Competition is fierce amongst the world's fast-growing companies to hire the best and the brightest. High-growth companies like Facebook and Microsoft proactively look for for people who fit their company's values and bring in skills and perspectives needed for future growth.
The fastest growing companies are always in recruiting mode; they've made talent scouting a habit.
No matter how big or small your business is, use these four tactics to build talent scouting into the way you do business. Becoming a talent magnet doesn't take a big budget, but it does require leadership and prioritization.
1. Make a hit list.
Keep a list of the top 10 people you most want to join your company (e.g., the marketing director of your top competitor). Stay connected with them and build a personal relationship that allows you to talk about why they and your company are a great fit.
When Mark Zuckerberg wanted to hire Sheryl Sandberg, he built a personal relationship with her over the course of a year. Sandberg tells Reid Hoffman in his Masters of Scale podcast:
"To say I had multiple conversations with Mark is kind of the understatement. He was a late-night guy. He didn't come into the office particularly early, so he would come over for dinner at eight. I would literally have to kick him out at 11:00 or 12:00. We had dinners once or twice a week for months. I think way earlier than he decided he wanted to work with me, I decided I wanted to work with him."
2. Become a magnet.
Enlist your team in attracting talent. On a regular basis, discuss what it means to be a "magnet" for great talent. Regularly look out for positive examples of this behavior, and call out that great behavior when you see it.
I once worked with an executive who asked his leadership team to invest 10-20 percent of their time attracting great people to the business. He acted like an ambassador to the business and he expected his team to do the same.
3. Get social media working for you.
Too often businesses think of social media as a tool for engaging with customers and to build greater brand awareness. Talent magnets also use social media to showcase what a great place to work their company is.
Remember that social media isn't a way to inexpensively blast information, it's a means to connect with communities and stakeholders and to build your desired reputation. Figure out where your employees hang out online and ask them to become ambassadors for your business.
4. Build a talent funnel
Just like a sales funnel, you can build a funnel for talent that ensures the right candidates join your business. Involve your employees in identifying how to attract and hire great talent.
It's easy to execute a recruiting campaign. It's hard to make your business a talent magnet. But you can make it easier by creating routines that help you and your team make it a way of life.
For instance, build regular reviews of your talent funnel into existing business reviews, conduct annual or semi-annual audits of your hiring process, and making the job of "talent scout" explicit in each leader's' role.