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To Beat the Competition, You Need to Kick Butt at Hiring

For most companies, attracting the most desirable candidates requires some specific tactics. Luckily, it's not that complicated.
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In the war for talent, it is a dog-eat-dog world. With such fierce competition, companies are trying all sorts of tactics to lure top-talent to join their mission. The reason being is that without the right people on the team, a startup – no matter how great the concept may be – could be doomed.

For most companies, attracting the most desirable candidates requires some specific tactics. Luckily, it's not that complicated.

Here are a few simple tactics you can employ while recruiting.

Related: 9 Questions to Ask Candidates' References

Greet them like you mean it. In many cases, people aren’t treated well or made to feel welcome. They’re ushered to a silent lobby or sit in an open space where not a soul offers a greeting or glass of water. That sends the wrong message. You want to make them feel at home, so provide the right experience from the moment a candidate walks through the door. Make sure anyone walking by takes a second to say hello. Offer a drink or designate someone to give a tour of the office while the candidate waits for the interview to begin. Above all, be friendly. Remember: Even if you don’t hire the person for this particular role, you want them to tell their friends what a great experience they had at your company.

Related: 7 Tips for Hiring the Team Your Startup Needs to Succeed

Be effective vs. efficient. Candidates are human and want to be treated as if you care. Don’t just run through a set of questions and check the box, do what your mom told you when you were in elementary school: Treat people the way you would like to be treated. Get to know a potential hire’s spouse and other important facets of his or her personal life. If hired, these people may spend the next four to five years of their career at your company, so make sure you give them the respect they deserve.

Kick things up a notch. When it comes to executives and top-level talent, move things beyond meeting over coffee or lunch. Plan a day trip to Napa with a candidate and his or her partner or invite them to join you with box seats for the local sports team. Feel free to get creative but make sure you understand the interests of your potential hire.

Know your limits. Be realistic about where your company fits in the pecking order. Every founder says their company is the next zillion-dollar company that will change the world. The reality is very few do. The best candidates evaluate deals in the same manner a sophisticated investor would. Sell a position by talking up the things you are able to offer over the competition -- whether that’s work-life balance or a hefty revenue share.

Your relationship with a potential employee starts with recruiting and that can make the difference between you closing with great talent or your competition snatching up that person. If you show candidates that you’re empathetic, invested in their futures and respectful of their time, you’ll be the one to get the cream of the crop.

Related: 10 Steps for Hiring Your Next Rock Star