7 Ways to Discover Top Talent. Hey, guys. I’m Syama Meagher and today, I want to talk to you about the seven ways in which you can find the best talent for your startup or growth stage company.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “Well, why do I need to find top talent?” Well, 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 in order to get something done. So while you might be saying to yourself, “I can just staff my company full of, you know, interns,” I’m going to actually encourage you to really take a look at who are the key players that might be able to really add a lot of value to your business.
So let’s unpack this a little bit further. We’ve got sites like Crew and Business of Fashion. We’ve got places like LinkedIn and Craigslist. We’ve also got things like headhunters. Let’s start to unpack what those things are and how you can use them most efficiently.
So one of the first things I want to get out of the way is Craigslist. Craigslist is something that a lot of you guys probably turn to when you’re looking for an apartment, right? Not something you always think about when it’s time to look for jobs. Well, Craigslist, guys, can be one of the most inexpensive ways to find talent simply because it costs between 25 to 45 bucks in order to post something.
Now, 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 have that in the post, and that way, you can be sure to get really the right people to respond to that posting.
I would also make sure that you write in that posting 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, certainly depending on what the role is that you’re filling.
I can tell you guys firsthand I’ve not only hired and worked with people, who I’ve found on Craigslist, who have anywhere from 2 years of experience to 10 years of experience. So don’t discount that as a great platform.
Next, guys, we’ve got LinkedIn. I love LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an amazing asset and tool if you are active on it. Now, if you are not active on LinkedIn, chances are you’re not going to have as much access to all the different secondary and third connections that are possible for you. So 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.
So when you start to search for people who have specific backgrounds, qualifications, or even guys who have worked for specific companies that you want to poach them 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 down the long road.
Third, I love thinking about the theory of weak ties. Now, certainly, LinkedIn is one way of enacting on 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 it’s really those people’s connections. Right? So whether it’s a secondary connection or even a third or fourth connection.
Now, the way that I would enact on that is really by sending out an email. Earlier this year, I went through a round of hiring for the agency and I sent an email out to about 50 different people who 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.”
You know what, guys? I ended up with some amazing referrals and I ended up hiring some of these people and they’ve been with me ever since. So, making sure that you enact and write that great email and get people on your radar to know what you’re looking for will help them really think about it.
Now, the fourth thing I would like to put out there is being able to take use of sites like Business of Fashion, Women’s Wear Daily, and VelvetJobs. These are going to be more curated platforms than just the Craigslist. Now, what’s so amazing about these platforms is that 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 in the fashion and retail industry.
Now, why is that important? Well, it’s important because, in retail, you’re using a totally different language than you would in any other field. The retail language is very different than anyone who’s worked as a paralegal or in a law firm, or anyone who’s ever worked, let’s say, behind the scenes in a doctor’s office or as a receptionist for a different kind of medical company. Right?
So when you’re doing something that has to be more specific or a higher level of understanding and more technical reference points, then I would say look at Business of Fashion, Women’s Wear Daily, VelvetJobs, as a great resource for you to be able to find that more curated talent.
So the next thing I think is so important is taking a look at the next level up from that, and that means looking at headhunters. And headhunters are really important because they are actually the area where you’re going to be able to hire some of that higher VP, C-suite talent, as well as director-level people, especially because it’s really the jobs of these headhunters to go out there and recruit from places and find people who have amazing experiences and background.
Chances are, guys when you’re working with these headhunters though, you will 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 really match you up with the right talent.
So when we think about the different levels of engagement, right, we think about the Craigslist, which kinda puts you in front of a whole massive audience, we think about the Business of Fashion job boards, Women’s Wear Daily job boards, again, are more specific and help to tailor the backgrounds. But then the next level up is places like Fourth Floor Fashion, 24 Seven, and even JBCStyle, which actually finds and connects you to the right people.
Now, right now, we’ve only been talking about finding people, let’s say, for specific roles that have to do really very much so with things that have that retail background, that retail language, but there are two other platforms that I think are worthwhile to mention when it comes to finding design talent.
One is called Crew. It’s a great online site. It 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.
And lastly, guys, on this list, we’ve got Upwork. Now, most of you guys might be saying, “Well, isn’t Upwork just so much like Craigslist? It’s just a huge, massive place where there are so many people looking for jobs.” I suggest using Upwork more proactively rather than reactively. Meaning, as opposed to having a job post and you just put it up there and wait for everyone to get in touch with you, I say go out there and actually look and find and approach the people who you want to interview.
Upwork is amazing to find, again, a globalized 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, and I think it can be an amazing channel for you to find top talent that is in another country, they’re even sometimes local.
I gotta tell you, guys, 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, guys, I found her on Upwork.
All right. Hopefully, you got some amazing tips and ideas on how to go ahead and activate and find some top talent. If you find yourself having difficulty not only figuring out where to find these people but possibly understanding how to build your capacity, right, how to hire the right teams, head on over and shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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”.