By Geetesh Goyal
Human Bees CEO

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a colleague who was looking to recruit more talent at their company. Like so many others who are trying to attract the best talent, my colleague bluntly stated that they “didn’t know where to start.”

This got me thinking. When it comes to recruiting, what is our “secret sauce”? In other words, what are the tried and true strategies we at Human Bees use to place the best people at the right companies? No matter the situation, what can we always depend on to get the job done as effectively as possible?

After taking a little time to think about it, I narrowed it down to 4 key practices for creating an effective recruitment strategy.

1. Speed is Key
I always tell clients that they have a maximum of 10 days (6-7 business days) from when a candidate hits the Hiring Manager’s inbox until they turn into a pumpkin—just like Cinderella at midnight. Whatever your process is, make sure you do all your interviewing, calls, reference checks, etc. within that 10 day timeframe. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is.

I have consulted or worked directly for at least 40 different recruitment departments and, from Fortune 500s to start ups, this is where each one of them fails. A large part of why I was very successful at each of these places was because I made sure that every candidate got through the process within 10 days of resume receipt to offer. Time kills every deal and you will definitely lose top talent if you are not quick on the process. Most companies—especially large ones—can take over 4 weeks to get through their process. And if you can be more agile than they are, you will have a huge competitive advantage. Top talent will be already working at your company while others are still trying to coordinate interview number 7.

2. Make it Personal
You may already be doing this (which is great!), but it’s imperative that you make your job posting personal and catchy. Your postings should reflect the personality of your company. Be charming, don’t be afraid of injecting some humor into it, be real with the potential applicant. This may sound incredibly simple, but you would be amazed by how far this goes.

Remember, potential applicants are human beings—they are just as deep, and complicated, and vibrant as you are. They have hopes, dreams, and distinctive personalities. Appeal to the human side of an applicant and show them that your company is not just a place to show up and get a paycheck, but something much more.

3. Employee Referrals Are Your Best Friend
I cannot emphasize this enough: employee referrals are enormously important. Even though it’s fairly obvious that top talent will know other top talent, companies tend to ignore this or, at the very least, spend an insufficient amount of time leveraging this. This is something that I would experience multiple times a week while at other firms.

Don’t be afraid to go from office to office and ask employees for names. If they have someone in mind, ask about them and drive the initiative to find the amazing talent they know.

If you do not already have a referral bonus program in place, I strongly recommend starting one ASAP. Countless data and metrics have shown that internal referrals are far and away the best hires any company can make.

4. Have a Superstar as Your Point of Contact
It’s important that your initial point of contact for potential employees is the best marketer or sales person in your company. I’ve found that the recruiting and talent acquisition industry is failing so miserably because companies roll their recruitment efforts into HR. I have never understood this!

Recruiting is the most important form of sales and marketing in any company because you’re selling the company to build the heart of your organization. Why wouldn’t you have your best sales or marketing person handle this job?

I strongly recommend that you make your initial point of contact someone who has a warm demeanor, can quickly build rapport, is extremely likeable, and more. You can’t start a fire without a spark, right?