How to increase your ability to attract the right candidates to your organization.
With unemployment at 3 percent, employers may find it harder to attract top talent to their organizations. Small candidate pools make it challenging to find someone with a specific skill set or strong leadership skills. Recently we have seen an uptick in the number of strong candidates who are considering more than one opportunity. The top candidates are being wooed constantly in this tight job market. If your salary ranges are below the market rate or you happen to be in a location that doesn’t always attract the best talent, you will have to get creative in your organization’s recruiting strategies. Here are a few ways that employers are attracting and retaining their top talent.
A strong corporate culture
Maybe you can’t afford a pool table or gym in your workplace, but you can make sure that your employees feel encouraged and valued. Find out what makes them feel respected. It might be that they want to be heard or given positive feedback for their contributions. Don’t just say the words, show them that they are valued and do it in a public way. That recognition from leadership within their organization can make them think long and hard about leaving. Acknowledgment for their hard work is not something that should happen once a year at a holiday party or an annual corporate meeting. It should be meaningful, timely and frequent. Your current employees are ambassadors to the talent pool. If they spread the word that you have a unique corporate culture and work within an organization that appreciates and cares for them, it will give you an edge in recruiting talent to your organization.
A quicker vetting process
The number one complaint we hear from candidates is that the interview process is lengthy, and that they don’t receive feedback promptly. In our industry, time is of the essence. A long process might make you lose a candidate before you have a chance to make them an offer. It’s important to stay in touch with your candidates weekly and keep the process moving. If you have several stakeholders involved in the interview process, provide them with a quicker way to give feedback to their applicant. An excellent way to provide input rapidly is through a survey or a form. Another way to speed up the interviewing process is by utilizing video interviews. If you delay the process, you could lose your potential employee to a competitor who moved faster.
A friendly welcome
The candidate experience with your organization is crucial. Make sure your candidates feel welcomed when they arrive for their interview. Take the time to show them around and help them understand your corporate culture. It is important not to leave them waiting for long periods of time. A candidate’s time is valuable too. Make sure they don’t feel like they took a day to do something that could have been accomplished in half a day. A useful way to condense the schedule is by having group interviews with their potential peers and managers. Make sure everyone is prepared for their interviews by providing them with a resume and a few sample questions they can ask.
If they are relocating for this opportunity, arrange for their spouse to travel with them and arrange for a real estate agent to work with them. Help them visualize living in this new town. It will go a long way to increase their excitement about the opportunity.
While this may only be used for executive leadership, you may want to consider it for those difficult to fill roles in mid-level leadership or professional roles. Sometimes the local region doesn’t have the candidate pool to draw from for special skills. In those instances, you must relocate someone. I have seen clients lose a candidate because they did not offer relocation assistance or did not offer enough relocation assistance. Consider the cost of not filling the role for a month or more and the cost of a 5K or 10K relocation package. It may be worth the difference for the right candidate.
True Diversity in Leadership and your workforce
What does your leadership team look like? Having a leadership team that represents not only ethnic and cultural diversity, but generational diversity can be an enhanced message to potential talent. It also provides an enhanced leadership that is creative and progressive. Candidates want to see a culture that allows for diverse viewpoints while maintaining stability. Having a mixed generational leadership allows for a balance of fresh ideas and experience. It also allows for talent to shine and grow in your workplace.
I hope this has given you a few new ideas on how to attract top talent and keep them within your organization. If your organization has a creative way of attracting new talent and retaining its top performers, I would love to hear about it. Connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diane Nicholas serves as Vice President with Tyler & Company. Diane currently leads searches for mid-level to senior executives as well as interim placements for our Northeast and Midwest regions.