In the current hiring market, competition is fierce. With so many options available to job seekers, companies must attempt to out-compete others in their industry in order to attract and hire talent, and this has led to many companies struggling to fill roles—and wondering what they can do to make the top of candidates’ lists.
In today’s market especially, attracting applicants must be approached differently than in the past. Offerings of medical, dental and vision plus a few vacation days won’t bring in the top tier, and for those who are willing to settle for a basic benefits package, market compensation has increased to adjust to the talent surge.
Alas, employers are not hopeless; below are three key things you can implement to filter through the fluff and snag a Unicorn Candidate.
1. Look Internally
Bringing in top talent starts from within. If you want to know how you measure up in the talent pool, look at your reflection. Are your employees collaborative and productive, or are they secretly submitting their resumes during lunch? What is your turnover rate and community footprint? If you reviewed all exit surveys over the past year, would you see people who recommend your organization to others? If your people love where they work, they’ll refer their colleagues [ahem did someone say alumni networks] time and time again to join in on the fun. As such, if they can’t wait to get away from the org, they will vent about their horror stories every chance they get, creating a negative reputation around your business.
For these reasons, it’s critical to keep a close eye on employee morale and develop a culture that supports the company’s mission statement and values. These bylaws are the foundation for how the People and Operations teams will create policies, trainings, and tangible company goals of success.
2. Offer Creative Incentives
Remote work took the nation by storm in 2020 and since then has become a staple for anyone who isn’t required to directly interface with a customer day to day. If all you can offer is a flexible schedule and a standard health plan, you are falling well below the mark of your competitors for the star candidates’ attention. Instead, consider amping up your total rewards package to include equity options for all employees (not just the c-suite level), offering parental leave for biological and adoptive parents, and clearly defined career development plans. Setting your company apart includes matching the industry standard – which is now a flexible work arrangement – and adding your secret sauce to the mix.
3. Transparency is the Best Policy
We already know the phrase is “honesty is the best policy” but seriously, the days of closed-door conversations and hallway whispers are gone. And here’s why: when an organization is more transparent with their employees, they tend to be more successful in several areas: they have increased employee engagement, stronger company culture, and transparency fosters a type of comfort that allows employees to freely communicate. A transparent work environment also helps employees feel valued and encourages creativity.  In hiring, candidates want to know what the work structure is like, how much the salary is, the conditions for bonuses and what you are and are not looking for in this role. Everyone has a busy schedule, so straightforward, transparent information should have priority over everything else.
Finding a well-qualified candidate within your budget can feel like finding a unicorn, but don’t stress. The market isn’t projected to slow down any time soon, as talent changes are most common in the spring through fall. Continue to look inward, improving your culture and focusing on the talent you have, as they may lead you towards connections otherwise missed.