Why do you need top talent? Top talent is really the difference between taking six months to a year to get something done right versus having it done right the first time and having it take six to eight weeks to get something done. While you may think you can just staff your company full of interns, I’m going to encourage you to really take a look at who the key players are that might be able to really add a lot of value to your business.
One of the first things I want to get out of the way is Craigslist. Craigslist is something a lot of you probably turn to when you’re looking for an apartment. It’s not something you always think about when it’s time to look for jobs. Still, Craigslist can be one of the most inexpensive ways to find talent simply because it costs between $25-45 to post something.
You might be getting an influx of responses and people. However, I would say be really clear and specific about what you’re looking for in that post. Don’t be vague. Don’t speak in generalities. If you want very specific things, then simply include them in the post, that way you can be sure to get really the right people to respond to your posting.
I would also make sure you write that you will not be contacting people unless you want to move forward with an interview. This should prevent you from feeling obligated to respond to the upwards of 50 to 100 different resumes you might be getting in your inbox, depending on what the role is you’re trying to fill.
I can tell you firsthand I’ve hired and worked with people I found on Craigslist who have anywhere from 2 to 10 years of experience. Don’t discount it as a great platform.
I love LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an amazing asset and tool if you’re active on it. If you’re not active on LinkedIn, chances are you’re not going to have as much access to many different secondary and tertiary connections. I would say before you turn to LinkedIn to find a job or to find someone for that job, you might want to think about activating your profile, making sure you have a ton of connections.
When you start to search for people who have specific backgrounds, qualifications, or even people who have worked for specific companies you want to poach from, you’ll be able to tap in and access those networks. LinkedIn is only as good as the strength of your connections so activate on LinkedIn today. It’ll help you so much more in the long run.
The Theory of Weak Ties
I love thinking about the theory of weak ties. LinkedIn is one way of leveraging the theory of weak ties, which is really that it’s not just the people who you know intimately who you can hire and work with, but really those people’s connections- whether that’s a secondary connection or even a tertiary or quaternary connection.
Also send out emails to your network. Earlier this year, I went through a round of hiring for the agency and sent an email out to about 50 different people I knew. Former colleagues, colleagues, friends of mine in the industry, and said, “Hey. These are all the different areas in which I’m looking to hire someone.”
I ended up with some amazing referrals and ended up hiring some of these people and they’ve been with me ever since. Write that great email and get people on your radar to know what you’re looking for so they can help.
Industry Job Sites
Also look to fashion industry job sites including The Business of Fashion, Women’s Wear Daily, and VelvetJobs. These are going to be more curated platforms than Craigslist. What’s so amazing about these platforms is you’re not going to get a whole host of people with a lot of different backgrounds. You’re going to get people really specific to fashion and retail. This is important because we’re using a totally different language in retail than in any other field. The retail language is very different than that of anyone who has worked as a paralegal at a law firm, or anyone who has ever worked behind the scenes in a doctor’s office.
When you’re doing something that has to be more specific or at a higher level of understanding with more technical reference points, look at The Business of Fashion, Women’s Wear Daily and VelvetJobs as great resources for you to be able to find more curated talent.
The next level up from that is looking at headhunters. Headhunters are really important because they’ll help you hire some of that higher VP, C-suite talent, as well as director-level professionals, especially because it’s really the jobs of these headhunters to go out there and recruit from places and find people with amazing experiences and backgrounds.
However, chances are you’ll be paying a little bit of a surcharge. Usually, anywhere between 10% and 20% of that salary for the year goes towards that headhunter for being able to find and match you up with the right talent.
Fashion Industry Job Boards
When we think about the different levels of engagement, we think about Craigslist, which puts you in front of a mass audience, we think about the industry-specific job boards, and then the next level up is places like Fourth Floor Fashion, 24 Seven, and even JBCStyle, which finds and connects you to the right people.
Design Talent Websites
Crew is a great online site that aggregates talent from all over the world. You’re able to find amazing graphic designers, amazing web developers, and they’ll really help to match you one-on-one with the project that you’re looking for. Now, what I love so much about Crew is that it doesn’t just give you exposure to a huge variety of talent. They actually go through and help align and match you up with the people who could be the best fit.
Upwork is a massive place where there are so many people looking for jobs so I suggest using it in a more proactive fashion than reactively. Meaning, as opposed to making a job post and waiting for everyone to get in touch with you, get out there and actually approach the people who you want to interview.
Upwork is amazing for accessing a global network of talent. You can see how other people have reviewed them. You can also see what they’re proficient in and what their areas of strength and expertise are. It can be an amazing channel to find top talent in another country and sometimes they’re even local.
I found my amazing accountant through Upwork. It was so fantastic to meet her. She is local. And the one thing that I thought was so great about being able to use Upwork is I really just use it as a platform to get connected to her. We have Skype phone calls. We work so intimately on the business together and she’s become such a valuable part of what we do, and yet- I found her on Upwork.
If you find yourself having difficulty not only figuring out where to find these people but possibly understanding how to build your capacity and how to hire the right teams, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve helped our clients hire assistants and figure out the right hiring timeframes in terms of their respective budgets and timelines. We can help your business grow and scale to the next level.
Now that you know where to discover top talent, here’s a freebie to help you find the right ones for your fashion business. Download “Top 10 Questions to Ask Potential Hires”.