How to Find High-Performing Talent that Sticks

If you’re on the hunt for the best talent in the job market, you need to employ strategies that are more than the status quo. Learn how to attract and identify new, high-performing talent that will stick around.

by Samantha Roberts — April 27, 2023

Spring always brings in the new, and this season we see many new graduates join the talent market. And if you’re looking to engage with new talent, you need to employ strategies that go beyond simply reading a list of experiences. Keep reading to learn how to attract and identify new, high-performing talent that will stay at your organization. 

The first step in the talent acquisition process is for you as an organization to ask yourself: Am I attracting high-potential candidates? 

This type of talent is looking for a place where they can develop themselves professionally, so if there are clear growth opportunities in the role, make sure to highlight them on the job ad. The development opportunities your organization provides should be a part of your employer brand. If a role does not offer much growth to a higher position, what else can you offer? Maybe it’s training opportunities, a learning budget, networking conferences, etc. Access to growth and learning will immediately grab the interest of high-performing talent.


The Importance of Nice to and Need to Have

When creating the job ad, really think about the nice to have vs. the need to have. Say you have an entry-level position in your Finance department. You really need someone who can ramp up quickly as there is a growing pile of work, so it would be really helpful if they already had experience with the software your company uses. 

Our recommended reading: Hiring Success.

Yes, this would be nice to have, but including this experience on your list of job, requirements could discourage high-potential candidates that are new to the job market from applying. Challenge yourself to think about what you actually need in this situation, which is someone who is a quick learner and can work autonomously, which are both skills you can screen for.

With this in mind, consider removing the requirement from the job ad altogether, or even separating the job requirements section into nice to have and need to have to not discourage a candidate that could be your answer.


A Note on Salary Range

Most new graduates have limited experience in the job market, so information is everything. A great and easy way to show you are an employer that understands their need for information is to publish the salary range for the position in the job ad, whether it is required in your geo-location or not. This saves candidates time they would spend researching this information and also sets proper expectations before you even interview them. Today’s new graduates have high expectations of their future employers, and know that salary can be a deal breaker, so demonstrating your openness and transparency will attract these high-achievers to your organization. 


Look for CVs/Resumes that Show Value, Not Just Tasks

Now that you’ve repositioned yourself to attract new high-potential talent, you can focus on identifying the high-achievers in the application phase. When reviewing CVs, new talent on the market may not have a long list of work experience, so focus on how they are describing the work experience they do have. Are they simply listing daily tasks or are they highlighting their accomplishments? Look for indicators that they took ownership or leadership opportunities, in work and in their studies. 


The Art of a Reliable LinkedIn Profile

Looking at a candidate’s LinkedIn profiles is another great way to spot high-achieving talent. What really stands out to me is a profile that has been personalized. If I can read their About section and get a sense of their personality, and a clear picture of their desired role and career goals, I get excited! This indicates a candidate who is self-aware and has a growth mindset, which are fundamental qualities of high-achieving talent. 


Assessing Potential in the Interview

The last step is how to interview new talent when there is not a lot of work experience to draw on. Focusing on value fit is a great way to assess a candidate’s potential. To do this, the first step is to understand how your company values translate into attributes that you can interview for. 

Try Performance-Based Hiring. Read the Blink.

For example at Blinkist, one of our values is to Just Get It Done. In our day-to-day, this means we aim to simplify, move quickly, and avoid over-discussing. Therefore in an interview, we focus on evaluating if the candidate is the type of person to take action. 

Once you’ve translated your values into attributes, you can define how you’ll assess them in the interview. Because the work experience for new graduates may be limited, follow up questions are a great way to help you assess value fit. Continuing with the Just Get It Done example, if you’ve asked the candidate to describe a time when they solved a problem at work, dig a bit deeper and ask, what was your first step after identifying that there was a problem? What did you do when you hit a roadblock? These types of questions help assess if they took action themselves or were just completing an assigned task. 


Now It’s Your Turn

Attracting new and hungry talent is a win-win that will drive innovation at your organization and bring essential growth for teams. Combining all of the strategies outlined above will help you catch the interest of and identify high-potential talent that will grow with your organization, hopefully for years to come.


Samantha Roberts is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Blinkist, driving the end-to-end recruiting process. She loves to travel and is originally from the West Coast of the United States.

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