Finding the right kind of talent in the current economy is hard ““ harder considering that many resources are buckling down in current positions and waiting for the economy to recover more before looking for brighter shores. This blog post by Jim Ditmore looks at how a leader can not only create a high performing team but also further their own career in the process. The first tip Ditmore lists is to be in a “persistent recruiting mode”, that is, attempt to create a pipeline for recruitment with key roles in your company. Once you need to fill a position, you’ll likely have a list of “A” candidates to choose from. Part of your pipeline should include interns and new graduates as well, as both groups often become long term hires and allow your company to “create” a resource that knows the processes and desires of your IT group in particular. Another tip Ditmore lists involves training and education ““ valuable for new or long-time employees: The investment in robust training and education for graduates should pay off also for your current staff and potential hires. Your current staff, by leveraging training, can improve their skills and productivity. And for potential hires, an attractive attribute of a new company is a strong training program and focus on staff development. These are wise investments as they will pay back in higher productivity and engagement, and greater retention and attraction of staff. You should couple the training program with clearly defined job positions and career paths. These should spell out for your team what the competencies and capabilities of both their current position as well as what is needed to move to the next step in their career. Their ability to progress with clarity will be a key advantage in your staff’s growth and retention as well as attracting new team members. And in a tight job market, this will let your company stand out in the crowd. Ditmore also recommends looking outside of large metropolitan areas or your traditional hunting grounds ““ looking for tech talent in small towns often yields surprising results. Furthermore it’s a good idea to review how you’re recruiting. Taking a look at updating interview techniques and requirements can often lead to better hires and less wasted time in repeated interviews.