Amazing talent can bring amazing benefits to your company, but the search might feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. Here are seven ways to find outstanding new hires.
Why the Search for Amazing Talent is Worth the Trouble
You probably don’t need to be persuaded of the need to hire amazing talent, but you might be wondering how to identify these top performers during the recruiting and hiring process. Here are seven things to look for.
Amazing Talent: 7 Things to Look For in Your Next New Hire
1. An Amazing Resume
Top performers find a way to stand out. Though not always indicative of amazing talent, when you come across a resume that stands out from the rest, you might have found your first clue. These candidates’ resumes differentiate themselves in one or more ways; such as:
- Personalization; matching up cover letter and resume callouts to position requirements
- Overall design
- Results-oriented; stats, return on investment, goals met, achievements and awards are used to demonstrate competency
- Focus; top performers understand they need to show how they bring value to the organization first (vs. how the job meets their wants or needs)
2. Amazing References
Unless a candidate is relocating or looking for a job after hitting an education milestone (college or advanced degree, etc.), chances are that their current employer is going to hate to see them go. These candidates will have former bosses who can’t speak highly enough of their work and personal references that testify to their character, dependability, likability, and more. When it comes to amazing talent, you will find that their references are more than willing to sing their praises. More often than not, they’ll say you’d be crazy not to hire them.
3. Amazing Interpersonal Skills
Top performers aren’t just good at their jobs. They are good for the culture of your organization! These candidates will demonstrate good interpersonal skills from job application through the interview process. They’ll be the ones that make you feel like you don’t even want to interview anyone else.
You might also like: 5 Places Organizational Culture Shows Up
4. Amazing Values
No doubt you’ve heard some variation of the phrase, “One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.” It’s not talking about fruit; it’s referring to people. Even a highly skilled employee can have character flaws which ruin business outcomes and damage your business. As you evaluate potential new hires, carefully consider how well their values come across during interviews and are reinforced (or contraindicated) when checking their references.
5. Amazing Ideas
When a candidate comes prepared with good questions, insights that demonstrate they’ve researched your company and even a few ideas about how to make your business better, they’re showing you something important. These are the workers who help your company innovate and evolve in order to grow to the next level. These are the employees who will champion your brand and feel personally connected to the success of your company.
6. Amazing (and Unique) Abilities
When it’s time to add staff or backfill a position, you have the ability to hire people with special knowledge or abilities that might be lacking on your team. Top performers epitomize the idea of “added value.” Look beyond whether candidates can do the job based on their work experience and education. Look for competency or training that indicates they will have strengths where your team (or business) might currently have weaknesses.
7. Amazing Attitudes
The employees who see the cup as “half empty” and come to work every day with a negative outlook are probably not those you’d list as your “best employees.” Candidates who demonstrate positivity and who are described by their references as forces for good, well-liked by everyone, great with customers, and so on are those who will infuse positivity into your employee culture.
If you notice, many of the items on this list deal with soft skills employees bring to the workplace, rather than the hard skills and education that might make them able to simply do a job. You expect new hires to do the job; amazing talent will always go further. It’s the soft skills and sometimes even intangible but very real characteristics (such as attitude) that let you know you’ve found “the one.”