Top performers are the bread and butter of your business. In fact, top performers usually produce four times more output than your “average” employees do, so it makes sense that the bulk of your hiring process should be focused on not only finding them and compelling them to apply for your job openings, but also being able to identify and isolate the ones that are going to add value to your company as top performers. This process comes with challenges, though. All HR professionals wish they could rub their magic hiring crystal ball to help them determine which applicants will be top performers and which applicants would be a better fit for another company. Alas, there is no magic in the hiring world and there are no guarantees. The best HR professionals can hope for is to adopt some of the tips we’ll be sharing below in today’s post. Hint: it doesn’t involve using your “gut instincts” in the interview.
Top performers want to feel valued.
Before you can identify your top performers, you have to draw them to you and encourage them to apply for your openings.
Before you can identify your top performers, you have to draw them to you and encourage them to apply for your openings. To do this, start with the basics. The first rule of people is that we are emotional creatures who crave acceptance and being valued more than anything else. If you can write a job ad that reassures applicants that you value them and their time, you have a much a much greater likelihood that they’ll invest the necessary effort into completing your application and screening process. We’ve discussed this at length in other posts, but the quickest way to create a “safe place” for top performers in your job ads is to stop writing the ads from your perspective. In other words, use less “what’s in it for me” and more of “what’s in it for them.”
Use a referral program to increase your chances of hiring top performers.
One of the best ways to reach top performers is to incentivize your current employees to send you great people! Using this recruiting method can actually save you money in the long run (if you create a referral program with strategic insight in mind), and gives you access to heaps of top performers that otherwise wouldn’t have found you. It also cuts down on some of the hiring stress for you because you can share some of the hiring load with current employees. Another benefit is that it adds a personal layer to the whole hiring process which tugs a little on those value strings. Finally (and perhaps most importantly), people want to work where people they enjoy work as well. It helps to provide a level of insurance by keeping both current employees and future employees around and engaged. Another bonus: top performers tend to attract other top performers!
Get to know top performers through pre-employment tests and strategic screening questions.
After you’ve laid a solid foundation for getting top performers to you and taken the necessary steps to prompt them to apply for your openings, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty details of how to properly identify these top performers. Remember, simply meeting an interviewee and determining that he/she is the right fit for your job based on your “gut feelings” is not going to help you hire top performers. Instead, use a system that is designed around customizable and targeted screening questions that help you “rate” your applicants for quality fit based on their responses. Additionally, using a specialized pre-employment test that creates benchmarks around employees that are top performers and then compares your applicants against those top performing employees will give you a “percent fit” to aide in identifying which job candidates will be top performers at your company.
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