How Do You Recruit Great Talent? You Create It.

How Do You Recruit Great Talent? You Create It.

If a company wants to recruit top talent, it must attract and retain a workforce that offers gender, racial, and ethnic diversity.

If you want to recruit top talent, you need to go beyond reviewing a pool of candidates. That was the main takeaway from a panel discussion featuring experts in the active-outdoors industries. Instead, hiring great people requires companies to attract and retain a workforce that offers gender, racial, and ethnic diversity. A workforce that will, in turn, speak to a broader and more diverse customer base.

On the panel were Joyce Chew, Talent Acquisition Director at REI, Tasha Benson, Talent Acquisition Senior Manager at Timberland, and Justin Worthley, Human Resources Vice President at Burton Snowboards.

1. Know your employer value proposition

By offering flextime and telecommuting options, Timberland supports a healthy work-life balance. Additional benefits such as on-site child-care, dry-cleaning, and chiropractic services send a clear message that the company believes in the holistic well being of its workforce. If you want to recruit top talent, you need to consider your entire benefits package, not just salary requirements.

2. Focus on outcomes and long-term goals

Timberland offers a “field service” program to help channel employees with a passion for technically oriented work into those types of jobs. Burton’s Women’s Leadership Initiative helps female employees develop skills that lead to upward mobility, inspiring cultural change from within the company’s ranks.

REI has holistically approached women’s leadership, making great strides in recruiting, promoting and retaining women in retail leadership roles. Investing in employee development shows you care about your people and encourages them to stick around.

3. If it doesn’t feel right for the brand, walk away

REI emphasizes the importance of aligning core values to attract and retain employees who will thrive. By hiring candidates whose beliefs align with the company’s purpose, REI employs a workforce that best contributes to the company and the culture.

4. Find a way to make it better every day

REI uses its retail locations as opportunities for community outreach. By “getting very local” and pulling talent from the communities it serves, REI’s employees look like its customers, fostering an inclusive environment and attracting a broader base of participants in the active-outdoor industries.

Burton Snowboards stays connected to top applicants and tracks their career paths via a system it calls “startgating.” Should an appropriate position open up, Burton saves time in the hiring process by reaching out to this group of strong candidates.

5. Start with targeted approaches to solve business challenges + problems

Instead of looking at large, organizational change as the first step, Burton Snowboards suggests tackling immediate business challenges first. For example, if your company needs to better understand the technology needs of its female consumers, strive to recruit women engineers and product designers.

Formerly the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC)


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