As the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Today’s best business leaders know this instinctively. But, does your strategic plan even consider the topic of talent acquisition? If recruiting is not part of the strategic plan, where is your innovation going to come from? Who is going to drive process improvements, bring fresh ideas, and identify new market opportunities?

Great talent will do this for you, but it takes a company full of talent to get these results. Unfortunately, most business leaders are not surrounded by great talent. Here are six ways you can begin fixing that today.

Memorialize your employer values—and live them.

The way to develop the reputation as a great employer is to be a great employer. Everyone in your company should know what you stand for as an employer and as a business, and be damn proud to stand with you. When every employee understands your mission and employer values, your ability to attract and retain the best employees is enhanced significantly.

Make recruiting part of everyone’s job.

Your best employees want to work with great people. Help them help you. Encourage them to nominate their friends and professional colleagues as candidates. Ducks fly with ducks. Eagles fly with eagles. Collect eagles.

ABR—Always Be Recruiting. 

You’ve likely heard of ABC—Always Be Closing. How about ABR? Don’t just look for people to fill an empty chair. Look for people to fulfill a strategic mission. Exchange your “6s” for “10s” at every available opportunity and at every level in your company.

Rely on experts.

Many businesses today leave the hiring to a compliance-driven employee in HR. If that’s you, you are delegating your responsibility for business excellence to someone who may not know what business excellence looks like. Talent acquisition is a leadership responsibility, not a compliance exercise. Get involved.

Include talent mining and employer branding in your social media strategy.

This is an entire topic unto itself, but every ‘like’, every follower, and everyone your employees are connected with on social media is receiving impressions of your brand as an employer, making it either easier or harder to attract great employees to your company, depending on their impression. Have a plan, and be intentional with how your brand is being represented online.

Expand your search.

There is great talent on the coasts, and many will find the idea of cashing in on some real estate gains and moving to the low-cost Midwest with a substantial upgrade in standard of living quite enticing. At Burke & Schindler, we have helped our clients lure great talent from both coasts when that’s what their business needed.

Excellent companies are built by excellent employees at all levels in the organization. In fact, I believe that it is impossible to have an excellent company without excellent employees. As the leader of Burke & Schindler’s Aptissimi human capital practice, I can say that our clients hire us because we know how to find and hire excellent employees. Call us for more information about how our recruiting and talent consulting services can help you find the best talent.