Attracting and retaining the best talent

Attracting and retaining the best talent

 13 Sep 2021

It’s a job rich market and candidates are in short supply.

Buy backs are rife.

Your competitors are looking for the same skillsets and levels that you are.

Candidates are getting numerous comparable offers and are spoilt for choice.

What can you do to differentiate yourself in this kind of market and make sure that you are coming out on top?


Many firms are under-resourced and overstretched at a time when demand for their services is buoyant, and there never seem to be enough hours in the day, or enough resource, to both build the business and do the work.

Top quality candidates are tending to be well looked after by their current employers (if those employers know what’s good for them), so how can you as an employer stand out from the crowd to make yourself attractive to both active and passive candidates?


Brand brand brand

At the risk of sounding like a diversified Kirstie & Phil, you need to ensure you are focusing on the quality of your brand.

Be everywhere your current and target employees are, from social media, training boards, industry forums, through to technical publications and the like. Having a regular presence builds subconscious credibility in the minds of those that see it and paves the way for greater inclination towards you when it comes to them thinking of a career move.

Ensure you always project a consistent message.

Use your logo with uniform templates and format so that anything you put out is instantly recognisable as your brand and ties in with the style and colouring of your website.

Talk about careers on your website and social media, outlining why working for you is desirable and what makes you different. Pique their interest.



Are you visible enough?

How frequently are you posting new things on the digital platforms your candidates are using, for example?

The more often your brand is seen, perhaps offering interesting / useful content, or something that validates you as experts in your field, the more you become recognised as a trusted brand in the psyche of your target audience. 



How you are perceived in the marketplace is also of vital importance.

  • What sort of employer are you known to be (not necessarily what you think you are)? What does Glassdoor say about you, for example?
  • Are the recruiters you authorise to represent you briefed in the same way, so as to impart the same message into the market?
  • Do your marketing initiatives accurately represent your values?


Be human

Make the wellbeing of your employees a top priority. You will reap the benefits of this in so many ways.

A C-Suite client of mine once told me that he focused on making his employees happy first, rather than his clients, because he found that if his employees were happy, client happiness and satisfaction was automatically taken care of.

Motivated staff tend to be more productive and generate new ideas more easily. They are also less likely to get ill and need to take sick leave. 

If you look after your employees and make work-life-balance a priority in your organisation, you will benefit from higher levels of morale and energy that is then brought straight back into the business. Win win.

Not only this, but it sends an important message. Treat your employees well and they will tell their friends and colleagues. Treat your employees badly and they will tell their friends and colleagues and anyone who will listen. And before you know it, you have started to develop a bad reputation.


Be inclusive

Your social conscience matters. How active you are in this area is a big part of defining who you are in the marketplace and how attractive you are as an employer.

  • Be passionate about promoting diversity in your workplace. It’s not enough to have a policy. You need to actively be challenging the status quo and making positive changes.
  • Do you promote equal pay?
  • What are you doing about your carbon footprint?
  • Be out in the community. Consider offering staff an allocation of paid days off each year for them to get involved with a charity or initiative that means a lot to them. Perhaps you could arrange for teambuilding days to raise money for charity or to get hands on with a local project.
  • Be vocal about your values and live them.


Hybrid working

Anyone not offering some form of flexibility in the current climate is quite simply going to lose out on talent. It has become the norm and candidates expect it.

Whatever your post pandemic model may be, the days of full-time office based working are already a distant memory.

Many firms are cutting back on office space or transforming the old open plan office into hot desks and funky collaboration spaces.

Hybrid working requires a high level of trust, but the pandemic has proved that employees are still productive (often more so) when working from home. Be as open as you can feasibly be to allowing your employees the flexibility to work in a way that balances both their work and home life needs. 


Recruitment process

It should not be underestimated how much you, as an employer, must sell yourself to prospective employees. You need to ensure that you are highlighting your strengths and values and reasons why you should be their employer of choice.

This starts from the moment you put out an advertisement or instruct an agent on your behalf.

Make your company as attractive as possible by ensuring the right messages are being conveyed.

Once you have their interest and you get to interview stage, tailor the interviews to establish what is important to them and highlight how your goals align. And give that equal importance to assessing their skills. 

Ensure a speedy recruitment process to keep momentum and interest high. Give timely feedback after each interview and look to schedule the next stage of the process quickly so you get ahead of the competition where possible.

Where feasible, tailor any employment offer to include elements that you’ve established are important to your prospective employee. This goes beyond just the compensation (although clearly this is almost always a factor) and may include certain benefits, ongoing training, flexible working practices etc.



To attract and retain the best talent when candidates are scarce, you absolutely have to positively differentiate yourselves from your competition at every opportunity.  And make sure you’re shouting about what makes you so special.

If you are open and transparent and doing the right things, your retention rates will stay healthy.

Candidates are very clued up on their value and they tend to be attracted to companies that embody what’s important to them, not only financially but also culturally.

Make your offering something they simply can’t resist!



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