What Homewreckers Can Teach You About Recruiting

Dec 18, 2014 -
More than likely you’ve heard one of your single friends lament, “All the best men are taken.” Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself. But have you ever thought the same might be true for recruiting? As Noah Kagan of AppSumo points out: “All the best employees are already working somewhere.” Kagan is currently on a mission to hire the best people in the world, because he knows “that the best people output significantly more and can grow a business 100x more than a just-okay person.” That’s not news to any of you, though; you know you want to hire the best people in the world. The big question is: How are you going to do it?

How to attract the best people in the world

Kagan, who worked at Facebook and Mint before founding AppSumo, has an interesting approach. He compares luring an outstanding employee away from a satisfying job to seducing someone into leaving a committed marriage. If you want to attract the world’s best people, he says you need to ask: “How do you make yourself sexy enough that the best people are attracted to you? Or in terms of relationships, how would you break up a happy marriage?” With this in mind, Kagan offers four simple -- yet smart -- tips you can implement today to find your dream hire:
  1. Look for people you already like: In other words, think about people you’ve enjoyed working with from other companies, and start a relationship with them now. As Kagan advises, “Ultimately the best people are working and aren’t going to quit immediately so you have to plant seeds today.”
  2. Look for people that already like you: Reach out to everyone, including your friends and family, current customers, Twitter followers, and email subscribers. In the full article, he offers tips for figuring out which members of your community would be a good fit.
  3. Ask the best people you know for referrals: Kagan explains this perfectly: “Great people tend to associate with great people. Also, there’s a trusted implication when someone refers someone they’ve worked with already.”
  4. Make a sexy (jobs and about) page: The best people aren’t looking at jobs pages, because as we reviewed earlier, they’re already in jobs they like. So make your jobs and about pages shareable; according to Kagan, the best ones “sell a story” and are “genuinely you.”
And just so you know, no one is endorsing homewrecking here. What we are endorsing? A creative approach to recruiting the best employees for your business. Which one of these tips is your favorite? Any you haven’t tried? Susan Shain (@TravlJunkette) is a travel blogger who loves helping people discover adventure through international travel or alternative careers.