One of the most common questions hiring companies ask me is how to identify and hire superstars. Over the years, I’ve identified four ingredients in the secret staffing sauce of the most successful companies.


1. Who Loves Ya Baby?

Like a lot of things in life, recruiting at its best is a who-you-know process. Superstar employees develop a great reputation and get a lot of love by word-of-mouth from their customers, coworkers and industry contacts. So many times, they don’t post their resume to a job board to find their next position – they are avid networkers and interested companies court them. Your company needs a person who is connected and plugged into your industry’s grapevine! An experienced, specialized recruiter will be able to tap into this network – not only to recruit, but to qualify candidates via unofficial references only they can obtain.

2.  Time Is Money!

Just like your business development team’s sales cycle, shortening the cycle to hire is critical when engaging top talent! According to Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s Chief Economist, top candidates are gone within 14 days once they hit the job market, even though most companies require between 3-6 weeks to get candidates through the interview process. The best hiring process includes:  consensus by hiring managers and HR/recruiters on decision-making time frames once an interview is complete (48 hours to give a thumbs up or down is ideal), consolidation of a two interview process down to one interview whenever possible and investing in an applicant tracking systems like Google Hire, Bamboo or Jobvite so all parties can provide real-time feedback and updates.

3.  Create Online Buzz About Your Culture.

Highlight employees’ accomplishments, company outings and funny office moments on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms. Encourage employees to weave their work experiences into their personal social media narratives. This builds your company’s brand and culture, which directly feeds into your recruitment efforts.

4.  Develop an employee referral rewards program.

The best companies leverage their own employees as brand ambassadors to attract new talent – and offer experiential rewards, not cash – for successful referrals. For instance, Google piloted offering dinner for two, gifts like a Nexus 7 tablet or get-away trips, instead of the obligatory $500.00 bonus. Employees rated the experiential rewards as more fun and meaningful because they had an emotional impact vs. the cognitive impact of just cold cash.