Most of the calls I receive on an ongoing basis are from executives who are tired of spending countless hours searching for the right fit for their organization with little to no luck. Then if I attend a local event, I find that attracting and hiring great people is almost always at the top of the priority list for other executives as well – even if they aren’t calling me for help. Are you having the same challenge too?
The Increasingly Competitive Landscape for Recruiting Talented Employees
In the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession, the employment market was soft and employers were frequently in the driver’s seat when it came to hiring. That has all changed in the past few years with unemployment at or below 5% in most of the area and voluntary employee turnover steadily increasing. Not to mention, job openings across the country increased to a new high in July, reaching 5.8 million. With all of these factors, the ability to attract and hire talent is increasingly more challenging. Today, candidates can be selective when considering a new role—researching a potential employer is quite simple and information abounds.
5 Tips to Attract the Best Candidates for Small Businesses
When competing for talent, we recommend the following tips to attract and hire the best candidates:
- Build a strong employment brand. Your recruiting team needs to be closely aligned with the marketing team to ensure employment branding is a priority for the organization with a focus on attracting top talent in the market. Areas such as your firm’s web presence, search engine optimization and social media strategy are important to the overall branding strategy.
- Build your organization’s reputation as a great place to work. Engage in industry and community activities. Apply for awards and when you win, be sure to share the accolades.
- Beef up your employee referral plan. Many companies with strong employment brand also have a well-defined culture and are able to build strong employee referral programs. Employee referrals are a powerful tool in a competitive talent acquisition environment. Employees who are referred are typically of higher quality and come armed with information about the company and the culture which helps them get off on a better start if hired.
- Involve hiring managers and organizational leadership in recruiting efforts. Encourage them to be actively engaged in their professional networks and social media to help draw highly qualified candidates to your organization.
- Finally, focus on your candidate experience. An applicant who is not qualified for a role today may be a perfect fit for a future role. Go the extra mile with your candidates to differentiate your organization in the marketplace. Unqualified applicants could also be future potential customers—treat them well.
These are key differentiators which, if implemented appropriately, can give your organization an edge in the candidate marketplace. And we find that organizations who are not competitive in these areas will not be able to scale and grow at a pace that is as strong as those who are. Is your business prepared to compete to win top talent?