At the AA-ISP Leadership Summit, sales leader Ralph Barsi said something that lit a spark in my mind: “You can’t pursue talent – you need to attract it.”

In today’s war for talent, it is important to do what you can to find the top talent – or better yet – help them find you. With social media, it is easier than ever for companies to be on a level playing field when it comes to reaching their target demographics. You just need to put in the work. Here are five ways sales leaders can attract the best talent to their teams.

Build a Personal Brand

Building a brand is a long-term play that can take years to bear fruit. But top talent wants to work with other top talent, and a strong personal brand can help you attract the talent you need.

The work of building a personal brand involves as much learning as outreach. Become a subject matter expert by blogging or podcasting, attend local networking events, secure local speaking engagements. These efforts will lead to making you a known name in the small ecosystem you are hiring from.

Always Recruit

Hiring top talent should be a year-round exercise. Carve time out of your schedule on a regular basis to meet with potential recruits and get to know them.

You should also constantly take phone interviews with candidates and, just as you would for sales, build a talent pipeline. The moment you force yourself to make hires who are below the standard you have in mind for your next hiring class, you set yourself up to fail. Your talent pipeline needs to be full at all times.

Only Hire the Best

This seems like a commonsense answer, but leaders too often settle on talent they regret months or weeks after hiring. Remember: top talent wants to work with other top talent.

Neglecting your talent pipeline and filling it with mediocre recruits could lead to your A-player leaving, and could make it harder to attract A-players to join your team in the first place. Make sure that you know what you are looking for in a candidate, and having a hiring process that helps you ensure you make the right hires.

Identify a Clear Set of Values

It is hard to know what to look for in a candidate without a clear set of values that guide your decision-making process. Using your values will help you maintain team alignment and ensure each team member is in it for the right reasons.

Most candidates want to know what they are fighting for every day. By making your values clear, you can help candidates determine whether they are a fit for your team.

Give Candidates a Path to Grow

Top talent wants to know they are going to have a chance to grow and be challenged on a daily basis. Without a clear growth path, they will seek something that makes them feel challenged again.

A clear growth path also helps candidates envision how you will guide them to the next stage in their careers. Help them see your long-term vision and their place in it.

Hiring top talent is the only way your company can be successful. People are what make companies special, and when you get a group of top talent in one place moving in the same direction, the possibilities are endless.