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How to Attract Top Talent in a Competitive Hiring Market

attract top employees - Unemployment graph

When the national unemployment rate dipped below 4% this spring, it was the first time since 2000 that we’ve seen unemployment rates this low.

Without question, the growing economy and shrinking unemployment rate is great for our communities and country.

The businesses that are experiencing an uptick in revenues are also realizing the need to hire more rapidly, and more importantly, to increase (and retain) the number of high-performing employees that helped them grow in the first place.

This is great news for job seekers, but the low unemployment rate makes it more difficult for employers to attract the top talent they need.

A recent study notes that 45% of employers say they can’t find qualified people to fill their job openings, and for 58% of them, job vacancies last for three months or more.

Employers also say they’re facing a 40% turnover rate among workers (a result of increased employment opportunities), with many planning to leave their current jobs this year. Employers face recruiting challenges for nearly all job categories, survey results show.

In a growing economy with shrinking unemployment, it’s a candidate’s market – so what can employers do to find and recruit top talent?

How to Attract Top Talent in a Competitive Hiring Market

Regardless of employment/unemployment trends, companies who want to attract top talent must compete for the best employees.

The go-to solutions typically revolve around offering higher salaries than your competition, including well-rounded benefits and PTO packages and maybe even throwing in some incentive programs and bonuses.

While this can help entice a candidate to accept an offer after a successful interview, when unemployment rates are at record-lows, it may be hard for employers to even find the right candidates to interview.

When traditional methods like posting to job boards such as Craigslist, Indeed, or Monster aren’t providing the caliber of candidate required for the position, companies must implement creative solutions to find top talent in the market.

Remember, it’s an employee’s world in 2018, and it’s the employer who needs to be qualified to earn a high-performing candidate’s interest.

Here are the 3 most effect to attract top talent to your company.

#1. Make Your Job Descriptions Sound Human

While it’s important that you cover all of the bases in regards to HR and legal obligations, a job description that exudes corporate-speak and dry, mundane tasks won’t attract the kind of creative, forward-thinking talent that will help your business thrive.

Be sure to emphasize the day-to-day responsibilities of the position, but also highlight key features like:

  • potential advancement opportunities
  • departments the role will interact with
  • opportunities for training and personal/professional growth
  • other intangibles that relate to the position

There will always be roles that require a certain amount of experience. In addition to listing the desired number of experience years, also list the kinds of responsibilities, technologies, and results that you’d expect your ideal candidate to have. This will help you gather responses that are geared specifically to your company and position, which can make your hiring process more efficient.

An employee who has worked for a competitor that is much larger than you might have excellent exposure to the kinds of challenges and solutions you are looking for, despite having fewer years of “resume” experience that’s listed in the job description.

Also, be sure to highlight your company’s culture – especially if you have people and/or company practices that are unique and appealing.

Finally, ask about your potential employee’s life outside of the workplace. You never know what someone might be able to bring to the table that can’t be listed on an official resume – and it might be the difference between receiving applications from outstanding individuals, versus recruiting extremely ordinary candidates.

Pro Tips:
Consult with HR professionals when writing your job descriptions to ensure you are covering all legal and HR bases, as well as maximizing your investment into the recruiting process

Outsourcing part of your recruitment process can be an extremely time- and cost-effective way to find the quality of candidate your company needs in the time frame you need it in. Wasting time can lead to wasting money. And hiring the wrong candidate can be extremely expensive.

#2. Maintain Your Brand with the Ideal Candidate In Mind

Potential employees will most likely submit applications and resumes online, and you can be sure they will be Googling your company, scoping out your website and social channels, and digging into platforms like Glassdoor to find out more information.

Companies with outdated websites, poor social media exposure and a unimpressive reviews aren’t going to attract top talent to inquire further with the company.

(Bonus: Investing into your digital presence will not only help your company’s recruitment process, it’ll help your operations and sales as well.)

When it’s an employee’s world, hiring companies need to be answering the candidate’s question, “What’s in it for me?” before the interview process even begins.

And since you may not be able to vocal about potential salaries, you should at least be highlighting the level of opportunity within the company.

Showing up-to-date, positive and authentic engagement in the digital sphere will amp up your company’s attractiveness and set you apart from your competitors.

Think about it: companies like Google, Facebook, SpaceX, or Amazon because they offer immense opportunities – and because they are interesting companies to work for. You’ll do well by following some of their hiring and recruiting practices.

Pro Tips:
Highlight what makes you interesting, unique and fun. Share photos of company events, birthdays and anniversaries, and interesting activities in the workplace. (Bonus: your customers care about these things too, and want to partner with forward-thinking organizations)

Show off your existing high-quality employees. Potential recruits will be interested to work with industry leaders and individuals who have made an impact in a particular industry. Let your current employers attract new employees.

Be excited about where your company is heading. Give your potential employees an excellent reason to hop on board before the train leaves the station – show them that you’re going places.

If you’re already keeping up in the digisphere and on social media – that’s great. Keep it up, and improve your recruitment process by showcasing your company’s personality while you’re in a hiring phase.

#3. Don’t Wait for the Job Boards to Strike Gold

Online job boards can be an effective way to find qualified employees, but they are certainly not a cure-all. In many cases, the best way to attract the top talent you need is to go out and find them yourself.

Using social platforms like LinkedIn and even Facebook (depending on your industry) can be a primary way to attract the top talent who may not be actively looking for a new position.

There’s nothing stopping you from “cold-calling” a desired candidate and asking about their current job situation. At best, you might land an interview – at worst, they’ll be extremely flattered.

A poll from Gallup notes that more than a thirds of U.S. employees are disengaged from their current job for whatever reason.

Additional research from Indeed reveals that 71 percent of workers are either open to a different job or are actively looking for a new job, and 58 percent look at open positions monthly.

Employees will move for money and a greater opportunity. They’ll also move for a better location and flexible hours.

So even if they aren’t applying to your open position, doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for a better opportunity.

Beyond reaching out potential candidates online, talk with your current employees and explore ways to discover new hires through your current network.

It’s not uncommon for a company to offer a small referral award for current employees who are able to bring in a successful new hire.

Another way to avoid the unpredictable results of job boards is to work with a staffing agency.

Staffing agencies have access to thousands of employees, and their network stretches across a wide range of industries. Not only do they have access to talented employees, they have experience in attracting and vetting candidates effectively and efficiently.

Attracting Top Talent is Long-Term Objective

Attracting and hiring top talent in your organization should be viewed as a long-term objective – that is to say, it doesn’t happen overnight.

Following the best practices listed in this article will give you an edge on your competition and help you attract the top talent that will help your company grow.

Staffing agencies help employ more than 15 million workers each year, and it’s not for just temporary or contract positions.

Partnering with a staffing agency can ensure you have consistent exposure to the top talent in your area.

To get the most recent staffing tips, please join our network.

Posted on August 1, 2018. Categorized as .

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