How to Hire Outliers – A Complete Guide on Innovative Hiring

Explore ‘How to Hire Outliers – A Complete Guide’ to master the art of identifying, attracting, and retaining outlier talent with a candidate-centric approach.

In the competitive world of talent acquisition, organizations are continuously searching for strategies to attract outliers – the candidates who stand apart from the crowd and drive extraordinary value. These high performers, innovators, and game-changers aren’t just looking for a job; they’re seeking a journey, an experience that aligns with their aspirations, values, and growth trajectory.

Welcome to the era of a ‘candidate centric experience’ approach in recruitment. It’s an approach that’s turns the spotlight onto the candidate’s journey – ensuring it’s tailored, engaging, and memorable. This change in focus is a paradigm shift – a whole new way to think about recruitment.

In this discussion, we will delve into what it means to become candidate experience centric, how to define your ideal candidate, and how to design the journey that leads them right to your business’s doorstep. So, if you’re an organization looking to attract outlier talent, read on, we’re about to embark on an insightful journey that could change your recruitment game.

Table of Contents

Uncovering the Outlier Mindset

Before diving into the world of outliers, it’s vital to first understand their mindset. Outliers aren’t simply candidates with impressive qualifications or experiences. They are professionals who think and operate differently, often pushing the boundaries of what’s considered ‘normal’ in their industry. Understanding this mindset can help businesses tailor their recruitment strategies and create work environments where outliers can thrive.

Outliers typically share several key traits:

  1. Curiosity and a love for learning: Outliers are insatiably curious. They ask questions, seek new knowledge, and constantly look for ways to expand their skills.
  2. Proactive problem-solving: Outliers enjoy challenges. They’re often the first to volunteer for complex tasks and have a knack for finding unique solutions to problems.
  3. Strategic thinking: Outliers don’t just focus on their immediate tasks. They think about how their work fits into the larger picture, which often leads them to devise new strategies or improvements.
  4. Innovation and creativity: Outliers tend not to be satisfied with the status quo. They’re always brainstorming new ideas, exploring innovative approaches, and pushing the limits of what’s possible.
  5. Resilience: Outliers are not deterred by failure. They see it as a learning opportunity, bouncing back with renewed determination and often a fresh perspective.

Understanding these traits can help businesses attract outliers by appealing to their motivations and creating work environments that cater to their unique mindset.

Define Your Ideal Candidate

Before you can attract outlier candidates, you first need to define what an ideal candidate looks like for your specific company and roles. This extends beyond merely listing desired skills or experiences. It’s about identifying the traits, values, and motivations that align with your company culture and vision, and determining where that person might spend their free time.

To define your ideal candidate:

  1. Understand your company’s needs and goals: What skills, expertise, and attributes are crucial for your company’s growth and success?
  2. Evaluate successful employees: Look at your current top performers. What makes them successful? These traits can help you define your ideal candidate profile.
  3. Consider company culture and values: Cultural fit is essential. Your ideal candidate should resonate with your company’s mission, vision, and core values.
  4. Identify key traits of outliers: As we’ve discussed, outliers often possess certain characteristics such as curiosity, resilience, innovative thinking, and a love for learning.

Once you’ve defined your ideal candidate, everything from your job descriptions to your interview process can be tailored to attract and identify these outliers.

Outliers are Typically Researching New Technologies in Your Industry

A key characteristic of outlier candidates is their interest in, and often mastery of, new technologies. Outliers are always pushing the boundaries of their field, and they often do so by staying ahead of technology trends.

Outliers might be found researching new technologies in various ways:

  1. Professional Development: Outliers often take classes, attend workshops, or earn certifications in new technologies to ensure they’re always on the cutting edge.
  2. Networking: Outliers tend to have strong professional networks. They often learn about new technologies through discussions with colleagues or industry leaders, both offline and online.
  3. Industry Events: Outliers frequently attend conferences, seminars, and other industry events where the latest technologies are showcased and discussed.
  4. Online Platforms: Websites, blogs, forums, and social media are all popular platforms for learning about new technologies. Outliers often follow industry influencers, subscribe to tech news sites, and participate in online communities related to their field.
  5. Hands-On Experimentation: Many outliers learn best by doing. They might use free trials, beta tests, or personal projects to get hands-on experience with new technologies.

To attract outliers, businesses should showcase their commitment to staying on the cutting edge of technology. Highlighting your company’s technological prowess and future-focused strategy can be a key factor in appealing to these high-value candidates. By fostering a culture of innovation, you show outliers that they can continue to grow and stay ahead of the technology curve with your company.

High Signal vs High Volume Funnels

In the quest to source the perfect candidate, it’s critical to understand the intricacies of different recruitment funnel types. Two key funnel categories are High Signal Funnels and High Volume Funnels. Each has unique attributes and can be leveraged for specific recruitment scenarios, ensuring you get the most out of your talent acquisition strategy.

High Signal Funnels: The Fast-Track Approach

High Signal Funnels are designed for those candidates who are already actively engaged in learning or performing a skill that your organization urgently needs. These candidates are high-value outliers, showing a high degree of relevance and potential for the role you’re looking to fill.

Our approach to High Signal Funnels is to fast-track these candidates into interviews. This strategy respects the candidate’s time and potential, ensuring they don’t get lost in the shuffle of conventional recruitment processes.

The objective here is to reduce barriers, expedite the recruitment timeline, and enable these high-signal candidates to get in front of decision-makers promptly.

An example of a High Signal Funnel would be a highly targeted jobs ad that produces few candidates with high qualifications.

High Volume Funnels: The Distinction Journey

High Volume Funnels, on the other hand, are necessary when dealing with a large number of applicants for a particular role. While the sheer volume can be overwhelming, it’s essential to ensure no potential gem goes unnoticed.

To manage these funnels effectively, we propose creating alternative user journeys that allow candidates to stand out. This approach might include creating opportunities for candidates to showcase unique skills, demonstrate their commitment to learning, or exhibit creative problem-solving abilities. By providing multiple paths to success, we enable each candidate to have their moment in the spotlight.

The goal of a High Volume Funnel strategy is to ensure each candidate has the opportunity to demonstrate their distinct value, allowing outliers to rise to the surface even amidst a sea of applicants.

An example of a High Volume Funnel would be a remote job posting that produces more candidates than you can effectively sort through.

By understanding and utilizing High Signal and High Volume funnels, you can ensure your recruitment strategy is responsive, adaptable, and efficient, capable of identifying and securing the best talent, irrespective of the recruitment scenario.

Set Up a Funnel For Your Ideal Candidate

After defining your ideal candidate, the next step is to establish a candidate funnel – a strategic process to attract, engage, and convert these high-value candidates.

Here’s how you can set up an effective candidate funnel:

  1. Awareness: First, ensure your company and opportunities are visible where your ideal candidates are. This could be on specific online educational content, job boards, social media platforms, professional groups, or industry events. Also, consider SEO optimization for your job postings to increase their visibility.
  2. Attraction: Develop compelling funnels or job descriptions and employer branding materials that resonate with your ideal candidates. Showcase what makes your company unique and why it’s a great place to work, especially for outliers.
  3. Qualification: Qualify your candidates with the source of the funnel in mind.
    For High Signal Funnels – i.e. learning or performing a skill you need to hire for, consider fast-tracking the candidates into interviews.
    For High Volume Funnels – consider making alternative user journeys to help candidates stand out.
  4. Engagement: Engage candidates with personalized communication and a streamlined application process. Keep candidates updated throughout the process to maintain their interest and show respect for their time.
  5. Conversion: This is the actual hiring of candidates. Make it a positive experience by providing clear communication, respectful interactions, offers, and prompt feedback.
  6. Retention: Once you’ve hired an outlier, the journey isn’t over. Keep them engaged and committed through effective onboarding, opportunities for professional development, and a supportive work environment.

Remember, a successful candidate funnel isn’t static. It should be continuously monitored, analyzed, and optimized based on performance and changing business needs. This strategic approach to recruitment can help you effectively attract and secure your ideal outlier candidates.

Design the Candidate’s Journey

Creating a positive candidate journey involves several touchpoints, each offering an opportunity to engage the candidate and enhance their experience. Here’s how you can design this journey:

  1. First Impression Matters: Make sure your job postings, company website, and social media profiles provide a positive and accurate representation of your organization.
  2. Transparent Application Process: Make the application process intuitive and straightforward. Clearly outline the steps involved, the timeline, and what candidates should expect at each stage.
  3. Communicate Actively: Regular, transparent communication can make candidates feel valued and involved. Keep them informed about their application status, provide constructive feedback, and be responsive to their queries.
  4. Provide an Engaging Interview Experience: The interview is not just an opportunity for you to assess the candidate, but also for them to assess you. Make it interactive, respectful, and insightful.
  5. Feedback and Follow-Up: Post-interview, provide candidates with feedback, irrespective of the outcome. If they have been successful, guide them through the next steps.

By becoming candidate experience centric, you’re making a commitment to treat candidates as valued customers of your brand. This approach is vital to attract outliers – these high-performing individuals are not only looking for a job but also an engaging journey that provides them growth, appreciation, and satisfaction.

Use Data Analytics to Track Candidate Journeys

In the pursuit of outlier candidates, understanding and leveraging data can be a significant differentiator. Data analytics provides meaningful insights into candidate behaviors, preferences, and interaction patterns throughout their journey, enabling you to enhance your recruitment strategies effectively.

Here’s how you can use data analytics to track user journeys:

  1. Identifying Top Channels: You must know the original source of a candidate. Data analytics can help you identify which platforms and channels are most effective in attracting potential candidates. By focusing your efforts on these high-performing channels, you can optimize your recruitment marketing strategy.
  2. Improving Candidate Experience: By tracking the candidate journey, you can pinpoint any bottlenecks or hurdles that may be causing candidates to drop off. Whether it’s a complicated application form or a lack of communication, addressing these issues can enhance candidate experience and keep top talent engaged.
  3. Personalizing Communication: Analytics can provide insights into candidate preferences, enabling you to tailor your communication and engagement strategies accordingly. Personalized communication can significantly enhance candidate relationships and foster a positive brand image.
  4. Predictive Analytics: Data analytics can also provide predictive insights, helping you forecast hiring trends and talent needs. This can be invaluable in planning your recruitment strategy and staying ahead of the competition.
  5. Measuring Success: Finally, data analytics is key to measuring the success of your recruitment efforts. By tracking metrics like source of hire, time to fill, and quality of hire, you can assess the effectiveness of your strategies and make necessary adjustments.

Remember, data is only as good as the insights you derive from it and the actions you take based on those insights. By leveraging data analytics to track user journeys, you can create a more candidate-centric recruitment process, increasing your chances of attracting and securing those elusive outlier candidates.

Include Multi-Layered ‘Outlier Detection’ Methods

Finding outlier candidates requires a keen eye and an innovative approach to candidate screening. It involves going beyond the traditional methods of resume screening and interviews. This is where multi-layered outlier detection methods come in. These methods can be a game-changer in identifying high-value candidates that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Here’s how you can incorporate multi-layered detection methods into your recruitment process:

  1. Behavioral Assessments: These can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, creativity, and motivation – all key traits of outliers.
  2. Social Media Screening: A candidate’s online presence can reveal a lot about their interests, values, and even their knowledge about your industry. Look for signs of thought leadership, active learning, and a passion for your field.
  3. Skill Tests and Challenges: Offering real-world problems to solve or tasks to complete can help you assess a candidate’s skills and creativity. Outliers often shine in these situations, revealing their ability to think outside the box.
  4. Referrals and Recommendations: Outliers often have strong professional networks and can come highly recommended. Encourage referrals within your organization and consider recommendations on platforms like LinkedIn.
  5. One-on-One Interviews: A well-structured interview can reveal much about a candidate’s mindset, problem-solving skills, and passion for your industry. Prepare thought-provoking questions that allow the candidate to showcase their innovative thinking.
  6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools: Modern recruitment tools powered by AI can analyze a wealth of data to help identify outliers. These tools can assess everything from a candidate’s qualifications to their online activities, helping you find candidates who demonstrate outlier traits.

Remember, it’s not just about identifying outliers, but also about creating an environment where they can reveal their true potential. By using multi-layered detection methods, you’ll ensure that your recruitment process is equipped to spot these high-value candidates and give them the platform to shine.

Leveraging Automation for a Sustainable, Scalable Recruitment Process

In the fast-paced world of talent acquisition, efficiency is key. Automation can play a vital role in streamlining your recruitment process, helping you identify and attract outlier candidates in a sustainable and scalable way.

Here’s how you can leverage automation:

  1. Automated Job Postings: Automated systems can post your job listings across multiple platforms at once, ensuring broad visibility and saving you valuable time.
  2. Candidate Sourcing: AI-powered tools can sift through vast amounts of data to identify potential outlier candidates, reducing the manual workload for your recruitment team.
  3. Application Screening: Automation can help you filter applications based on preset criteria, allowing your team to focus on candidates who match your ideal profile.
  4. Scheduling Interviews: Scheduling tools can automate the process of setting up interviews, reducing back-and-forth communication and minimizing the chances of errors or double-bookings.
  5. Candidate Communication: Automating certain aspects of candidate communication, like sending acknowledgment emails or updates on application status, ensures timely responses and enhances candidate experience.
  6. Candidate Database Management: Automated systems can efficiently manage and update candidate databases, making it easier to track candidate journeys and maintain a talent pool for future opportunities.
  7. Analytics and Reporting: Automated analytics can provide valuable insights on your recruitment process, helping you identify bottlenecks, monitor key metrics, and make data-driven decisions.

While automation can streamline many aspects of the recruitment process, it’s crucial to maintain a human touch. After all, recruitment is not just about filling roles; it’s about building relationships. Striking the right balance between automation and personal interaction can result in a recruitment process that is not only efficient and scalable, but also candidate-friendly, increasing your chances of attracting and securing outlier talent.

A Long-Term Commitment to Attracting & Retaining Outliers: Building Sustainable Talent Pools

Attracting outlier candidates isn’t a one-off event; it’s a long-term commitment that requires continuous effort, refinement, and dedication. However, attracting top talent is just one part of the equation. The bigger challenge often lies in retaining these outliers, ensuring they remain engaged, motivated, and committed to your organization in the long run.

At Hire Innovative, we believe in establishing sustainable strategies to attract and retain exceptional talents. Our approach isn’t just about filling a vacancy today; it’s about building a talent pool that will drive your organization’s growth and success tomorrow.

Attracting Outliers: A Never-Ending Process

The process of attracting outliers is a dynamic one. The labor market evolves, technology advances, and industry needs shift. Therefore, our approach to attracting outliers must be flexible, adaptable, and forward-looking.

From understanding the evolving market trends to staying abreast of new technologies, and tailoring our recruitment strategies accordingly, we are dedicated to staying one step ahead in the talent acquisition game. Our advanced analytics, industry insights, and proven methodologies ensure we’re always ready to connect with the outliers who are destined to make a difference.

Retaining Outliers: A Long-Term Strategy

Once you’ve attracted the outliers, the goal is to keep them. This is where a comprehensive retention strategy comes into play. At Hire Innovative, we understand that retaining top talent involves more than competitive compensation. It’s about fostering an environment where outliers feel valued, are continually challenged, and see opportunities for growth and advancement.

Our retention strategies are personalized, recognizing that what motivates and satisfies one outlier may not work for another. We advocate for open communication, regular feedback, continuous learning opportunities, and a culture that celebrates individuality and innovation. It’s these elements that keep outliers engaged and committed in the long term.

Final Takeaways and Next Steps for Businesses

In conclusion, attracting and retaining outliers is no small feat. It requires a thoughtful and multi-faceted approach, combining innovative recruitment strategies with an engaging and inclusive company culture.

Here are some key takeaways for businesses:

  1. Craft a clear definition of your ideal candidate: Know what you’re looking for. Define the attributes and traits that make an outlier candidate for your business.
  2. Build Your Funnels: Whether they have a broad appeal or are highly targeted, simple job postings are not going to perform as well as specifically designed candidate funnels.
  3. Leverage data and technology: Use data analytics to understand candidate behavior and automate processes where possible. This can streamline your recruitment process and provide valuable insights.
  4. Implement a multi-layered detection strategy: Go beyond traditional methods of candidate screening to identify outliers. Use a combination of tests, challenges, and interviews to assess a candidate’s potential.
  5. Create a sustainable and scalable recruitment process: Your process should be designed to attract and engage outliers in the long term. This means continuous improvement, flexibility, and scalability are essential.
  6. Commit to retention: Finally, focus on creating an environment where outliers can thrive. This involves continuous learning opportunities, recognition, and inclusivity.

By adopting these strategies, businesses can attract and retain outlier candidates, unlocking a wealth of innovation, creativity, and performance that can drive their success. Your commitment to this journey will determine the value and impact you derive from these exceptional individuals.

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