Expert Advice: Angela Yeh’s three tips for recruiting top talent

Angela Yeh has been in the design recruiting industry for 20 years—long before innovation and strategy were buzzwords. So the founder of Yeh IDeology (pronounced “Yay ideology”) knows from experience about the challenges companies face when they’re trying to attract top-notch creative change management talent.

1. Know what people are saying about you. “Don’t get so caught up in drinking too much of your own company’s Kool-Aid that you’re not aware of what others are saying about your brand,” Yeh warns. “The world is way too small and too transparent to not be mindful. If you want the brightest talent, you need to cultivate self-awareness and clarity on the employer side. Tell the best of your story, but also be ready to frame all aspects of your story. Talent is looking for authenticity. If talent doesn’t see consistency between the branding and what they are hearing from the talent market, they aren’t going to bite.”

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2. Offer benefits tailored to personal growth. “Businesses in every industry have to realize they aren’t competing in their own small pool, but across all industries for the best of the best today,” says Yeh. “That has created such a high demand for talent that it’s created a talent’s market at the premium level. The best potential employees want work they are proud of, quality of culture, and quality of life, as well as growth, expansion of opportunities, and top compensation. Set high expectations on what you’re looking for, but also be ready to offer something of value to talent’s growth needs.”

3. Know what you’re actually looking for. What does “innovation” mean to you? Yeh says it can be considered “a broad term, but your specific definition can be different.” Regarding your own definition, “Be clear about the goals, challenges, and actions you are truly looking for.” Also, innovation can be incremental as opposed to paradigm shifting, and both are valid depending on what’s best for your company’s innovation initiative. Be honest and clear what scale of innovation you want to help determine the type of talent that’s right for the job,” she explains. “No point in hiring a paradigm shifting change agent when your company is only needing a laser-focused subtle shift.”

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