Posts Tagged ‘top talent’

The New World of Recruiting Great Talent

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

HR on Demand Team Member Jill Feldman shares helpful tips for recruiting top candidates for your company:

Teamwork It’s a brave new world for recruiting talent. No longer can we place a job posting on an online job board and assume the candidates will flock to us. Whether it’s the quantity or the quality of applicants, companies are finding it harder than ever to recruit and hire top talent. It’s a new world out there, and in a candidate-driven marketplace, many of our usual “active-recruiting approaches” simply aren’t working.


It’s simple. With the rise of technology and a focus on self-gratification, top candidates are in the driver’s seat and more in control of their careers than ever. They’re hyper connected, often having multiple career opportunities available at once and they’re not afraid to “job hop” to satisfy their goals.

Consequently, in order to hire top talent and succeed in this new world of recruiting, we must move away from our traditional methods and old school tactics and move towards “new world” thinking and “new world” tactics.

This kind of thinking involves:

  • Focusing on finding a great employee who will serve the organization well beyond today and into the future.
  • Selling the applicant on those aspects of the job and the company likely to be most appealing to him or her. This approach suggests applying the same tools to identify and appeal to applicants that you use to identify and appeal to customers.
  • Focusing on defining the characteristics and qualities of a great employee and, then, using the methods that are best suited to provide you with information about an applicant’s abilities and aptitudes related to these characteristics and qualities.
  • Identifying your best sources of great employees and tailoring your recruiting and hiring methods to best fit that target audience.
  • Taking a much broader perspective on finding top talent and looking at not only the fit between the person and the job but also at the fit between the person, the company, the boss, the coworkers, etc.

Here are some “new world” strategies you can use to recruit and hire top talent:

Know Your Top Employees

Get to know your top employees. Where did they go to school? Where did they work before they came to you? What newspapers/magazines/blogs do they read (both work-related and non-work related)? What hobbies do they have outside of work? What community and/or charity events do they attend? The more you know about your top employees, the more information you will have to help you identify and appeal to great new sources of top talent.

Owning the Recruiting Function

Recruiting and hiring is NOT the sole responsibility of Human Resources. Anyone who has people reporting to them is responsible for recruiting and hiring. The new world of recruiting and hiring top talent requires that you and your organization help all managers own their role in recruiting and hiring. It also requires that you and your organization provide resources (e.g. training, online resources) to your company’s managers to help them improve and strengthen their skills in this area.

Involve Potential Co-Workers

One of the most important and often, most overlooked, aspects of hiring is the fit between an applicant and their potential co-workers. Employees can be one of your most effective recruiting tools. By sharing information about their work environment, employees have the potential to attract great talent. You can have employees do things like interview the applicant, give the applicant a tour of the facility, and take the applicant to lunch. These activities allow employees to share important, work-related information with the applicant. By creating ways for this happen, it shows both applicants and employees that you care about them.

Know and Sell What Makes Your Company Unique

Organizations that do a great job of recruiting and hiring top talent know their values and they know what makes them unique. Most importantly, they find ways to show who they are throughout the recruiting and hiring process. Organizations who understand this concept know who they are and they use creative ways to show who they are during the recruiting and hiring process.

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is no way to meet the demands of the new world of recruiting and hiring top talent. You must think differently and act differently to get different results. What are you doing to think differently and act differently about recruiting and hiring? If you aren’t thinking and acting differently, I can guarantee you that someone else is.

CAI’s recruiting team is dedicated to helping you with all of your recruiting needs. Whether it’s learning more about strategies for recruiting great talent, having us recruit for and fill your vacant positions, or simply answering a few questions, we’re here to help! Please feel free to contact our recruiting team directly at 919-431-6084 or


Delivering Great New Employees – Part 2

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

In today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, continues the conversation from his last video blog in which he discussed employer recruiting efforts. His tip to employers is to stay out in front of top talent long before you have an opening.

Doug mentions that there are many factors that can attract a job candidate to your company, such as career advancement or working with industry thought leaders. You may offer enticing employee benefits, but Doug asks, “Does anyone know about them?”

He offers up action items employers can take to make top job candidates aware of their company and the benefits offered. One of the many items he shared in the video included having your team members present at events or activities where top candidates in the specific industry you’re looking in hang out, such as associations or industry-related conferences.

Doug encourages employers to try the tips he shared in the video and see how they attract interest from quality job seekers. Make sure to look out for the third installment of this video series next month.

For additional recruiting tips, please call a member of our Advice and Resolution team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746. The team is now available 24 hours each day throughout the week! Please give us a call!

Strengthen Your Employer Brand with 4 Tips

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

employer brandWhat do people think of your organization? When people discuss your business, are the conversations mostly positive? Have you googled your company name to see what comes up? Are your employees quick to offer you the number of their friend or family member when an open position becomes available?

Knowing how your organization is viewed by the public, your industry peers and rivals is important. Having a strong employer brand can make a difference on whether you can secure a great candidate for a vacancy or how a news outlet portrays you to the public. There are several steps you can take to strengthen your employer brand to show that your organization is a stellar place to work. Try the four tips below:

Define How You’re Perceived

In order to strengthen your employer brand, you have to determine how you want your organization to be perceived. Once you decide how you want to represent your organization, make sure your company’s mission statement and values reflect that decision. Your mission statement and values are generally one of the first places interested job seekers visit to learn more about a company. Make sure yours represents your organization well.

Offer Competitive Benefits

Do you want to be known as the company that offers lousy benefits? Or the one that doesn’t understand the importance of work/life balance? In order to become an employer who attracts and secures high-performing talent, you must do your homework and find out what the top benefits candidates are looking for. Competition for top-notch talent is fierce. A strong benefits package that includes a competitive salary as well as non-monetary perks will help you establish your positive employer brand.

Make Smart Hiring Decisions

Don’t just hire a candidate because they have the exact skills and qualifications that your job description requires. Making a smart hiring decision goes beyond matching up a resume to an open position. Adding a new hire to your ranks is important, so it’s critical to ensure they match your culture and will get along with their new coworkers. Failing to do so could result in the new hire leaving in under a year, or worse, one of your loyal employees leaving because they don’t work well with the new employee.

Provide Incredible Customer Service

A surefire way to enhance your employer brand is to improve your customer service. Think of brands like Apple and Zappos. Yes, they sell great products, but they also rely on their customer service teams to help them represent their company. Make sure your employees have all the tools and training they need to offer an exceptional experience to your customers. When your employees are content and engaged, your customers are more likely to be content and engaged as well.

For more ways to improve your employer brand, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Robert Scoble

10 Tips to Help Your Organization Win the Competition for Top Talent

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The following is a guest post from Carol Hacker. Carol is the President and CEO of Hacker & Associates.  She specializes in helping HR professionals and teaching managers, supervisors, team leaders, executives and business owners how to meet the leadership challenge. She’s the author the bestseller, Hiring Top Performers-350 Great Interview Questions For People Who Need People.

Carol Hacker portraitFrom an era of a labor surplus to an era of a labor shortage, when it comes to looking toward the future for talent, the economic crisis has made developing strategies and planning that much more difficult.  Would you agree that there seems to be a massive and devastating shortage of skills and an aggressive war for global talent?  The US workplace has become a playing field of competition for hiring top talent in every industry.

The “brain drain” is making it more difficult to find people who are qualified to do the work that needs to be done.  In addition, you have an extraordinary amount of competition, so you will have to be well prepared to attract and keep the best of the best.  It’s your responsibility as the hiring manager to identify the right people who have more than technical certification, proven abilities, or specific skills.

However, just as important as the required skills, you will need to hire job applicants with the energy, ambition, and potential it takes to meet your specific work standards as well as embrace a people-oriented leadership style and comfortably merge with your existing corporate culture.  Personality counts, as does the ability and willingness to get along with everyone including internal customers and teammates.

The following ideas have proven successful and are worth considering as you build your team of qualified employees:

  •  Focus on company policies and procedures that increase employee retention in the future, such as career development opportunities, bonus compensation, competitive benefits, stock options, flexible schedules, on-going new-hire orientation and mentoring programs.  Today’s generation demands instant gratification.


  •  Evaluate your recruitment strategies and hire the right people for the right jobs, rather than trying to fit square pegs into round holes.  The latter approach is guaranteed to set new-hires up for failure.


  •  Before you develop a strategic recruitment plan to increase the number of highly qualified and difficult to find job applicants, conduct a self-assessment to compare your recruitment approach to the universe of known recruitment strategies.  This takes time, but once you know what works and what doesn’t you’re ahead of the game.  You will also want to determine what takes the least amount of effort, but still yields good results.


  •  Selectively screen resumes and applications.  Many job applicants are using the “dart approach.”  They’re sending out dozens or even hundreds of resumes even when they are not qualified for the position (s) as advertised.  Screening these documents is an enormous waste of your time.


  • Do whatever it takes to not only raise the bar, but raise skill levels as well.


  •  Do your homework by completing the necessary market research to determine the levels of compensation expected by highly sought-after job applicants.


  •  Learn how to efficiently transfer knowledge from senior members of the team to new or entry-level employees.


  •  Make use of HR’s abilities and resources in improving the skills and education of your current staff.


  • Consider job-sharing and part-time work opportunities for valued employees who cannot work a 40-hour week.


  • Develop a partnership with colleges, universities and technical schools in getting students to consider majors where jobs are immediately available upon graduation.

Contact Carol by visiting her website:

Smart Recruiting is the Key for Securing Top Talent – 4 Helpful Tips

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

recruiting talentTo achieve a high-performing workplace that creates positive business results, you should place finding top talent at the beginning of your to-do list. Current data reveals that many businesses are struggling to fill positions that have been open for months. Although there are many candidates in the market, employers are finding that these job seekers do not meet the skills or qualifications required to do the job well. Knowing where to find candidates and who you are looking for are important factors in making hiring decisions that are advantageous to your organization.

Employees represent a driving force behind the success or failure of your company. Revamp your recruiting and hiring process by following these four tips:

Create a Talent Pool

Keep your eyes and ears open to ensure you recruit the best and brightest talent for your organization. Whether or not you’re hiring, monitoring the candidates who are interested in seeking opportunity at your organization will be helpful when you’re in a crunch to fill a position. Continuously evaluate your talent pool to have a good idea of who to select for interviews when the time comes.  Keeping an up-to-date archive will help you uncover high-performing talent while avoiding last-minute hiring decisions.

Don’t Skimp on the Job Description

Before you start to pursue suitable candidates, be sure you know what duties and tasks the new hire will be responsible for. Carefully construct your job description to explicitly detail what the future employee will be doing. Making specific job descriptions will weed out the people who really don’t have the experience or desire to fulfill the position.

Devise a Sound Plan

Make your recruiting process more efficient by assigning an interview team to prescreen job seekers to ensure they fit the minimum requirements of your job description. Use your interview team to help you evaluate the interviewees and eventually help you decide who should be offered the opening.

Get Out There

Don’t be passive in your hunt for top talent. Sure you’ll get some good candidates who apply for a position directly on your website or through a job search engine. However, using additional outlets in your hunt will widen your selection of candidates. So be active! Use social media, post an ad in your local newspaper, host networking events, participate in career fairs and ask your employees for referrals.

For additional information on securing high-performing talent at your organization, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

CAI’s HR Management Conference Will Help You Put the Pieces of Your Talent Puzzle Together

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The competition for top talent is fierce as organizations require more specialized skills from their workforce. In order to secure top talent, employers should spend adequate time searching and hiring candidates that possess strong interpersonal skills and a desire to grow and achieve success.  

Excellent talent will be increasingly difficult to maintain in the current business climate’s competitive atmosphere. CAI’s 2013 HR Management Conference will equip you with information and strategies to hold on to your best people, as well as attract new talent. Scheduled for March 6 and March 7 at Raleigh’s McKimmon Center, the conference will help you put the pieces of your talent puzzle together to develop a positive culture that reaches its business goals.

Four keynote speakers will address participants at the early March conference:

  1. Daniel Pink will reveal why traditional approaches to high performance backfire at most organizations and will offer alternative solutions.
  2. Demographic trends show that pretty soon your workforce is going to look different, work different and want to be rewarded differently. Dr. James Johnson will help you prepare.
  3. Based on his best-selling book, The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon presents a powerful roadmap to overcome life and work obstacles and bring out the best in yourself and your team.
  4. In his presentation, Dave Rendall will help you find the strengths hidden in your workforce and explore eight strategies for improving employee engagement at your organization.

Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in several breakout sessions. Topics include:

–Performance, Development and Succession: The Foundation of Talent Management

–15 Reasons You May Have a Shortage of Skilled Labor and What to Do About It

–Learning Agility: The Defining Competency for Working (and Thriving) at the Speed of Light

–Strategies for Developing and Changing the Leadership Culture

CAI will announce the winners of the 2013 Ovation Awards for HR Excellence at the HR Management Conference. There is still time to submit a nomination if your company has implemented an HR/People practice that has brought success to the organization. Deadline is Friday, December 14.

Please visit to review the programs full agenda, descriptions about the presentations and speakers, and to register. Everyone who registers for the conference by the end of the day on Thursday, December 13 will be entered into a drawing to win a new iPad with retina display. Register today! Please call 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 with any questions.

Use Stay Interviews to Keep Employee Retention Rates High

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Are you dealing with high turnover in one of your departments? Or with the economy slowly recovering, are you worried that your top talent might move on? What information did you find out in the last exit interview you gave? I bet you learned something that you could have prevented if you took the opportunity to ask the employee before he left.

Instead of waiting until your key staff members exit, find out what would make them stay loyal to your organization. Increase employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention rates by implementing regular stay interviews. Done correctly, stay interviews reveal the factors that could lead your top talent toward your competitors. They’ll also help you prevent an unhappy employee from becoming disgruntled or worse—an ex-employee.

 Questions to Consider Asking Employees During Stay Interviews:

  • Are we helping you develop your skills? If yes, how?
  • What would make you consider leaving your current position?
  • Would you like to change anything about your team or department? Why?
  • What could we change to make your job more exciting, challenging or rewarding?

Remember Three Things When Conducting Stay Interviews

1.       Be Consistent

Holding monthly or quarterly stay interviews with your employees will help you track how they are feeling within their positions. Use this opportunity to learn more about them, including aspects of their job that they enjoy and places where they’d like to see improvement from management. Make sure you check in with them about their long-term company goals as well.

2.       Be Open

Just like an exit interview, a stay interview may not yield positive statements about your company. Unlike exit interviews, however, you have the opportunity to change negative company sentiments into positive ones. So be open, and allow your employees to tell you how they are or aren’t enjoying their work life.

3.       Follow up

Following up on items discussed during stay interviews is important. Although you can’t solve all the ills of your employees, talking through problems and making a good effort to solve some of them will help your staffers perceive your company in a more favorable light. Give them timely feedback and always uphold your commitments to them when possible.

For more information on conducting stay interviews at your workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Is Hiring the Key to Employee Engagement?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Can it be that the only thing that matters in regard to driving employee engagement is hiring people with the right attitude?

That may be the case according to a new study that shows that 99 percent of highly-engaged employees say that they take personal responsibility for their engagement.  The study comes as part of the research that Timothy Clark did for his new book The Employee Engagement Mindset.   Clark and his team analyzed 150 highly-engaged employees in 50 different organizations representing 13 different industries.

In addition to taking personal responsibility for their engagement, the 99 percent also stated that they believe they, not their employer, hold primary responsibility for their engagement.  In contrast, a vast majority of disengaged employees believe that their employer is primarily responsible for their engagement.

So there it is in plain language, the key to employee engagement is finding and hiring employees who are willing to take responsibility for keeping themselves engaged.  It has been said that employers should “hire for attitude and train for aptitude.”  Nothing makes the case for this better than the findings of this study.

Too often hiring managers and HR professionals get so wrapped up in qualifications and demonstrated experience.  They choose the candidate with the track record over the one with the great attitude and the thinner resume.  Instead of playing to win, they are playing not to lose.  Sure, there needs to be a baseline skill level to qualify for a job, but does it have to be so high?

In these days when we can bounce from articles on the importance of employee engagement to the scourge of unemployment to the skill gap between available jobs and talent, it seems to me that a statistic like the one above just screams for a different approach.  If employers start focusing more on finding the right types of teachable people instead of demanding high levels of experience, won’t everybody win?

Of course, I’m not saying that employers should get a pass on creating a positive work environment and culture that encourages employees to excel and recognizes them for their success.  That’s an important element, as well.

Nor am I saying that tomorrow you should get rid of everybody that you think may have a bad attitude.

However, I am encouraging you to ask yourself during every hiring process you are a part of, not “Who has the best qualifications for this job,” but “Who will bring the best attitude to this job?”

Photo Source: Victor1558

Why Your Employees Want to Leave and How You Can Prevent Their Departure

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Losing a top-performing employee significantly impacts an organization. Research indicates that the search to find, hire and train a replacement costs more than a third of the new hire’s salary. Not only do you experience financial implications from the loss of top talent, but your culture could also be affected. The former employee takes his knowledge and skills with him, leaving his remaining coworkers left to pick up the slack from his open position. Heavier workloads can cause stress, decreasing job satisfaction and employee morale for your other team members.

Identifying the reasons why an employee might consider leaving is key in preventing attrition. Contrary to what many leaders believe, money is not the sole or even top motivator for an employee. Many factors contribute to an employee’s decision to leave his current workplace. Some factors are out of your control, but you can heavily influence many. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their organizations:

  • Demanding positions—long days and working on the weekends
  • Boredom—not enough challenges to keep engagement
  • Inadequate compensation—raises are currently frozen or given to someone less qualified
  • Management disorganization—constant turnover and restructuring in several departments
  • Few opportunities—having little input on decisions cause feelings of unimportance
  • Too competitive—rewarding internal competitiveness instead of cooperation
  • Lack of recognition—feelings of not being valued ignite from infrequent to no acknowledgement

Here are steps you can take to retain your workforce:

  • Set goals—help employees stay motivated by giving them something to work towards
  • Empower them—allow them to lead and don’t micromanage their efforts
  • Show you care—take time to get to know your employee’s life outside and inside of work
  • Offer training—opportunities to gain more knowledge and develop new skills increases engagement
  • Constant feedback—let them know which tasks they’re doing well and which need improvement
  • Be appreciative—thank employees and make sure you frequently let them know they’re valued
  • Give perks—if you can’t offer a raise,  pay for lunch every Friday or grant flexible schedules

For more strategies to retain your top talent, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Looking to Add High Performers to Your Organization? Find Candidates with These Traits.

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Your employees have a significant impact on whether your business thrives or dies, but building a strong workforce is not an easy task. Choosing the right people to fill your open positions should be done with care and an overall goal of company success. People considered high performers should be your most desirable candidates. These workers are critical for achieving positive business results because they exceed company expectations, serve as role models to other employees, make solid decisions and continually offer innovative ideas.

If you’re looking to build a powerful staff, look for prospective employees with the following qualities:

Energy and Optimism

Top performing employees are energetic. They work efficiently when assigned new projects and are eager to turn in completed work before or by their deadlines. When they finish a project, they quickly move on to the next one. They also remain positive while at work by not harping on mistakes or worrying about unfavorable outcomes. The energy and optimism high performers exude reach other staff members, which helps the whole company boost productivity.

High EI and Great Communicator

High Emotional Intelligence is often engrained in high performing employees. They use their talent to successfully understand and react to the actions of others. They easily make great relationships with their coworkers, and they are able to remain calm and help others stay calm during stressful situations. Another strength they share is strong communication skills. Top employees effortlessly express their ideas and communicate frequently with their supervisors to ensure they deliver desired results.

Self Starter and Continuous Learner

Stronger performers are almost always motivated to do their best. They are autonomous workers who manage their time effectively to  produce high-quality work for their managers and organization. These employees take the initiative to try new workflow processes and suggest ways to improve business productivity. They want to cultivate skills they use regularly and also gain new knowledge in their field. Both of these characteristics will prove beneficial to your company.

When you attract top performers to your organization, work hard to ensure they have the support and resources they need to be successful. Failing to do so will most likely result in their resignation. For more information on finding high performers to add to your staff, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 33-668-7746.

Photo Souce: Victor1558