It’s a “buyers’ market” right now in the hiring world and the pool for top talent is tight. This makes sense considering that the unemployment rate was 7.2% in 2008 compared to 3.9% last month (April 2018). More than half (51%) of employees say they’re actively looking for a different job or watching for openings. Since candidates have their choice of employers, how are you winning talent over and hiring them on?
With social media and online employer reviews, companies are working harder than ever to be transparent and create trusted brands that attract and retain employees. Staying flexible and focusing on selling candidates on the opportunities at your organization can make a difference.
Here are 5 approaches that can help you better compete for top talent:
- Discover Unique Market Differentiators
Ask your current employees what motivates them, why they chose your company over your competitors, and learn what inspires them to stay with you. This may result in some revelations that you can use throughout the hiring process.
Suggestions: Create an internal questionnaire to find out more about why your employees work for you, what benefits are important to them, and what you could do to help them stay longer. Take that information and write a compelling statement about your company that makes people want to work for you.
- Develop a Relationship-Focus Employer Brand
Remember your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. Ideally, your employer brand focuses on relationship marketing that inspires positive emotions, meaningful interactions, and long-term loyalty.
Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends define employer brand as “the story that employees in the external world tell about your company’s employee experience.”
How do you want your top candidates to see your company?
Suggestions: Create culture-centric content that shows what’s happening behind the scenes. This can go a long way to help spark a personal connection with potential job candidates who are perusing your website.
Host an annual kickball event? Create a video. Have a volunteer day? Bring a photographer.
Make sure the areas that your employees have identified as your market differentiators are communicated to candidates when they research your company.
- Invest in Your Employees
Naturally, your organization will also have more success if you treat employees as people, not numbers. Top talent wants to know that you value them as individuals and that you’re a company who hires people who are great to work with.
Suggestions: Clearly communicate your new hire’s potential for development based off your desire to advance their careers and the company’s possibilities. Consider creating a strength-based culture, enhance personal professional development programs, and clarify job descriptions.
- Enhance Your Benefits Package
To attract top talent, you may want to consider new benefits and perks. For example, alternative work schedules, paid sabbaticals, sick days, and tuition reimbursement are becoming more popular and could become deal breakers for top talent.
Suggestion: Do internal research by sending out a company survey. Are the majority of your employees part-time or full-time? Have employees rate your current benefits and other benefits that you are considering. You may also want to allow them to suggest new options. If the majority of your candidates vote on a benefit or mention it, consider adding it.
View KPA’s “Why Benefits Matter” training short
- Build a Relationship With Top Talent
A colleague I know was just recruited to his new firm through LinkedIn. He wasn’t even looking for a job! A recruiter built a relationship with him over the course of a couple months, and eventually, the attractiveness of the new opportunity convinced him to switch firms.
Your top talent is most likely currently employed. While these individuals may not actively be looking for a position, they are open to certain openings — especially one that meets their career goals or get them closer to their preferred lifestyle.
Suggestions: Building a relationship means reaching out and having real conversations, defining expectations, and framing it in terms of what matters to candidates. If you can convince them what’s in it for them, you’ll find that your organization also benefits from their performance.
It’s a tough market to hire the people you need, but it’s also the perfect time to get creative!
- KPA blog post “Why Hiring Fails”
- KPA blog post “What are the Best Ways to Retain Your Top Performers? Hint: It’s Not All About the Money”