3 Strategies for Attracting Top Talent

While the last few years have been characterized by job-seekers doing their best to impress employers in an attempt to land jobs, this year seems likely to require employers to impress job-seekers in order to keep attracting top employees. This is characteristic of the economic recovery that continues to move forward, and as such it’s good news overall. However, it does mean employers might want to brush up on their techniques meant to bring top talent in a competitive market. Here are a few tips for exactly that:

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1. Differentiate Yourself

Job-seekers who have the luxury of many opportunities need particular incentive to choose your company over any other. The general style of job posting that may have worked for you during the recession, when many people were simply looking for any work in their field, may no longer suffice. A good way to approach this issue is one you’re likely familiar with from experience in marketing your company’s goods or services. What’s your value proposition for your products? This is a question you’re likely able to answer without much thought, as it’s so intrinsic to speaking to outsiders about your business. The same question can be applied to talent acquisition. What’s your employment value proposition, and how is it different from those of your competitors?

The Business Journals suggest you take a fresh look at your job postings with this in mind. Would you be excited enough by current job descriptions to apply? Would people from different generations and backgrounds feel the same? The best way to determine this is to have people coming from those backgrounds review your job posting. It’s also advisable to consider the last time you revised job postings, and who wrote them at the time, according to the publication.

Your value proposition should be largely consistent across departments and position levels, but you’ll need to refine it for each possibility your company offers. This may mean focusing more on advancement in one area of the company, but more on creative opportunities in another. The success of this kind of shift comes with trial and error, which may mean it will take some time, but it is worthwhile.

2. Think of Attraction, not Recruitment

Recruitment is often a costly process, but it doesn’t have to be. Many of the main tasks of getting top talent can be integrated into an overall effort to attract employees through a strong workplace brand. This is an ongoing effort that benefits both existing and prospective employees, and encompasses basically every aspect of working life at your company. This means the return on investment for creating a strong employment brand can be very high.

“You just have to create a workplace that people would enjoy working in and have a magnetic employment brand,” Forbes suggests.

A great workplace and a strong employment brand are two sides of the same coin. As you’re working on the one, the other will benefit as well. An employment brand must be genuine as well as positive – employees must make their experiences “go viral,” as it were, using whatever medium they tend to express themselves with. Social media is common, as are more particular job review websites. An employment brand can also be an element of a company website, and displayed in free job postings. One of the ways to make it as authentic as possible in corporate settings is to use the words of employees, or videos of them speaking about their work.

Many applicants will be swayed more easily by being informed of what their future colleagues think of the workplace than by what an HR or public relations official has to say. Attracting talent involves marketing, and it’s generally believed that marketing that is or resembles word-of-mouth is most effective in gaining trust and influencing decisions. Employee narratives fill that requirement. You can use videos, blog posts and more to bring that element to your recruiting practices.

3. Take Talent Seriously

“Talent has always been important, but it has increasingly become more critical because so many organizations are doing much more complex, knowledge-based work and operating globally,” according to Forbes. “This has created a situation where the performance of talent has a major impact on the bottom line.”

This is an accurate summary of why it’s important to pay serious attention to your talent acquisition efforts. The quality of your company’s workforce can make or break its success. If you try the strategies above and use others that can enhance your chances of getting the best candidates to contact you and come on board, it’s going to make a real difference in your company’s success in 2014. Especially as the economy improves and competition for top talent becomes more fierce, it’s going to be vital to make the most of every recruitment strategy available to you.

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At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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