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There’s no doubt that one of the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is its impact on the job market. As employee expectations have evolved to expect more from a workplace than a pay packet, the total supply of quality applicants has dwindled.
To navigate these challenges successfully, companies must adopt strategic and forward-thinking approaches to attract talent, improve retention and think deeply about what makes their company attractive to prospective employees. This is all the more important when we understand that injecting a business culture with new talent can reinvigorate and energise a team. Moreover, as hybrid work environments become more prevalent, companies require autonomous and self-directed skilled talent, which can become increasingly difficult to find in a competitive market.
At HumanX, we have investigated what makes a company attractive for specific talent pools, in different industries across Australia, working with our client partners, teaching them how to attract talent, instilling frameworks, understanding processes, and developing offerings like employee value propositions.
In this extraordinary labour market, cost-effectively attracting talent and making the right recruitment decisions is harder than ever. It is, also, more important than ever. Keep reading to learn how to attract employees in 2024 and beyond from expert HR consultants.
The Essential Components to Attract Talent
Employees are no longer basing their career decisions on a salary alone. Many are looking for work-life balance and a company culture that supports them. This means companies need to understand whether their company culture serves today’s professionals and, if found lacking, implement the changes required to stay competitive. To understand how to attract employees with benefits, you must consider how your company helps employees achieve balance. This can include hybrid work, a conscious company culture, and a commitment to goals beyond a profit margin.
Hybrid Work and Flexible Work Options Are a Must
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work and highlighted the importance of flexibility in the workplace. According to the Talent Trends 2023 Report by Michael Page, 85% of respondents with no managerial responsibilities emphasised the importance of flexible working hours. This demand for flexibility cuts across all age groups and seniority levels. Companies that embrace and customise flexibility to individual needs not only improve employee retention rates but also position themselves as attractive employers to potential employees.
Showcase an Inspiring Vision
Job seekers are not only looking for a to-do list but also want to be a part of something meaningful and impactful. If you’re thinking about how to attract employees who are driven over the long term, then your company needs a long-term vision, and you need to communicate that effectively, internally to your existing teams, and externally to new talent.
Being driven by an inspiring vision can help align actions within a company and provide staff with a sense of purpose and direction. In fact, Gartner’s popular Magic Quadrant methodology for assessing a company's leadership role in their industry rests on correlating a ‘completeness of vision’ and ‘ability to execute’. They found that amongst industry leaders, having a complete vision correlated strongly with their ability to execute in the market.
Make Company Culture a Top Priority
According to Glassdoor, company culture is mentioned by almost all employees (93%) in their reviews, highlighting its significance. While hosting corporate events and throwing on a paid lunch are easy ways out, building a positive culture is a long-term effort to improve transparency, communication and engagement within a business. If you focus on building a healthy culture within the company, your prospective job seekers will find positive reviews that also give an idea about who the company really is and what they stand for.
Remember, that specific industries and verticals can be a small world. You may be recruiting within a small talent pool that can be quite a close community (especially when everyone is connected through LinkedIn). Therefore, a carefully crafted and honed culture will turn your team into brand ambassadors. Allow the good word and quality workplace experience to spread throughout your industry; it’s a reliable, cost effective way to be a sought-after workplace with a full pipeline of talent seeking to join your company.
Re-Evaluate Employer Brand Over Company Brand
Candidates are now interested in how a company's vision, purpose and values align with their own. They prioritise factors such as company culture, diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, as well as the company’s history and relationship with employees.
Platforms like Glassdoor provide prospective employees with unrivalled insight into the reality of a company’s culture, which can have a significant impact on your brand as an employer. Assess your employer brand over your company brand and think about how you can improve it to effectively attract highly skilled candidates who align with your values and contribute to your long-term success. Understanding how to attract employees in this evolving landscape requires a shift in perspective, emphasising not just the size or reputation of the company but its intrinsic values and commitment to DE&I and ESG initiatives.
Four Practical Strategies: How to Attract Talent to Your Company
Understanding the high-level strategies that can improve your chances of attracting talent is only one-half of the equation. You need practical strategies that address how to attract talent in this new environment. To stay ahead, businesses must look in new places to find candidates, build sustainable talent pipelines, re-evaluate the employer value proposition (EVP) and streamline the hiring process for maximum efficiency.
Utilising Niche Career Portals: Connecting with the Right Audience
Posting an ad on Indeed and waiting for highly qualified talent to roll in is no longer an option in today’s job market. Instead, as hiring managers, we need to understand how to attract talent by seeking them out where they are. There are several platforms dedicated to hosting job boards for specific industries and needs. On the other hand, LinkedIn can provide recruiters with highly granular search functions to find the right people with the right experience. While the talent might not come running, there are effective ways to go out and find it. Generating lists of potential new talent in LinkedIn Recruiter and nurturing them should be a standard part of any HR operation. Grasping how to attract potential employees means more than just posting job openings; it involves building relationships, understanding their career aspirations, and showcasing why your organisation stands out from the crowd.
Building Sustainable Talent Pipelines: Why Relationships Matter in Recruitment
While it might be easier to discard a stack of unsuccessful resumes, it's no way to build a sustainable talent pipeline. By establishing and maintaining connections with individuals who may not be the right fit for current positions but possess valuable skills and potential, your company can nurture a pool of qualified talent for future hiring needs. One way to do this is to ensure all candidates, regardless of their progression, come away with a positive experience of your company. Not only does this increase the chances that you can successfully call upon them in the future, but it also helps to continue to build your employer brand as a respectful and transparent company.
Re-evaluating the Employer Value Proposition (EVP)
Your employer value proposition (EVP) aims to articulate the unique offering that an employee may get from trading their skills and talents to be part of your company. This includes your company culture, compensation and benefits package, and your place in the market. Think of an EVP as the unique selling point of your busines from the perspective of an employee. Assess what makes your company uniquely valuable, and communicate this simply and concisely to prospective candidates. Understanding how to attract employees effectively often hinges on a well-defined and understood EVP, which showcases not just what they will get but why they would want to be a part of your company's journey.
Streamlining the Hiring Process for Maximum Efficiency
Lengthy hiring processes can lead to candidate frustration and the loss of highly skilled individuals to competitors. To better understand how to attract talent and to keep them interested, companies should evaluate and optimise each step of their hiring process, from application review to final offer. Time-to-hire is a critical factor to consider, as the best candidates are often in high demand and may have multiple job offers on the table. Recognising how to attract employees isn't only about offering enticing roles but also about valuing their time and ensuring a seamless, efficient hiring experience. By streamlining the hiring process, companies can reduce time-to-hire, ensuring that they secure top talent before their competitors do.
Attract Talent in 2024: The Road Ahead
What attracts employees to a company has changed dramatically since the pandemic. With changing employee expectations and a reduced supply of highly skilled applicants, organisations face the important task of reinventing their strategies to remain competitive and find innovative ways to attract talent. Companies must go beyond simply offering competitive salaries but also recognise the many expectations of the modern workforce, understanding how to attract talent without relying on the silver bullet of higher compensation. From a rich and nurturing company culture to a well-defined vision and mission, employees seek purpose, flexibility, and alignment with their personal values.
Moreover, the art of being able to attract talent includes transitioning your business into a highly attractive workplace. Learning how to attract employees in this new era means comprehensively addressing their holistic needs, from work-life balance to opportunities for personal and professional growth. Gone are the days of simply advertising a role and receiving tens, if not hundreds, of enquiries and applications. It demands practical, actionable measures to generate new applicants, keep them and bring them in — whether leveraging digital platforms, cultivating sustainable talent pipelines, redefining one's employer value proposition, or streamlining hiring procedures for optimal efficiency.