Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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How To Attract and Recruit Top Talent

I have a program for corporations and associations called A.R.M.E.D. – How to Attract, Recruit, Mentor, Evolve, and Develop the Next Generation of Leaders.

U.S. unemployment levels are at record lows, around 4%, and I expect that number to drop even further. As a result, many executives are frustrated with how to attract and recruit in this tight job market. Many human resource directors are struggling to fill the 6 million vacant job opportunities.

1. Attract by Being Attractive

Have a Great Reputation: Most corporate marketing is geared toward the customer. Forward-thinking companies are now using their marketing and advertising to build a reputation that is appealing to not only the buyer, but also the potential employee. How many people have you met who were customers of the organization and then decided to work there? A strong reputation is attractive to both customers and employees.

Have Great Service Representatives: People want to work with people who are positive and enjoy their work. One of the biggest turnoffs for potential employees is to have a poor encounter with a current worker. People want interactions with others to be pleasant.  I was just at a restaurant and overheard two of the wait staff complain about how awful a few of the menu items were.  It made me want to leave before ordering, and I certainly wouldn’t want to work with people who did not like the product offerings where they work.  

Have a Strong Social Media Presence That Tells Good Stories: As David Newman says, “Your customers are not tired of hearing from you. They are tired of hearing about you, from you.” Highlight customers, their experiences, and their impressions. Show stories from employees and customer perspectives. Make it personal and real. 

Most potential employees will vet a company online, so examine your online presence. The major social media platforms are obvious: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest, but also check others such as Vero. Se what people are saying, and make sure the message is honest and positive.  If it isn’t, take steps to remedy the online branding.  

Have Great Video: Many companies have little to no video on their social media platforms and websites. Others may have video, but even video from a few years ago looks old and dated.

One easy way to update your company’s video presence is to create a contest for current employees with a theme. For example, a school can do a “groundbreaking” by showing current projects and student achievements. A real estate company can use drone video with voiceovers describing the story of the area and how the house was built. A medical practice can interview employees about why they love helping patients.

Some companies resist video because they think their story isn’t interesting enough for a video. Our response to that is: “If the leadership team believes that the company is not very interesting, why would someone want to devote the majority of their waking hours working there?”  Be interesting!

2. Recruit The Right People

Employees need to WANT to work at the organization, and we want them to know what they are getting into. Internships, either paid or unpaid, are a great way to try before you hire. Hiring people with ‘the right stuff’ gives businesses a better shot of getting through tough times. Hires who embrace the corporate culture and enjoy the work environment are likely to be more productive and stay longer.

Find people who are aligned with your company’s mission and vision. Employees need to feel part of something larger than themselves. Management needs to remind employees why they are doing what they are doing.

Appeal to talent that wants to be part of a productive and fun team. Create a reputation for being a place where employees want to work. Reward the employees for producing the right results. Give them something to look forward to. Fun teambuilding days help employees work better together and exchange ideas.

Many leaders believe that days spent on teambuilding mean lost productivity, but we maintain that these breaks are enormously beneficial. In addition to giving people a reprise from the routine, teambuilding time helps people get to know each other better, which increases trust. When people know, like, and trust the people they work with, they are more apt to reach out for help and in turn, return the assistance.

I have a hard time taking time away from work. I enjoy working, but I recognize that we all need to see each other in a different environment and have some fun.


Need to strategize on ways to get the right talent into your organization? I’d love to chat or meet with your leadership team. Call us at 719-357-7360.


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