There are some leaders that seem to have a golden touch for hiring great talent. The one thing I find in common among executives who make a lot of good hires is that they are always looking. Always.
The best way to find stars and other high caliber, talented people that you need on your team is to never stop looking for them. Don't wait for a position to open up. Keep your eyes open for them and build relationships with them. (You can't have too many top performers in your network at any level.) Then recruit them whenever you get the chance.
In corporations, open requisitions come and go, and you don't always need a new hire. To always be looking seems kind of counterintuitive. But the reality is that you can't always find a great person when you need them and have an open spot—and you sometimes find them when you least expect it (and don't specifically need them or have an open spot).
It's not easy to do, but if you make it a habit to always be on the search for talent, when you find someone truly exceptional, it may be that you can make a spot for them. Or you could recommend them to a colleague. It's hard to change your organization structure to accommodate a random person, but I've seen many leaders get it done. What they typically do is to bring the person on in a program role, because they don't have a perfect spot for them. If the person is truly ...