As the owner of a recruitment agency, I know exactly how challenging it can be to fill open roles. In today’s candidate-driven market, job seekers have more choices than ever. It doesn’t matter if your company is a Fortune 500 manufacturing firm, a boutique restaurant, a consulting practice or a start-up, there are many more open positions than there are candidates, making it extremely difficult to hire and retain talented employees.
Here are my top five tips for companies wanting to attract top talent.
1. Review Your Current Offerings
No one wants to work in an unhealthy, toxic environment. Today’s employees want a healthy work-life balance, reasonable pay, generous benefits and supportive leaders.
To put it bluntly: If your company pays below the industry average, you’ll need to up your pay. If you don’t support a remote or hybrid setup, you will need to change that. If you don’t offer benefits, then it’s time to schedule a call with an advisor. And if your leadership team has a low approval rating among your employees, then you may need to start making some difficult decisions.
2. Build a Solid Internal Referral Program
Rock stars hang out with rock stars, and you can be sure your top team members know other talented people. There are three reasons people don’t give referrals to their current employer. Either they are seeking a job elsewhere, they don’t know about the current openings and the struggle to find talent or they don’t get remunerated for their referrals. Communicate with your team about current openings, and ask them to share the positions with those in their network. Ensure the reward for referral is attractive; if money is a problem, try to come up with something creative, like PTO or using the CEO’s parking spot for a month.
3. Support Diversity and Internal Promotions
Diversity goes far beyond ethnicity and sexual orientation; it also means inclusion. Employing special needs team members, veterans, single parents, and seniors sends the beautiful message that your company cares. Developing future leaders internally has also become a must. Companies that create a strong training program for their employees and support them to reach their full potential are winning the talent war.
4. Invest in Technology
Investing in technology may sound expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Many tech startups are creating excellent AI-based solutions for businesses that are much less expensive than the big guys.
But perhaps more importantly, investing in technology means investing in your team. If they are able to work more efficiently in less time, then they will have a better work-life balance, creating higher engagement levels both internally and externally. Happy employees create satisfied clients!
5. Bring Your Talent Acquisition Up to Speed
Finally, ensure your recruiters — either in-house or external — fully understand your company, values and mission and are aware of what you would like to accomplish and by when. I have seen many internal recruiters who were so committed to their own processes that the company missed out on top talent because they wanted to make sure that everything went by the book — even if it created several days of delay. For example: not accepting LinkedIn profiles from candidates instead of resumes. Or, when the company is working with an external recruitment consulting firm, insisting on having an additional round of interviewing with HR. In such a candidate-driven market, speed and flexibility are key. If your recruiters are incapable of switching gears and adapting to the new landscape, your company will lose.
Talented people have more choices than ever, and if businesses want to scale, then they need to make a lot of effort to get their attention. Sometimes it requires more funds, sometimes just a streamlined process to achieve the desired outcome: winning the talent war.