Recruiting Top Talent

Image Source: Beth Boyd
Image Source: Beth Boyd

Recruiting Top Talent In 2016

There are 5 type of “candidates” in the recruitment market:

1. Active Seekers
2. Semi-active Seekers
3. Passive
4. Happy with their current situation
5. Boomerang (employees that have left the company but are willing to return)

Recruitment and Employee Advocates

As we all know recruiting is the best method to hiring talent that has a higher potential of fit for both the role and the company culture. Recruiting also is an area that, I have found, requires a lot of training and development, especially at the store level. In my post Fostering a Culture of Employee Advocacy In Retail I shared the fact that “93% of employees say they will make good advocates for the brand”. That includes being brand advocates as it relates to recruitment. Employees who believe in their brand, believe in their workplace, enjoy the challenge and intrigue they get from their jobs and their senior leadership…these are the things candidates want to know, they want to value their job and their leadership, and your existing team wants to share that information. Having your culture and insider advocate that yours, truly, is a “Great Place To Work” will make your company more compelling to candidates.

Each variety of candidate requires a different approach to engage, but all candidates seek to improve their current situation and if you can appeal to their needs and create a beneficial compensation and workplace benefits package for them, you can have the level of talent your brand aspires to have.

SocialHire just published a great blog post about Zappos [here is the link to that post]. Some of the key points:

-Zappos Career Site values transparency
-Their LinkedIn Corporate Page supplies information about their company culture
Twitter showcases their employees and their @InsideZappos Twitter feed allows for a weekly rotation of recruiters and employees to be the voice of Zappos [Such a fabulous and engaging use of this platform]
-They host a 30 minute bi-weekly [Thursday] #InsideZappos TChat on Twitter where insiders answer questions about life at Zappos
-Their Pintrest page showcases their culture and workplace dynamics
-As does their Instagram page

Imagine, if you will, if all retail organizations fostered this type of transparency of their culture! That companies were truly focused on customers, empowering employees, developing focused career paths and growth opportunities, and valued their team members? A world where retail organizations consistently showed passion about, and appreciation of, innovation, quirkiness, creativity, and were fearless in their pursuit of being unique and cutting-edge? How much easier could you make your recruiting efforts by making your culture, vision, and values known and show they are the bedrock of your business?

It is definitely an opportunity for a lot of companies if you want to elevate your talent pool and create a social recruitment campaign (and culture) that is climacteric to active job seekers and passive candidates. Providing a real and accessible glimpse inside your business – if the culture is built around vision, values, and genuine experience – will help improve your recruiting efforts dramatically.

If your culture is weak (or even bad), this will make your ability to recruit top talent or retain it a huge challenge. According to CR Magazine, “75% of people say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation even if they were unemployed”.

According to this article from LinkedIn, here are the upcoming recruitment trends for 2016:

-Quality of Hire is most important measure of performance
-Shortening the Time-To-Fill
-Employer Branding
-Focus On Retention of Current Employees

Here are some components of a strong recruitment program that you need to develop a strategy for if you want to recruit top talent in 2016:

Employee Referral Programs: employee referrals generate a higher caliber of talent and improve retention rates
Using Employer Branding as key driver of candidate engagement
78% of candidates use their mobile device to search so career pages must be mobile friendly to be functional for candidates
In order to be irresistible to top talent, organizations need to be social, they need to be genuine, and they need to be transparent
And, of course, understanding Why Good People Quit In Retail (And What Compels Them To Stay) is key to creating a retention strategy to hold onto your top talent (and develop talent for the future health of the organization)

At last measure [October 2015], the average time-to-fill was 29 days, which can be a debilitating time frame for retail positions. Getting ahead of the candidate sourcing and having a ready catalog of top tier candidates (internal and external) is the key to ensuring that you can maintain business momentum and productivity. Here is some information on how this topic: Time-To-Fill (And How To Shorten It).

Understanding the trends and the importance of utilizing Social Media to communicate culture, vision, values, and opportunity is key for capturing diverse, high-potential, and high-productivity talent in 2016.


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail and 18 year retailer. I am a passionate and creative leader and coach committed to inspiring thought, action, truth-telling, solution-seeking, and dialog about how to maximize talent through identifying and creating a process around critical success factors, workplace culture, signature leadership practices, productivity, profitability, alignment of employees and company vision & values, and workplace happiness inside all retail organizations. I help create healthy, vibrant, high-performing, and highly-productive organizations that are talent magnets and focused on delivering the highest level of customer experience that will differentiate them from competition and result in long-term growth and sustainability.

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