Your 5-step plan for attracting top talent in a tough job market

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Conceptual image of teamwork. 3D image.

“Sorry, we’re short-handed.”

That seems to be the expectation now almost anywhere you go. Staffing shortages around the country are not making the lives of employers any easier, desperate to make sure that customer demands are met.

Being short in talent can feel even tougher in a service-based industry that relies on a specific skill set. What can you do to set your firm apart from others when it comes to attracting top talent?

Here are five tips that do not require your offer letters to be higher than everyone else’s.

No. 1 — Know what job seekers are looking for

Professionals want to work with other professionals. They want to be led by a strong management team and know that they will be developed and then celebrated for their accomplishments. Make sure to highlight how your company culture and leadership team will achieve these for new recruits. Keeping your website up to date to highlight these aspects of your firm as well as incorporating company culture into job ads can help top talent filter through to find you. Consider listing notable projects your firm has worked on either on your website or in the interview process.

No. 2 — Be available

Job searches are a lot like dating. If you do not make yourself known to be available, it is going to be tough to find someone who’s the right fit. Make sure your job ads are posted in easy-to-access places. Consider sites that are mobile-friendly. Whatever you do, do not set it up so the candidates must click through 15 links before being taken to an application. Fewer clicks will mean more applications and more of a chance of you finding the person you are looking for. Professionals are not likely to waste their time searching for how you want them to find you.

Ultimately, you are looking to attract and retain top talent, and just like our professional dating scenario, it only works if both parties come to the table being honest about what they are looking for and what they can provide.

No. 3 — Showcase what you bring to the table

This piece is often better reserved for the interview process but if it comes down to you and one other practice, providing your top-tier candidates with a clear understanding of what their work life will be like can help them make a more informed decision. Showcase the other professionals on the team so candidates know firsthand who they may be working with, and do not skip the accolades. The best candidates will be inspired, not intimidated. Make sure that you inform candidates of any firm awards or accolades. The best candidates will be attracted to a winning team.

No. 4 — Leverage your existing team

See above where we considered involving other team members in the interview process. Encourage your employees now to be proud of where they work. People who love what they do and who they do it for, share it on their social media profiles and they are happy to talk about their experiences as well. That will attract new talent who share the same core values and it will also help new candidates to know that what you  are telling them in the interview process isn’t just lip service.

No. 5 — Consider your community outreach

Now more than ever people are looking to be a part of an organization that cares about more than just the bottom line. Sure, your business is there to earn a profit, but your talent pool is looking for what makes you different. If your company is a part of community outreach programs or you have unique ways of giving back, highlight that for all to see. Showcase for the talent pool how they can contribute to the greater good by being a part of your team.

Above all, be honest. You do not want to win talent by making promises you cannot keep. Doing so will increase your employee turnover until your reputation precedes you.

Ultimately, you are looking to attract and retain top talent, and just like our professional dating scenario, it only works if both parties come to the table being honest about what they are looking for and what they can provide.