How To Find And Hire The Right Talent

Lauren Small

Technology has drastically changed the hiring process, and recruiters have had to shift their practices in response. At the same time, employers are looking for ways to keep their best talent in an era when employee tenure is shrinking.

In a recent podcast, HR guru Jessica Miller-Merrell and analyst John Sumser discussed how recruiting from employee referrals can address the challenge of finding and keeping great teams. And since building GoodHire's all about building great teams, we asked our own recruiting expert to share her insight on the impact of employee referrals and the candidate experience on retention "“ and to shed light on the phenomenon known as "job hopping."

Marielle Smith, director of recruiting for GoodHire parent's company, Inflection, spends her days finding and wooing exceptional candidates in the red-hot Silicon Valley tech market. It's a tough task, but Smith's an expert in engaging teams for talent acquisition and how to set up programs for employee retention.

Looking Beyond Job Seekers

Employee referral programs work because employees are likely to refer people that are going to be a great cultural fit, Smith says. But she also encourages recruiters to ask employees to look beyond their contacts who are actively looking for jobs.

Many employees only think about people in their network who are currently job hunting. But the reality is that top talent options are often people who rarely look for a job because they are sought after.

How to target this "passive" talent pool? Smith advises asking employees questions like "Tell me someone in your network who is amazing," or "Who is the best engineer manager you ever worked with?"

Smith finds that employee referrals are the highest value candidates to engage with for multiple reasons:



The Importance Of The Candidate Experience

Along with referral programs, Smith works to ensure that every candidate, whether they get the job or not, has a great experience during the recruiting process. She recommends that companies implement a feedback survey to find out how the recruiting process is from the job-seeker perspective.

Smith believes that job candidates are some of the best potential spokespeople for a company. "It's really critical for us that even candidates we don't hire come away from the experience feeling really good," she said. Candidates can be huge advocates for your company's brand, but only if they have a great experience.

Her keys to success:

  • Make sure that the interview process is challenging and engaging
  • Prep interviewers and hiring managers so everyone is clear about company goals for the position what what areas they should assess for
  • Be sure interviewers also *sell* the company and opportunity
  • Maintain consistent communication throughout the process.
  • Candidates should move through the process with a clear understanding of the role and how it would contribute to their professional development career goals.




Fend Off Job-Hopping With Engagement

The topic of job hopping comes up often. Hiring takes time and resources, so it's natural for employers to want to keep the good talent they find. Yet people are increasingly moving from one job to the next to find that next big opportunity.

Minimizing job hopping is a challenge, but can be done through engagement programs. Smith suggests three approaches for retention:

  • Create strong connections between employees (employee referral programs help)
  • Create strong onboarding programs for new hires
  • Ensure alignment between employee and company values, articulate a shared mission
  • Create a strong culture



Staying Sharp Through Connections

Smith is attending LinkedIn Talent Connect next week for the latest insights into talent acquisition. Connect with her at the conference to get more insights on successful recruiting strategies in Silicon Valley.

If you'll be there, tweet @goodhiretweets #TalentConnect to tell us your takeaways. Even if you're not attending, share your recruiting tips with us (or follow ours) #BuildGreatTeams. "‹

Lauren Small

Lauren Small


Lauren Small is a content and social media expert who writes about hiring, onboarding, and HR best practices. Lauren comes by her HR insight honestly, having observed the culture at diverse employers Amazon, HubSpot, and GoodHire’s parent company Inflection.

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