. This is extremely helpful in competitive situations where more than our company wants to hire a candidate. Twice, in August we beat out competitors simply because we collapsed the process and the other companies couldn’t make an offer before our 7 day expiration date on our offer letter.
If you have 2 coding interviews, then send them invitations for both coding interviews at the same time. Get every interview scheduled upfront. This move occupies your candidates’ calendars with your interviews making it harder for competitors to schedule with them. It also impresses your candidate on how efficient your company is compared to other companies that go dark on them for a period of time.
Marsh Sutherland, Senior Technical Recruiter at Ocient
Treat Existing Employees Excellently
Our company’s “secret” recruiting superpower is being excellent to our employees. We work hard to create a fun and positive online office environment and take care of our employees. As a result, staff proactively encourage friends and family members to apply for openings even before we solicit employee referrals. These internal recommendations help us speed up the hiring, vetting, and onboarding processes and aid in identifying candidates with great cultural fit. Not to mention, referred applicants help to reduce employee attrition rates.
Use Behavioral Interviewing
Our firm’s recruiting superpower is using Behavioral Interviewing. Based on the idea that the best predictor of future behavior is past performance, our internal interview process (and the interview process we train our consulting clients in) create an environment where we ask good questions to get good answers. Based on our questions, we are able to obtain objective, job-related answers from candidates. Rather than ask hypothetical or theoretical questions, we frame questions in a way that allows candidates to speak about their past experience and we understand how they will perform in the job for which they are applying.
A simple example – rather than ask “What is your philosophy on managing conflict in the workplace?” we invite the candidate to provide an example by asking “Can you share a time you managed an employee conflict.” A simple reframing of a common question lends itself to a higher quality response, which allows us to better evaluate a candidate.
Eric Mochnacz, HR Consultant at Red Clover
Focus on a Candidate-Centric Process
The recruiting process of most companies concentrates on filling the position, which means that every step of their strategy revolves around this aim. Our team focuses on studying the candidate’s traits instead, taking note of easily identifiable qualities and digging deeper to find more that match the requirements for the position. This candidate-centric process enables us to know more about the candidate, also helping the candidate notice the extra mile we go to help them reveal their particular traits.
Riley Beam, Managing Attorney of Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
Adopt a Proactive and Quick Recruiting Approach
My recruiting superpower is the eagerness in which I approach possible candidates on LinkedIn and respect for both their and my time. If I wrote to you, that means I believe you’re up for the job. If you truly are, based on what I read in your resume and what I heard during the interview, I will waste no time with the decision. Seeking jobs is nerve-wracking as it is and I try to make it less so for candidates.
Focus More on Conversation as Against Process
Engage in conversation. Some recruiters focus too much on the process and structure that they forget to “listen” to the candidates. Avoid a dry Q&A process which filters out many qualities of a prospective candidate wanting to market themselves. Technical conversations may occur although human engagement is necessary. Hosting an organic conversation about the role and how the candidate can contribute will allow both parties to learn about one another. Focus on selling the role and employer rather than making it about yourself. If recruiters “listen” better, they can align the right roles with optimal candidates that will likely accept the role. If they decline roles, ask why, so they aren’t overlooked for more refined opportunities down the road. Most job candidates do not change their preferences overnight. Also, no one likes to keep repeating themselves for them to be literally heard. Job seekers will move on to better sources that align with their respective needs.
Sasha Laghonh, Founder of Sasha Talks
Attract Creative Talent With Branded Content
A creative and fun work environment. We believe our work speaks for itself, and we post branded content and other projects we’ve produced to attract potential employees. We foster a collaborative environment for our team and have learned people have followed us to see our process and how we made what we made. We post behind-the-scenes of our productions as a way to attract new talent as well as promote our brand. Being open about the process and presenting a fun and creative environment is key.
Stephen Skeel, Co-Founder of 7 Wonders
Identify and Hire People That Fit the Company Vision
In the long run, every employee in our organization connects with our vision and plays different roles accordingly. Since this approach is what has worked for us, we ensure that we induct this approach into our recruitment formula too. In finding candidates who fit our company’s vision, we are able to create a team that commits to a lot more than just a job position. This solution also helps candidates connect easily, considering how the best ones are those looking to engage in a long-term association.
Azmaira Maker, Ph.D., Founding Director of Aspiring Families
Let Your Brand be Seen as a Niche Authority
My go-to approach has always been (and continues to be) becoming an authority in a very specific niche related to the digital marketing sector. For example, a known figure in the link building or technical SEO sector. As a thought leader and authority in a niche, you naturally get incredibly talented juniors looking to learn from you. This then presents opportunities to hire fantastic juniors especially, and you can train them exactly to your processes from the outset. Perfect!
James Taylor, Founder of Digital Tool Report
Listen More and Build Relationships
Many people believe that the key to successful recruiting is having a great process. While having a streamlined process is certainly important, it is not the only thing that makes a successful recruiter. In fact, many of the best recruiters are those who have mastered the art of listening. They take the time to really understand what their candidates are looking for and match them with the right roles. They also know how to build relationships and keep candidates engaged throughout the process. In short, they possess all the skills necessary to find the best talent and help them reach their full potential. So while having a great process is important, it is not the only thing that makes a successful recruiter. The ability to listen and build relationships is just as important.
Travis Lindemoen, Managing Director of nexus IT group
Understand What People Want From Work
My recruiting “superpower” really is to understand what people are looking for in a job and be honest about what we can offer. Most people want an employer who is honest and loyal to them. They want to know that employers won’t fire them because they made a mistake or because they have to take time off for family. They also want to know their hard work will be rewarded with more pay or a promotion. Employers, especially those at big companies, have developed a bad reputation for using people up and hanging them out to dry. I am not like that and that comes across when I talk to possible recruits. They know that I want them to succeed and fulfill their dreams as much as they do. They also know that I will help however our company fits into that scenario whether it’s a job they just want through college or a long-term career.
Jessica Tasios, Dentist at Ora Dental
Look and Listen for Soft Skills
Look and listen for soft skills. Our secret recruiting superpower is our laser focus on soft skills in candidates because we believe soft skills are hands down the single most important thing a candidate can bring to our company. For example, we search out soft skills by asking specific questions about teamwork, leadership, and problem solving, and learning how to really listen to and translate their answers. Soft skills are often innate, and not something a candidate is used to parading around, so we really have to listen for their answers and translate them into our own terms. It takes a lot of energy and attention, but looking and listening effectively for soft skills in candidates is how we have formed the incredible team we have today.
Susan Shaffer, President of Pneuma Nitric Oxide
Endear With a Friendly and Approachable Personality
Be Approachable. People tell me all the time: “I just feel comfortable around you.” To me, this is the greatest compliment. I never try to be the loudest person in the room. Rather, I cultivate a warm and friendly demeanor that endears people to open up. I don’t want to intimidate people or make them feel competitive. I want them to trust me and like me. That’s how you get ahead as a recruiter.
Rob Reeves, CEO and President of Redfish Technology