A software engineering company wanted to become known for hiring the most attractive candidates in their field. For them, success was competing with peer firms for the top talent. A new HR candidate was brought in for this expressed purpose, and when asked what the smart, younger generation of incoming talent would want, he discussed ping-pong tables and bars in the break room.
However, when those same candidates were asked what would attract them to one firm over another, they mentioned three things: state-of-the-art technology, other smart young individuals like themselves, and an environment that consistently lets them interact with both.
A Dangerous Disconnect
Every firm wants to be regarded for its ability to attract the best and brightest. Often, this is easier said than done. In the aforementioned case, the lack of alignment between the people doing the hiring and the people being hired would cost the firm its talent pool.
Alignment with top talent is a critical piece in bringing in the high performers you want on your team. What, then, do leaders need to do to position their organization as the most desirable place for people to work?
Three components to highlight when attracting top talent
There is no easy formula, but there are a few components. For one, your company’s mission can be a crucial piece. Individuals tend to be drawn to organizations that align with their values, and highlighting this during your recruitment process can be a huge piece to leverage. (That is, of course, assuming your values system is highly embedded in your culture—don’t stress a mission that isn’t already well supported.)
Fostering a climate of excitement drawn from success will tend to get top talent’s attention as well; this will award your firm a favorable reputation, and people will want to be part of your team.
And building—and advertising—a strong work-life balance in your workplace is important. Younger generations value this highly, and if these are the people you’re trying to recruit, a strong work-life balance is a must.
Find out what your talent really wants
Above all, however, don’t presume you know what your top talent wants. Just like the incumbent HR manager, assuming your possible hires want things that they don’t may make you seem at best, out of touch, and at worst, indifferent to what they’re looking for.
Talk to your coworkers and ask what it is that attracted them to your firm. Ask attractive candidates the same question: why were they drawn to you, and what draws them to other companies in your line of work? Not only will you draw insight on how to attract the best talent; you will also make your talent feel listened to, which in and of itself is a great asset for your firm.
What practices or strategies does your company employ to attract top talent?
Check out the second post in this series, Retaining Top Talent.