Insights into the forces shaping our industry.

Moving the Needle to Attract Top Talent

Hiring Advice

My clients regularly tell me that they’re seeking “A Players” and “Rockstars” to join their teams.  Both are overly used (and some would argue dreadful) cliches, but we all know what they’re talking about.  They want the best available talent that will have an immediate impact to increase sales, cut costs, improve efficiencies, develop new products, and gain market share.  Ideally, they want the “best of the best”.

Is the organization truly ready to bring on the “best of the best”?  The “War for talent” dates to 1997.  Identifying quality talent is not the hard part.  Attracting and getting top talent to engage in a meaningful conversation relative to making a career move is.  So how is that accomplished?

Industry leading candidates are getting multiple recruiting touchpoints daily.  We must speak to what will resonate with them.  We continue to see that the best candidates have on average 3 – 5 solid opportunities on their plate and the differentiation between which they choose to move forward with often comes down to the Employee Value Proposition. 

Employee Value Proposition answers the questions:

Why should prospective candidates come work for your company?

What are the set of unique contributions you could make to their lives for a complete, and fulfilling, employee experience?

What can you offer them that your competitors can’t?

Why would they not only want to join your organization, but also perform their best work for you every day?

Employer brand is how people outside of the organization perceive what it’s like to work there. It’s the sum of the company’s mission and vision, its culture, and the benefits it can offer employees. The Employee Value Proposition specifically describes the benefits a candidate will receive in exchange for the skills, capabilities and experience they will bring.

1. Opportunity (career advancement, challenge and self-improvement, formal training, on-the-job learning, evaluations and feedback, personal development, company growth rate)

2. People (company culture, relationships and camaraderie, reputation of senior leadership, quality of management and coworkers, trust, collaboration, team spirit, team-building activities, and events)

3. Organization (market position, company reputation, quality of product/service, company mission/vision/values, diversity, social responsibility)

4. Work (job-interest alignment, challenging/fulfilling tasks and responsibilities, work-life balance, quality of projects, innovation, intellectual stimulation, impact the role plays in fulfilling the company vision)

5. Rewards (salary, bonuses, health and retirement benefits, disability, holidays and vacation time, paid leave, remote work, and the level and fairness of compensation)

6.  Environment of Excellence (Do you foster an environment where the candidate will be encouraged to be curious, feel valued, have a genuine voice and where leadership not only listens but acts on suggestions, does your organization chase excellence daily – is the team / organization on a trajectory to intentionally chase excellence – who defines excellence within the organization?  Does everything within your company align with excellence?)

What will make candidates respond to outreach? How will they perceive your organization? What does the role and organization offer that their current company or other companies that the candidate is interviewing with does not? Which tangible benefits (salary, health benefits, PTO) and intangible benefits (recognition, challenging work, flexible environment) that you offer are most important?

What ultimately made current employees decide to come work for you? Have their expectations of the company been met (or exceeded)? How? What makes your organization unique? What tangible benefits offered by the company are most attractive to them (and why)? What intangible benefits are most attractive to them (and why)? What’s been the most fulfilling thing about working for your org? What would they change if they were in charge?

What initially drew former employees to your organization? Were their expectations met? Why did they ultimately leave? What did the employee experience lack that would’ve made them stay? What did they appreciate most about working for your organization? What would their advice be to a jobseeker who wanted to know about the company?

To attract and land the industry’s top talent, your company must truly stand out.  The company’s story should be compelling and differentiate your organization’s offer from your competitors’.  If you cannot immediately articulate your company’s EVP, it’s time to create one or reinvent it to effectively share your story with prospective candidates.  The candidate’s experience throughout the hiring process must be transparent and enjoyable.  Your brand must be authentic.  Guarantee a positive experience by effectively communicating the values and culture of your company throughout the hiring process.  Understand what issues beyond compensation are important to the candidate. 

Hiring the best talent remains incredibly competitive.  Partnering with a proven, professional recruiter that has industry expertise, is a trusted advisor to both the client and candidate and understands what is required to attract and land the best talent will allow you to successfully compete in the current ultra-competitive hiring market and meet your hiring goals.

Rob Wieska