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Attracting Talent: Proven Approaches from Recruiting Experts


No two strategies geared toward attracting talent are exactly alike. However, they do share many traits. Employers who are able to consistently attract top talent and turn them into new, long-term employees:

  • Make job seekers feel seen, heard, and comfortable during the entire recruitment process
  • Showcase their employer branding in all external-facing recruitment marketing collateral
  • Relay the internal mobility and learning and development programs offered by their orgs
  • Explain why their company is such a great one to work for — and better than competitors

Where every employer will differ with their respective talent attraction strategies is in the “nuts and bolts” of their approaches. That is to say, each company has their own distinct tactics and techniques they carry out to both attract and retain best-in-class talent and, in turn, grow their businesses.

9 expert tips for attracting talent

Develop employee referral programs. Try new social media platforms to promote open roles. Adjust brand- and role-related messaging in nurture communications shared with potential candidates.

There are countless alterations and additions you can (and should) make to your talent attraction approach today. To narrow down the list to the lowest-hanging-fruit opportunities for your small business talent team, though, we’ve compiled some best practices from HR and TA experts.

Ones that can not only help you better attract premier prospects, but also boost your talent retention.

talent attraction

1) Prioritize both fair chance hiring and flexibility

I’ve seen incredible results from companies that are prioritizing fair chance hiring. In an interview with the founder and CEO of Hot Chicken Takeover, Joe Deloss, he explained that taking a “chance” on these individuals doesn’t just open up a job for them. It connects them to your company in a way that is hard to describe, and they are much more likely to give it their best effort than someone hired off the street.

Another intriguing solution is flexibility, especially for older and more experienced workers.

In a previous human resources job, I was able to retain one of our customer’s favorite workers by moving him to a two-day-a-week schedule after he turned in his resignation. The employee was excited to be able to continue contributing, and we were thankful to have time to find a suitable replacement that the customer liked as he transitioned out over the next 12-18 months.

2) Use old-school recruiting tactics (on occasion)

I am hearing more and more from Enterprise level employers that are using old-school recruiting techniques with great success. Think traditional job fairs. We love great recruiting tech and automation, but so much of this has caused candidates to feel lost. Organizations are having high success hiring face-to-face because the candidate knows at the very least this won’t be a black hole and I’ll get to talk to a real person, and I’ll get a “yes” or a “no” at the very least!

3) Get creative with copy that promotes open roles

The jobs page on TeamBuilding’s website promotes our company’s fun and energetic culture. The copy has a conversational tone meant to put applicants at ease. The page also features a tool that fills the visitor’s name into the text Mad-Libs style, which makes the experience more interactive and personable

Far from being gimmicks, these touches serve as a litmus test for finding and attracting solid cultural fits as well as a signal to applicants that our company values the employee experience.

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4) Align on the ideal work experience for candidates

Factors like benefits, compensation, and job responsibilities will always be important but an employee’s experience of work will always take precedence.

We are differentiating ourselves by creating a positive experience of work. This includes a great physical workplace, strong culture through team building, and opportunities for career development and cross-functional work.

  • Brian O’Connor, Talent Acquisition Recruiting Manager, DailyPay

5) Pay more money and recognize your employees

We pay our transcriptionists more than our competition. This is done for a few reasons.

We want the best people working for us, and we want them to be happy working for us. If they aren’t happy to get up and do their work they won’t work as hard and will always be looking for a new job. If they aren’t working hard, our clients will eventually get poor work products, and if they are always looking for a new job they will be distracted all day and could make mistakes in their work.

We want happy to be working for us people, so we pay more and recognize them for their hard work with notes, gift cards, phone calls, and public announcements within the company.

6) Share both your organizational culture and mission

People inherently crave the ability to do meaningful work. At Apollo Medical Travel, we help people get high quality, affordable medical care outside of the United States. Our team gets immense satisfaction from helping people get care they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

As we grow, we hope to offer more competitive compensation and benefits packages, but we have not had any problems attracting talent on the strength of our mission alone.

hiring strategies

7) Offer more paid time off options for your workers

Open PTO is a relatively new concept that allows our employees to take vacation time at their discretion (essentially there are no restrictions). I know that may sound high-risk, but our staff doesn’t abuse the policy and has respect for it.

Everyone has remained productive and still has a strong work ethic, and everyone is still expected to pull their weight and get their work done. Very few companies offer this type of PTO program, but it’s a concept that’s improved our team’s work-life balance and is extremely attractive to prospective candidates.

8) Optimize all your job postings for organic search

The dream for a talent acquisition team is to have a steady flow of candidates to gradually populate a talent community. That way, when there are new job requisitions, a TA team can first visit the community to expedite the hiring process.

Optimizing job opportunities for organic search through SEO campaigns can help companies build better visibility online, and generate a flow of candidates. This strategy can be especially for ongoing roles with consistent needs.

By creating a dedicated landing page for the role and optimizing the page for search, a company can start taking the necessary steps to attract talent on a global scale.

9) Lead your promotion with core values and culture

One way we are differentiating from our competitors is by leading with our core values and culture. They influence how we work, so they also influence how and who we hire.

Flexible work, casual dress, and remote working are all extensions of our values and culture – and those are perks that candidates want. So, we position that as an essential part of how we work, and more people are interested in our firm.

We aren’t a tired, old human resources function. We are progressive in our thinking and our work and we can easily appeal to non-traditional HR folks, which is exactly who we want for our team.

Applying these approaches to attracting talent with a powerful applicant tracking system is your company’s path to hiring more employees (and faster). Learn about our leading ATS today.

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