15 Tips to Hiring Rock Star Talent [SLIDESHOW]

August 15, 2013


Small businesses often tell us talent is their most valuable asset. With a lean, efficient team, every person is critical to success. But finding ‘rock star’ talent is a challenge - from identifying  people who fit with your company’s unique values, to competing with big companies’ brands and perks. In addition, many small businesses are in regional centers with less than ample local talent.

To learn more about overcoming these hurdles, we looked to a vibrant regional center: Blacksburg, Virginia. Earlier this year, local business leaders from the Roanoke-Blacksburg area convened for the first LinkedIn Live event, and shared the tactics they use to attract top talent.

Check out the slideshow for a full list of best practices we discussed:

15 Small Business Tips to Hiring Rock Star Talent from LinkedIn for Small Business

Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Develop a clear and honest ‘employee value proposition’. Before you begin the recruiting process, reflect on what’s truly important to your company.  This could be your culture, your mission, your working environment, or your sense of regional identity. Honesty is critical: as one CEO/Founder put it, “stay true to yourself and your team; don’t be something you’re not.” This will help both you and potential candidates assess fit as early as possible.

  2. Size up the market using LinkedIn search. In just 5 minutes, you can get a feel for the availability of candidates fitting your criteria. Knowing whether there are 100, 1000, or 10,000 profiles that meet your needs can shape your recruiting strategy. LinkedIn’s free people search can reveal talented people in your area, using keywords and company, and also expose relationship information such as shared connections and alumni networks.  With Premium search, you can do even more.

  3. Show you’re being selective. In the world of LinkedIn, professionals can see who’s viewing their profile - if you’re looking at them, they’ll likely know it.  Use this to your advantage and sell the job on your LinkedIn profile, or reach out and highlight the specific skills that make them an appealing candidate.

  4. Consider developing less experienced hires. Hiring experienced talent can help guarantee a quality team, but developing young, enthusiastic hires can sometimes yield even better results.  Explore both options and take note of what’s available to you locally - the talent you need might come from a nearby university.

  5. Know when to engage the experts. In some cases, you may not have the time or resources to dedicate to finding your next rock star hire - and that’s OK.  Working with a recruiting agency might be a better fit.  Search for agencies on LinkedIn, review their Company Pages, and check references to find one that’s right for you.

This blog post is the second of a series of three posts, which explore topics covered at LinkedIn Live – a gathering for small businesses and local professionals to share ways to grow their business using LinkedIn. Stay tuned next week to hear what local Roanoke-Blacksburg LinkedIn experts have to say about branding on LinkedIn.

For more tips on how small businesses can find and hire rock star talent, visit us at smallbusiness.linkedin.com, or follow us on Twitter at @LinkedInSMB