4 Skills Talent Pros Need to Recruit and Keep Their Best People

July 21, 2015 at 1:00 PM by Kathleen de Lara


By now, you’ve probably heard the broken record illustrating the Venn diagram of recruitment, hiring, marketing and sales, and whether you think it’s overplayed or revolutionary, or both, the model reigns true and relevant to any modern talent pro.

Approach hiring like a pro in the space you’re hiring for makes a difference in who you find and how you recruit and engage people. This skills list we came up with is practical, manageable, and timeless. Any recruiting tool can speed up the hunt, but what are you doing after you’ve honed in on who you could hire?

Consider this a running start.

An approachable, concise writing style

Sharing your job posts as job posts is tried-and-true, but tedious and tired. To stand out to candidates, forget trying to make “the sale” and instead, consider your conversations a combination of being genuine, making a good impression, and building a relationship. It’s like meeting the parents, which is can be more smooth sailing than expected. It means having a conversation that makes people comfortable. Avoid reading someone as you would a resume, gauging their fit and competence. Aim for engaging people’s attention, learning what they’re looking for, and determining if what you have to offer is a good fit.

Knowing how to identify candidates in different contexts

Another tried-and-true technique for finding talent? The Boolean search method. This is crucial for anyone looking for candidates, but relying on standardized search strings and applying these to the same networks to hunt down the same types of candidates will show you the same results as your competitors. Cue in on candidate’s behaviors in a mix of environments, and you’ll be able to improve and personalize your outreach, and understand which keywords to plug into your search strings. Want to learn how to find candidates using 4Square, Million Short, and Million Tall? The Sourcing Institute’s Shally Steckerl breaks it down in our most popular webinar.

Tasteful persistence

Whether sending emails en masse or personalizing individual messages is your outreach style, if you’re not in touch with candidates more than once, you’re losing out on building rapport with people and adding value to your employer brand. The multi-touch marketing strategy is important because candidates are strangers, and getting any stranger to warm up to you demands a Take 1, 2, and 3. Take 1 might surprise them, catch them off guard, or rub them the wrong way. Take 2 communicates your determination, and that could either stick with them, or not. Take 3 shows you’re serious, and when that’s clear, now you’ve got their attention.

Each Take shouldn’t be the same email, InMail, or phone call, and the cadence is different per recruiter and job req. Change it up. To start, we ran a data study to find out when candidates are more likely to move, or rather, most likely to be open to hearing about your opportunities. Use our findings to time out your initial outreach, then consider spacing out your follow-ups about two weeks in between. Don’t continually harp on candidates who are blatantly disinterested. Revisit them when they signal being on an active job hunt.

Keeping people engaged even after they're hired

In any other space, selling past the close is wasted time, but for talent pros, this continued effort is essential to holding on to your best people. The onboarding process shouldn’t be limited to what happens immediately after you’ve hired someone – orientation, training, paperwork, more paperwork. Onboarding is a hiring stage tied directly to engagement and retention, and should be applied throughout someone's employment. Did you know 91% of employees are more likely to stay at a company with a formal onboarding process? Only 30% of employees stick around with the converse. The 30-60-90 day check in applies, but so does every other employee anniversary after that. Encourage frequent communication and feedback between hiring managers and employees, and use something like a survey or employee engagement tool like Officevibe or TINYpulse to measure happiness. Don’t forget to individually follow up.

Marketers, engineers, ops, salespeople, and customer success-ers – what else is on your list of must-have hiring qualities? Tell us in the comments. Tweet us @Entelo. Fill us in on the gaps!

Step 2? Line up expectations and communication between your recruiters and hiring managers. We linked up with Jobvite to build the guide.

  jobvite entelo webinar