Hiring top talent is both an art and a science. In an employee’s job market, lots of companies are investing in strategies to attract top talent to their organizations like bees to honey.
Hiring managers have begun to recognize that the old ways of hiring no longer cut it, and in the current turbulent market, they have had to learn to think on their feet. For many of these managers, this kind of thinking often requires them to sell potential employees on their company because top talent get several job offers.
One set of data by Labor Statistics estimated that there are about two job openings for every job seeker in the market.
But selling a company to a candidate is no longer as easy as raising a candidate’s salary range. For many current job seekers, compensation isn’t even the most important selling point. Other criteria, such as a company’s mission, culture, purpose, and interview process are very important to most candidates.
According to a survey done by Glassdoor, 77% of job seekers consider company culture before they even start the application process.
Below, we’ve asked certified career coach and Arootah consultant, Kathleen Fariss, to share her expertise to help employers and hiring managers who want first dibs on top talent.
The Job Market in 2022: Current State
Employers are reevaluating their tactics to sweeten the employment pot, as more and more job seekers turn down job offers or fail to apply to their listings in the first place. The fact of the matter is that employees have raised their standards in the workplace.
“Hiring managers are learning they need to be much more responsive and transparent with potential new hires than in the past, as there is much more competition for talent and opportunities than in prior years,” Fariss explains.
This trend has likely emerged from job seekers’ long-term frustration over the disconnect between their actual job responsibilities and the responsibilities communicated to them during the interview process.
“Candidates are looking for more of a ‘whole person’ approach to their employment, which takes into consideration their life outside of the company that allows them to have balance, invest in their own physical and mental well-being, and celebrate who they have in their lives outside of work,” says Fariss.
The effects of the pandemic have shown employees they really can have it all — or at least, they can ask for more than employees previously offered them. Many job seekers are realizing that work-life balance is a top priority for them, and that balance has risen to a higher spot on their list of employment requirements.
Creating a Good Impression During the Job Interview
Job seekers have long been told: The interview process starts with the first interaction, but today, hiring managers can benefit from the same advice.
Since mission and culture are important to candidates, recruiting others from your organization to participate in the interview process could be a good way to sell your company culture.
“As part of the interview process, hiring managers could select the champions from their organization and invite them to speak with potential candidates for more of a Q&A dialogue, rather than a formal panel interview,” Fariss suggests.
Strategies to Stay Competitive when Attracting Talent
Fariss invites companies to consider implementing the following creative strategies to attract new talent:
- Match new hires with mentors during their first year of employment.
- Offer career coaching services through employee assistance benefits to support employee attraction, retention, and resilience.
- Consider sabbatical options for employees who hit certain tenure milestones.
- Provide leadership training for top performers to support their growth instead of only investing in performance improvement plans.
- Sponsor the yearly membership fee for industry-specific events to support employees’ ongoing leadership and career development.
- Supply an annual health and wellness stipend to support employees’ physical and mental well-being.
- Cover the expense of fitness memberships or apps to support employee health and wellness.
- Support hybrid or remote work options for all employees.
Best Hiring Practices: Tips for Leaders
As a leader or hiring manager, you’re the spokesperson for your company. If you’re not giving job candidates a good impression, you won’t be able to sell your company to top talent.
Fariss offers these pointers for leadership during the hiring process:
- Be present: Fast is not always the best path to hiring top talent.
- Be curious: Listen to understand. Don’t listen to talk.
- Be responsive: Share the hiring timeline and next steps often.
- Be transparent: Communicate the fringe benefits your company offers and what’s unique about its culture.
- Be kind: It’s the best way to hire the right fit for your company and ensure they are seen and heard.
- Be open: Provide candidates with a virtual or in-person tour so they can see the workplace and coworkers.
- Be intentional: Invite them to share a meal with you and the team. This can solidify an offer.
- Be strategic: Don’t negotiate just to negotiate. Make a competitive offer.
- Be a leader: Offer a “whole person” package. Not a one-size-fits-all.
- Be innovative: Offer leadership development and executive coaching
Including these tools in your arsenal can help you attract the right talent for your organization and can help potential employees understand how their values align with your company’s.
The Bottom Line
Hiring top talent doesn’t have to be an uphill battle, so long as you’re in tune with what employees need and value in a workplace — and do the work to be aligned with them.
While many hiring managers typically follow a process to support their organizational goals, it’s important to keep in mind we’re all human, and the “human being” part of the hiring process is imperative for all involved, Fariss explains.
If your organization can use support when it comes to hiring top talent, Arootah Talent Acquisition assists HR leaders at every stage of the employee lifecycle.