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  • Writer's pictureAndy Foy

8 Ways to attract the best talent

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

It's an employees market. There are almost as many job vacancies as there are people out of work. This trend is set to continue and increase as our population ages.

If employees have all these cards to play, what’s the employer’s move? It’s a question businesses need to ask themselves, not only to secure top talent from the outside, but also for the sake of employee engagement and retention.

After all, if your top employees are disengaged, who’s to say they aren’t fielding multiple interviews themselves?

Progressive companies always prioritise talent, but they also evolve their approach as needed. Here are a handful of ways you can attract—and keep—top talent


1. Understand how you are perceived and act on it

Can you define your company’s mission and vision? Maybe more importantly, can your people? Do some internal information gathering and confirm your people understand the “why” behind your goals. If they can’t articulate your organisational objectives, it won’t reflect well when they try to answer an interviewee’s questions about the business’ broader purpose.

2. Refine your EVP (employee value proposition)

What makes a standout employee at your organisation? You might value output, safety innovation or customer service. Whatever the top traits, codify them. Put them in writing and promote them across the company. Celebrate the people who model these values, and highlight examples of the value proposition in action. People (both within and from the outside) will take notice. Ensure you value your employees. This means keeping an eye out on wage and salary rates and using flexibility, trust and transparency to help reflect the type of organisation you want to be.


3. Build your employer brand

Today’s top talent has the advantage of evaluating you (the employer) at every level, before you even get them into the interview room. For better or worse, your employer brand is part of the candidate experience. Is your website up to date? Do the products and services pages reflect your current offerings? What does the company LinkedIn page tell about your culture? Make sure the message is consistent, and above all else, confirm for candidates that you have an identity—one you’re confident in showcasing.

Remember this during the recruitment and onboarding process. Is it smooth and seamless? How are rejected candidates handled? Does the new starter feel welcomed and understood on day one and beyond. Ensure that this is reflected in this part of the process as it will ensure a positive pipeline of candidates for the future.


4. Showcase your company culture and values

Remember that employee value proposition? You can toot that horn externally, too. In today’s market, you need to seize any opportunity to differentiate your company culture from the competition. Does your company have fun and make the workplace an enjoyable place to be? Is it intentionally inclusive and dedicated to improving? Is it a strong, reliable company? Different elements are attractive to different types of people. Find creative ways to tell your audience, it could make the difference for a candidate comparing organisations, hoping one will stand out.


5. Write attractive and accurate job advertisements

All your other efforts might be for naught if you don’t nail this one. One of the quickest ways to turn off a highly sought-after candidate is with a snoozer of a job ad. Writing more compelling job descriptions is a mix of art and science, but there are a few quick wins: Eliminate the corporate jargon, be specific about responsibilities and expectations, and speak to the behaviors (not just the skills) suited for the role. You’ll see fewer ill-suited candidates when you’re explicit in who you’re seeking.


6. Make the hiring process easy and pleasant

One surefire way to make the candidate’s experience better? Get your team on the same page. Have a hiring process, establish people’s roles clearly, and, once it’s working, stick to the system. If your hiring team is misaligned, candidates will sense it—especially if they’ve seen better. Having a job profile that helps you align a person to a position really helps you identify great talent quickly and enables you to put people in positions to succeed. From recruiters to hiring managers, you’ll help the interview process run smoothly. Your target candidates won’t forget.


7. Promote your job offer where top talent is


It’s a different dynamic than many employers (or recruiters) are accustomed to. If you want to secure top talent, you need to meet them where they are. Do the candidates you hope to attract get job alerts on LinkedIn, or are they so in-demand that people are directly messaging them on other social media channels? Bounty or referral schemes can be very useful tools as are community groups. To compete, you’ll need to try different avenues, experiment, analyse and adjust accordingly. A multichannel approach will cast a wide net, which might be necessary in a labour market marked by candidate scarcity. You’ll save yourself time and headache if you also know how to narrow those candidates based on the behaviour traits needed for success in the role. One major advantage of understanding behavioural traits is that you understand the candidates quickly and can make great hiring decisions quickly, consistently and at scale.


8. Reach out directly to the top talent you want to attract

Speaking of knowing what (or who) you want, that clarity can become an employer advantage. As you refine your needs, both behaviourally and in terms of skills and experience, you may find your team zeroing in on specific candidates. If you know a person is a fit for the role, as well as your culture, don’t deliberate too long.

Seek out top talent like you would any other competitive advantage. Take the initiative, and tell the best candidates why your company is their best destination. When you’re secure in your hiring process and selection criteria, you’ll impress the best, because you show them you have clear transparency in your approach and value them as they take time to assess your organisation.

Finally...

It’s a tough labour market out there both here in New Zealand and in other OECD countries. The demands on employers have got harder. Those that adjust will survive and thrive and those that don't, will struggle to attract talent to their businesses.



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