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Recruiting Top Talent




"If you don't recruit, there's no coach out there that can out-coach recruiting. I don't care who you are. The best coach to ever play the game better be a good recruiter because no coaching is going to out-coach players."

-Kirby Smart

make it about them

Most people write position descriptions through the lens of what the candidate can do for them. Don't fall into this trap! That is not how you recruit top talent for your team. Yes, you should include minimum required qualifications, but the tone of your position description should focus on why the candidate will want to work on your team. In other words, it's not what's in it for you. It's what's in it for them. An example is included below. You can create a document like the one below, link to your position posting from the document, and send it out to prospective candidates. 







"We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon."

-Konrad Adenauer

expand your reach

Effective position postings use creative and intentional strategies to identify qualified applicants. Expand your reach significantly by posting on sites in addition to UGAJobs. For example...


Recruiting: Keyword search and filter through a list of more than 150 online resources, with links to their advertising pages along with cost and posting duration. 



LinkedIn: UGA's LinkedIn account has more than 250,000 followers, and you can link your posting to this account at no cost. 


Indeed: offers users the opportunity to post open positions to their platform for free. Please note that in order to be considered for an open position at UGA, applicants must apply through the UGAJobs website for the open position. 



Social Media: Use social media or other platforms to promote your position posting at no cost. Importantly, this helps reach individuals who may not be actively browsing UGA's job boards.  


Chronicle of Higher Education: UGA has an agreement with The Chronicle that allows you to post staff positions there at no cost! Faculty postings are automatically included there. Additional information is available here


HigherEdJobs: Unlike the options above, posting a position to HigherEdJobs is not free, but this is another example of a platform you can use to expand your reach. If your posting matches key words for job searchers on HigherEdJobs, they will automatically be notified of your posting. 





"We will often find compensation if we think more of what life has given us and less about what life has taken away."

-William Barclay

SHOW total compensation

Obviously, a significant factor in recruitment and retention is salary. We would argue that culture is the most signficant factor, but salary is the bottom line. 

Many individuals at UGA - both current and prospective employees - do not truly understand our total compensation package. They know what their paychecks will say, but they do not understand their true earnings (or earnings potential). UGA invests significantly in its employees, much more than many organizations. This becomes problematic when current or prospective employees try to make apples-to-apples compensation comparisons.

When you are recruiting, you are always competing on salary. Consider bringing total compensation into the conversation. 

Every individual's total compensation is different. It depends on benefits elections and other factors. One way to estimate total compensation is to look at the fringe benefits estimator that UGA uses for sponsored project proposals and other things. 



Example: Many  indivduals would be suprised to learn that an individual earning $48,000 can have an estimated total compensation over $70,000.  Again, these numbers aren't precise and are predicated on each person's individual elections. But, when comparing jobs, it is worth evaluating the investment that UGA makes into each and every employee.





SHOW cost of living 

Another major, often overlooked recruiting factor is cost of living differential. For example, in 2022 it was approximately 24% less expensive to live in Athens versus Atlanta, according to the BestPlaces cost of living calculator. In other words, someone who was earning nearly $118,000 in Atlanta could maintain the same standard of living in Athens at $95,000. Use the calculator below to compare costs of living between various locations. 






"How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

-Anne Frank


If you are worried about your talent pipeline, don't forget that we have 40,000 extraordinarily talented students in our backyard. That is a strategic advantage we cannot afford to overlook if we want to build top-performing teams. Let them know about opportunities with your team, and plant the seed early. Many students will leave for other careers, and that's great. But, many do not even know that they have employment options at UGA. That is a missed opportunity.  Proactively reach out to students and promote your career path. And, don't forget about the value of student team members before they graduate. UGA's student population is brimming with talent; give them an opportunity to prove what they can do.

Here is an example of an outreach message for student employment opportunities:






"We look for three things when we hire people, we look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity. And if they don’t have the latter, the first two will kill you. If you’re going to get somebody without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb. You don’t want them smart and energetic."

-Warren Buffett (click here for Warren Buffett's Terry College Leadership Series talk in  July 2001)


In all likelihood, your next star performers are not out browsing job postings. Even if they're looking, what are the odds that they come across your posting? If you want to recruit stars, you have to go out and find them!  The reason most people don't do this is simple: it takes time. But, think about the transformational impact of your top performers.  Why not invest a little more time on the front end of the recruiting process? Trust us...the return on your time investment will be worth it. Check out the short video and resources below to learn how you can recruit your next star.