Employers can make their organizations more attractive to prospective top talent in several ways by:
- Cultivating a strong company culture
- Developing an employment brand
- Offering competitive pay and benefits
- Having a well-designed recruitment plan
Start first by cultivating a company culture that attracts the type of talent you seek. By way of an example, Southwest Airlines allegedly recently received more than 50,000 applications for 500 available positions. Companies concerned over what their culture is or what it is becoming use employee surveys, listening posts, town hall meetings, spokespersons meetings, suggestions boxes, social media, exit surveys, etc., to solicit
issue areas. Then they address them and direct or redirect the focus along healthier avenues. They build corporate identities and stories employees can be part of and an employment culture that is vivid and inspirational.
Candidates respond to employment brands. The way a company is presented on social networks, in the media and to its current employees can really help or hurt recruitment and retention efforts. Employers need to figure out their employer brand and then use it consistently online and offline. You need to ask “what makes this company a great place to work?” By doing this, candidates can more easily differentiate between various companies and apply to the one that is the best personal fit.
Companies that successfully compete for talent do annual pay and benefit surveys to ensure they are “in the game.” Since top talent doesn’t wish to be handled like a commodity, they are prepared to flex comp and benefit arrangements. Top talent wants a development plan… how to continue to build their career once they get on board. Competitive employers understand these needs and address them.
Employers need to have a well-designed, customized recruitment and selection process - and stick to it. Your best recruiters may be your current employees so don’t overlook them. Make them aware. Solicit & reward referrals. The best strategy is to first ensure employees really believe in your mission and enjoy working. If they do, they'll act as your ambassadors. They'll bring their friends, and all will feel committed to the company's mission and to growing your team.
Finally, employers need to work cooperatively with technical schools and public education institutions. Consider partnering with regional schools with respect to offering internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing programs. Consider donating and sharing resources. These relationships can become valuable pipelines of talent and should be nourished continually.