Dave Kerpen | The Secret to Effective Recruiting
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The Secret to Effective Recruiting

The Secret to Effective Recruiting


Having the right people in the right seats is the most important job of any leader at an organization. But finding the right talent is much easier said than done. From internal recruiting managers to outsourced recruitment firms, businesses spend lots of time and money finding the perfect people to help their businesses grow.

Likeable Local is in a growth spurt and we’re hiring quickly ourselves. I wanted to get better at our recruiting, so I asked successful leaders for help. The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. I asked members of the YEC what their recruiting secrets were, and this is what they shared:

  1. 1. Always Be Recruiting

Always be recruiting, even if you’re not hiring. At EVENTup, we are always anticipating who our next hire should be. You don’t want to lose out on a superstar just because your team doesn’t necessarily have the spot for them at that specific time. Also, you want to be ready should anyone on your team decide to pursue a different career.

Jayna Cooke, CEO, EVENTup

2. Look Past Their Skills

When recruiting for your company, skills are important. But skills are nothing if the person can’t work on a team or holds vastly different values than the company. When you are interviewing the candidate, look past the hard skills and achievements and look into their values and ability to truly fit within your team. This is the key to lower the turnover rate and increase happiness.

David Tomas, General Manager, Cyberclick

3. Move Quickly

During the recruiting process, it is important to move quickly. The best candidates get lots of offers, so if you want them to join your company you shouldn’t expect them wait for you. If it takes you weeks to get back to someone, they are not going to feel like you are serious about them.

Matthew Weinberg, Co-Founder and Partner, Development, Vector Media Group

4. Don’t Settle

It’s better to leave a position unfilled until you find the perfect fit. Get current team members to fill in during the interim. If you hastily hire the wrong person, you’ll be back to recruiting again in no time, which is a waste of both time and money.

Andrew Schrage, Co-Owner, Money Crashers Personal Finance

5. Make Sure Your Are Recruiting Effectively

Having a set process that you abide by is the key to effective recruiting. Your process should include recruiting based on your culture, recruiting in multiple places (at events, multiple online venues, etc.), having an efficient interviewing process with standardized criteria and encouraging EVERY member of your team to always be recruiting (we include it as part of their job performance).

– Kevin Conner, CEO / FOUnder, WireSeek

6. Actively Source Great Fits

Hiring is a process, not an event. Our motto is to hire slow and fire quickly, so we are always recruiting and looking for the next A-player to help our team get to the next level. You should also be recruiting people who are already employed, not just people looking for a job. People who are successfully employed are likely strong performers. – Nick Friedman, President, College Hunks Hauling Junk

7. Strive to Balance Clear Requirements With an Open Mind

It goes without saying that a clear vision of what you want before beginning any search will make for the most successful outcomes. However, balancing this with keeping an open-mind is the real key. If the set of requirements for an ideal candidate is too rigid, you may miss out on certain people with unique talents, backgrounds or approaches who might prove to be “perfect” with training and time.

Peggy Shell, CEO & Founder, Creative Alignments

8. Be Able to Look Past Industries

Great people are all around us, and sometimes even stuck in bad places. It is often a leader’s inability to look outside of their industry that prevents them from finding the best talent. Find people who are great at other companies with similar core values; not products and services.

Pejman Ghadimi, CEO, Secret Entourage

9. Don’t Try to Appeal to Everyone

Many companies are worried about turning candidates away by being too bold or opinionated. We’ve taken the opposite approach. We try to lay out whatever we can about our hiring process, culture, etc. (warts and all). We know some candidates self-select out, but we think that’s a good thing. And the ones who decide to continue on with our process are more likely to accept an offer.

Bhavin Parikh, CEO and Co-founder , Magoosh Inc

10. Find a Balance Between Who You Need and What Candidates Want

Make sure the candidates you want both have the skills to do the work you need and will the job. You need to target people for whom the opportunity you’re offering is truly something they would be interested in. Ask your top employees why they work at your company. Find the common themes and use them to determine who to target and how to get them excited about joining you.

Jessica Stielau, CEO, The Sourcery

11. Hold Group Interviews

Group interviews that include one candidate and several members of your team can be a great way to gauge how well new recruits are going to mesh with the current culture. You want to recruit someone who is going to work well with everyone there, and watching them get along before the job offer is extended can give you insight into how well they would work with the current team.

Matt Doyle, Vice President, Co-Founder, Excel Builders

12. Pitch Your Company’s Vision

To get the employees with the skill sets your company needs, you need to truly sell your company to the individual during the interview. Use a follow-up interview to sell the benefits of working for your company as opposed to another. Yes, the salary may be your strongest selling point, but every company has intangible benefits that can sway the potential hire to work for you.

Patrick Barnhill, President, Specialist ID, Inc.


These are the strategies that these 12 leaders use to recruit great talent. What are your strategies for recruiting? How about your strategies for getting recruited? Let me know your thoughts in the Comments sections below, and please share this post with your network!

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