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How to Attract Top Talent

Every employer wants to hire top talent, especially for positions that are critical to company performance.

That being said, you should not think of talent as a resource. You’re trying to attract talented people to your company, not filling up a “talent tank” that your company needs to keep running.

Maybe your company’s bottom line depends on attracting top sales talent to help you gain traction in new markets and close high-level deals with established companies in these markets.

Maybe your company’s performance will depend on attracting top tech talent to help you beat a competitor to a product release.

No matter what your company does, there are a few departments and a handful of positions that must be staffed with talented people, and this guide will show you how to accomplish this.

This guide will show you how to attract employees to your company, specifically, the top talent that is critical for your company’s ability to compete within your industry.

How to Attract Top Talent will cover:

  1. Identifying Who Should be Recruited
  2. Reaching Targeted Individuals
  3. Designing the Employer Brand (Benefits, Compensation, etc.)
  4. How to Showcase your Employer Value Proposition
  5. Evaluating Past Recruitment Efforts
  6. Innovative Ways to Attract Talent
  7. Top 10 Recruiting Strategies 

 

 

Identifying who Should be Recruited

The best way to recruit top candidates, is to know who you want to recruit before you start searching for candidates.

To define that fit, you need to define the demands of the job and the fit factors for the job, including fit with key colleagues, superiors and/or reporting employees.

Once you have defined candidate requirements in all relevant areas of job performance and fit, looking for employees is more a matter of checking the boxes, than a hopeless search for a unicorn, purple squirrel or other another mythical creature.

Fit with the Job

  • What company objectives will this hire be supporting? What are their deliverables?
  • What are some of the complex problems, deals, dilemmas, etc, that the hire must face?

Fit with your Company

  • How is your company similar to and different from other companies in your industry?
  • How would you sum up your company’s culture in a sentence? In a paragraph?

Fit with the Team

  • How large is the team that the hire will work with, and how will they support the team or fit into the team? What are the personality types represented in this team?
  • What is the management style of the new hire’s superior?

Fit with their Career

  • What job titles suggest that a candidate is making a positive or lateral career move by taking your job?
  • What job titles suggest that a candidate would be taking a step backward by taking your job?

 

Reaching Targeted Individuals

When trying to reach people who you have identified as top-level talent for a job, recruiting using social networking, whether this is a personal network or an online social network, is best.

Answering these questions will help you reach targeted individuals:

  • Do you have any direct or indirect connections you can reference?
  • Which social networks are they most active on? Which groups are they most active in?
  • What aspects of your job will be of greatest interest to this individual?
  • Why is your job a logical step in their career?

 

Designing the Employer Brand (Benefits, Compensation, etc)

Your job description will play a large role in getting candidates interested in your company, but your employer brand (the combined effect of the work environment, the company culture and the compensation/benefits you offer to employees) is just as important.

Other than finding a job that is rewarding, top candidates are focused on finding companies with great employer brands, meaning companies with the best benefits packages and the most employee-friendly company cultures.

No job description, no matter how beautifully worded, can make up for a weak employer brand or a compensation/benefits package that is below your area’s average rate. 

Using Employer Brand for Attracting Employees Strategies

The best way to start an employer brand makeover is to elevate the great aspects of working at your company online while working privately with staff to address and resolve any negative aspects of your employer brand.

Like the details of the job, the details of your employer brand need to be completely reflective of reality, as a “pumped up” employer brand will be easy to spot and is a red flag for candidates.

Here are the factors you need to keep in mind when designing an employer brand that will get the attention of top talent:

Reality: The employer brand you describe needs to be 100% truthful to the reality of working for your company. If you are a formal company, say so, and the same goes for a workplace where sandals and sneakers are more common than traditional business footwear.

Perks: Other than the compensation you offer, employee perks are how you show employees and candidates that you value their hard work.

Here are some common (and beloved) employee perk ideas to boost your employer brand:

  • Classic Perks: 401K, medical/dental/life/ insurance, equity sharing.
  • Work-life balance: Gym stipend, ability to work from home, flex time, extended maternal/paternal leave, travel benefits.
  • Amenities: Snacks, a fully stocked fridge, catered lunches, team dinners.
  • Adventures: Going to see your city’s team compete, going to see nearby natural wonders or just going to a nearby park for a soccer game or picnic.
  • Professional Development: Paid trips to industry conferences, access to learning/development tools, higher education perks, mentorships with PTL.

 

How to Showcase your Employer Value Proposition

When your job description goes beyond describing and becomes a powerful value proposition for employment, you just harnessed one of the most effective methods of attracting applicants.

Achieving this effect will be the result of marketing a masterful job description that showcases your employer value proposition, and leverages the powerful employer brand you created with help from the last section of this guide.

Your goal should be to have enough appealing company info online, for someone who fits with your company to decide that your business is a place to work and a great fit for them.

If people can reach this conclusion without going to any great effort, then your value proposition is showcased in the right way to attract talented people to your company. 

Where to showcase your employer value proposition

Where you showcase your value is another huge piece of how to attract candidates in recruitment. You want candidates to see your value easily, so make it easy for them to see!

Glassdoor

Glassdoor helps your value as an employer shine, by giving interested candidates a 1-stop-shop for the info they want most: feedback on your company from employees and an inside look at your company. From reviews of your perks and benefits to info on specific jobs and interviews, professionals love Glassdoor because we make it easy to see the value that employers add to the lives of their employees. This, in turn, makes it easy for professionals to evaluate your job and company for fit, and decide if your job is right for them.

Social Media
Your company’s social media profiles are great platforms for showcasing the value that you give to employees. The visual nature of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, makes them great places to post pictures of new hires, employees on the job and employees having fun at company events.

Your Company’s Website

Your company’s website may have an “about us” page, but is this page clearly presenting your employer value proposition? Make sure your “about us” page has rich, engaging information about working for your company and links to your social media and Glassdoor profiles, so candidates can easily continue their research upon visiting your website.

 

Innovative Ways to Attract Talent

You’re competing with many companies for the attention of the same talented people, and using innovative ways to attract talent will help you contend with competitors.

Researching companies in your area and their talent attraction strategies will help you see which tactics are used to appeal to candidates in your region, and how to stand out from these strategies in an innovative way.

Once you see how competitors and other companies in your area are portraying themselves, you can emulate the things they’ve done right, and take your strategy further where they fall short of presenting their value as an employer.

How to attract talent to a small company

You aren’t a large company, so don’t try to sound like a large company.

Many professionals become tired of working for large, impersonal companies, so show candidates how your company’s principals and culture are different from larger companies. You do things differently, so show top talent the ins and outs of what makes your small business a unique place to work.

How to attract talent to your startup

To attract talent to your startup, you need talented people to identify with the promise of your startup’s mission and see the benefits of “getting in on the ground floor.”

People attracted to startups value independent, entrepreneurial and innovative ideas, so bring the same excitement to your job advertising as you would bring to a meeting with an investor.

How to attract talent to a rural or suburban area
Your city may not have the broad appeal of New York or San Francisco, but companies operating outside of major cities have appeal for candidates who want something new.

Instead of your location perks being that of a major city, yours are fewer crowds, cheaper rent (generally), better proximity to outdoor activities and the other great location perks of living in your specific suburban or rural area.

Top 10 Recruiting Strategies

To help get your top talent recruiting project underway, here are our top 10 creative ways to recruit employees and drive their interest in working for you.

  1. Start by defining the job and the right person for the job

Always start by defining what top talent means for each job you hire for.

  1. Learn from the competition

Research what companies in your area/industry are doing to attract talent, learn from them, and try to stand out with your unique employer value proposition.

  1. Use a variety of platforms to connect with top talent

Having great info and pictures on a variety of platforms (Glassdoor, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.) gives talented people more opportunities to find a connection to your company.

  1. Present info that will interest top talent

You job ad and other content you put online should only present info that top talent will find interesting. For some help, you can ask high-performing people in your company what kind of content they like to read and examples of info they find interesting.

  1. Offer the best employee perks for your employees

            Perks created to support the job demands placed on employees will attract top talent.

  1. Show the world how great your employees have it

The more happy employees you can feature online, the better candidate first impressions of your employer brand will be.

  1. Play to your company’s strengths

Always present your company’s strengths to top talent. Being in a rural location, for instance, means you will have great appeal to talented people who enjoy this setting.

  1. Have company leaders play an active role

If company leaders personally meet with top talent for key positions, it shows candidates that your company sees their value and that you have friendly leaders.

  1. Connect candidates with your company’s mission

If someone connects with your company’s mission, hiring them will be a breeze.

  1. Connect candidates with your employees

Whenever possible, get candidates to interact and connect with your employees. This way, talented pros already have friends in your company if they take the job.

Evaluating Past Recruitment Efforts

To effectively attract and retain employees, you need to evaluate your past recruitment efforts and learn from what went right, and what went wrong.

  • How many candidates did I get from each job board, recruiter, etc. the last time I was hiring for this job?
  • How many of these candidates were skilled enough to interview?
  • How many finalist candidates were interested in future job openings?

Additional Resources

A lot goes into attracting top talent to your company and, if you have any questions or want to learn more strategies for attracting top talent, these articles have the info you’re looking for.

8 Ways to Attract Tech Talent to Your Non-Tech Company

How to Develop a Brand Story That Attracts Great Talent

How to Recruit and Retain Phenomenal Women in 2018

5 Tips to Compete for Top Talent When You Can’t Pay Top Dollar

5 Free Ways to Recruit Better Talent

Attracting Top-Notch Tech Talent Outside Silicon Valley

5 Ways to Engage Candidates at Every Stage