How to secure top talent

Jonathan Bennett provides a top tips for getting the right people for your organisation.

With candidates now wielding more power than they have had in a long time, securing the very best talent can often be a challenge. Jobseekers have become increasingly selective, particularly when they have multiple offers on the table, leaving many organisations scrambling to meet demands.

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This is often not the best approach to take. Instead, organisations should think smarter about the whole resourcing cycle – from attraction and recruitment, right through to retention.

Let’s examine the common mistakes employers make at the offer stage, and provide a do’s and don’ts checklist on what companies should/should not be doing if they want a successful hiring process in the future.

What companies should be doing to secure top candidates

Give them a taste of company life

Showing off your company culture to your potential candidates is imperative in the hiring process, as nearly 80 per cent of millennials look for a good cultural and personality fit with a company and colleagues before considering career potential. With this in mind, inviting a candidate to lunch with their prospective team or to a company social event can really help both parties determine whether they are the right fit for each other. This is also a great time to show off the authenticity of your employer brand.

Know your competition

To stay ahead of the curve and secure top candidates, it is critical to find out about any other opportunities they may be exploring. The majority of candidates will be open about this as they know it can increase their value by letting you know what you’re up against. Rather than fearing the competitor, use this knowledge to your advantage – find out how your organisation is better than others and play on this when liaising with your candidates. Let them know why your company is so unique, highlighting some of the benefits that they can expect if they join.

Showcasing these benefits

Another way to set yourself apart from the competition is by going beyond the traditional workplace expectations. For example, our Workforce Horizons report found that 92 percent of HR and resourcing professionals believe that flexible working will be key to attracting new talent by 2025. Candidates of all age groups have reasons for enjoying this benefit, i.e. parental duties or travel costs, and it is a great pawn to play in the candidate race.

Making sure you can offer candidates a competitive remuneration package is key, as well as highlighting competitive non-salary benefits and perks that help your organisation to stand out from the crowd. If you want to secure top talent, you must make sure you can provide an offer they cannot refuse.

Prepare your interviewers

As we all know, first impressions are an important factor in building on a job role or company, and as representatives of the business, it is important that interviewers are trained to the best possible standard before meeting candidates. The best managers are not automatically the best interviewers or brand ambassadors, which is why investing time and money to train them on technique and how to position your organisation is critical. Building a rapport with the candidate is a great way to increase their interest in joining your organisation, so make sure that your current employees are well versed in everything you want them to convey to the applicant. This is a crucial step in securing talent.

What companies should not be doing

Don’t get priced out

Understanding your market is absolutely crucial, as it is always important to know what you are up against.  Salary is one of the determining factors for candidates, so before making an offer, scope out the wage that your competitors would be willing to pay them by running market research ahead of the hiring process. This will also help to save time in the long run, as there is less need for salary negotiations, and will make you feel more prepared and in control.

Don’t treat every candidate in the same way

Every applicant is unique, which is why it is critical to understand the driving factors behind their decision to leave their current role. Finding out what they want in their career and using that to shape both future conversations and the end offer is key. Candidates are like snowflakes – no two are alike. Making each candidate feel like they are individually valued is a great way to sway their decision. Knowing and engaging with their skillset, experience and personality traits will make them feel recognised and appreciated. No one wants to feel like just another number in a revolving door of applicants.

Don’t keep them waiting

Instead of interviewing candidates over a number of weeks, try and concentrate the hiring process by grouping the interviews together so they fall on the same day, or at least within a couple of days. This will ensure that applicants are not waiting around for weeks for a reply after attending an interview, whilst also shortening the hiring cycle. Additionally, it will help interviewers compare between candidates more effectively.

For a successful hiring process, it is important to check in every few days to see how they are getting on and if they need any additional information about the role before making a decision. Although this might seem like overkill, when you are dealing with top talent, getting in contact even if it is to say hello and finding out what offers they have on the table is crucial in helping to win them.

If you want to secure the top talent that you have worked so hard to get to the offer stage, you have to make your candidates feel valued. With candidates becoming ever more selective, added with the inevitability of them having several offers on the table, you cannot afford to keep them waiting for a response or next steps. Make sure that you know your competition and that your interviewers are prepared, by being well-versed on the candidates’ experience and expectations for salary and their next role. Follow these tips and you will be sure to create a successful hiring process.  


About the author 

Jonathan Bennett, Director of Internal Resourcing at Capita Resourcing


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