How To Attract Top Talent: Our top 10 list of ways to recruit – and keep – the best talent in your industry

Jeremy Poole

Attracting the top talent has to be your number one goal during any recruitment process. You want the best fits for the roles you have available – and everybody knows that it costs a lot more to recruit regularly than it does to retain staff, so recruiting the right people from the start is key.

Then you’ve got to keep them! So this top ten list of tips should help you solve both dilemmas – creating an exciting and attractive opportunity, and workplace, means you should be able to onboard and retain those workplace heroes.

1. Company reputation

This is a biggie. Creating a place where people want to work is crucial! Consider marketing, to reflect on a wider scale your company’s successes. Reflect your company reputation through an efficient, professional and modern recruitment process too. Always respond to applicants, even if the answer is ‘sorry but not this time’ – you’d be surprised what a difference that makes in terms of your company’s word of mouth reputation within the pool of viable employees.

Outside of the recruitment process, build a strong reputation for a quality product, or service, that employees can be proud to put their name behind. Also create a web of strong leaders internally. These figures can illustrate how a new employee could grow, and will be an exemplar of the type of reputation your company wants to put forward.

2. Define, and discuss, your company purpose

Having transparent goals and standards will make your employees buy into the company – and employee loyalty is priceless. What will your employees be doing, and why? What difference will your product be making, and to who?

It’s much easier to feel like your small role is a crucial cog in the machine when you fully understand what the machine is built to do, on both a departmental and a systemic level. Help your employees buy into what you’re doing, and their potential role in helping the company to get there.


3. Invest in your Company Culture

You need to be talking about your company’s culture, but then those words also need to become concrete actions. You’re so much more likely to reap the rewards of a good recruit if you’ve created a culture of being valued, respected, and wanted. The right culture, of course, is dependent on the right team.

Different attributes of a company culture will be craved by different candidates – so make sure you’re hiring the people who will continue to build and contribute to the sort of company culture you’re aspiring to upholding. Do your employees crave flexibility and independence? Then create a culture of responsibility and trust. Do they crave interaction with the rest of the team, and management? A weekly team lunch might do the trick. Differing levels of autonomy, and ‘soft’ perks, can make a real difference in terms of what’s ‘right’ for different companies.


4. Invest in the person, and the personal

Different employees, as we’ve stated before, need and want different things. Some crave that safety net of regular check-ins, progress checks and one-to-ones, whereas some employees may feel belittled and undermined by the same process. Exploring an employee’s talents, and how, through growth and education, they make progress within the company, can be the impetus an ambitious employee needs to commit to the role.


5. Competitive pay

Salaries haven’t seen real incremental rise, despite most companies’ consistent recovery from the economic downturn we weathered. The pool of sought-after, highly-qualified talent is small, and many companies will be looking to hire them. Make sure you are offering a fair, and enticing, economic reward for their efforts.


6. Competitive benefits

Competitive benefits can vary from industry to industry. With only 41% of employees noting that they’re currently happy with their company’s benefits, it’s an area ripe for investment, and deeper thought. Workplace benefits have diverse advantages, from boosting morale to increasing health, decreasing stress and bumping productivity, so they’re well worth getting right.

There are two major types of employee benefit – the paid benefit (often insurance products, from private medical support to life insurance to dental care packages) and perks that are free or low cost to implement (for example, allowing employees to work flexi-time). It’s not worth throwing money at this without interacting with your employees first, to work out what they actually want! But if you can choose the best benefits for your market, this could be a real boon to your recruitment process.


7. Hire diversity

There is no such thing as positive discrimination – there is always equal talent in the diverse group you’re intending to hire from. They’re just under-represented in your industry pool at the moment. Exciting employees tend to want to see diverse hiring at play – there’s nothing more depressing than a pool of the same ideas in a company, due to a lack of diversity permeating through the company structure. Companies making an effort to appeal to broader sectors create a strong, diverse workforce with the capacity for instigating industry change for the better.

How to hire diversely? It could be as simple as finding out the audience limits of your current recruitment process. Thinking out of the box when it comes to recruitment could solve your potential limitations, and bear in mind that plenty of hiring bias is unconscious – so eliminating potential unconscious bias from your recruitment process is an important step.

Beyond that, a culture change can assist you to have a more representative workforce. Culture changes like flexibility, increased maternity and paternity support, flexi-work and supporting part-time working roles could make all the difference.


8. Go beyond the recruiting ‘norm’

Potential employees are looking everywhere for job roles these days – especially through social media. Best-in-class companies, according to the Aberdeen Group, are 32% more likely to be engaging with potential candidates over social media, and 79% of candidates are using social media as a definite element of their job search. Businesses using social sites for hiring improved their time to hire by a staggering 900% compared to those that didn’t.


9. Consider a remote workforce

Or elements of a remote workforce. Many offices are returning to a more agile working environment, with more flexibility in terms of who is in and who is out on each day, but if some of your roles carry the potential to be carried out completely remotely, it’s worth offering this as an option. Afterall, this enables you to expand your talent search to a global pool of talent, rather than a pool set within the confines of an easy commute to your office location.


10. Opportunities

Good salary and competitive benefits are kind of a given these days, when it comes to recruiting the best talent. However, the best recruits are those who want to develop, both as individuals and within the company. These employees will be looking for opportunities for growth, further education and development. Investing in continued learning ensures they have more to offer the company, and also allows them to grow into a potential candidate for an internal hire further up your company, further down the line.


Of course, once you’ve hired the best person the next imperative is to keep them! The ten recruitment suggestions above should help to contribute to creating a workplace that candidates not only want to be a part of – but a workplace that they never want to leave, either.