Attracting the best talent can be challenging. Talented professionals have well-rooted values and as a result, have high expectations. Just like them, you also want the best for your company. You’ve worked hard to find the top talent you already have, as well as creating a great, positive culture.
Looking to find top talent often involves creative and out-of-the-box hiring strategies. As a recruiter, the skills, qualities, and experience you’re seeking in this position are more than clear to you— but now, where do you begin?
As a small business owner, I’ve experimented with and adapted my hiring strategy over the years. Taking on the roles of both CEO and the entire HR department, I’ve had full freedom to adjust my talent acquisition strategy to align with my company’s goals. I’d like to say that this strategy has helped me attract outstanding team members who are leaders, go above and beyond, are self-motivated, have integrity and achieve results.
Here are a few things to consider to market any job opening to attract the best talent:
1. Begin with sharing your company’s mission and values
I like to start off job posts by introducing our mission statement and values, which I see as our company’s backbone. Because these are the elements that shape our culture, drive our vision and communicate what we value as a company, it’s the easiest and simplest way of providing candidates with a feel of the company— think of it as your company’s business card.
If the applicant identifies with your mission and values, they will keep scrolling for more.
2. What makes your company special?
What does your company have to offer that’s better than what they already have?
Here come the fun facts. Because the best talent might currently be employed, you need to make your company appealing in order for them to consider applying for your company. Think of this as an “about us” section— about what you do and why you’re great at doing this.
For example, after years of persistent work I’ve gotten our company website to rank on the first page of Google for the keyword “digital marketing company,” which brings in the majority of our new business leads and fuels our company growth. This is something special about our company, which also implies that by working here, team members will acquire the skills to do this.
3. Choose an enticing job title
Job titles are important because they not only benefit your team members, they also benefit you. The best talent most likely already has a great job title, which is very important in this age of LinkedIn.
For example, if you’re looking to hire a Social Media Specialist, you can choose to call the title a Social Media Support Specialist or Social Media Manager. If you were the applicant, which would you prefer to go on your resumé?
It’s also important to think of the keywords job-seekers are searching for. If you were them, how would you search for this position? It’s important to stick to industry-specific, relevant, and enticing job titles.
4. Now, for the details. Transparency is key.
For every position, there will be one or two tasks that your team members might not be too excited about. This is normal for any position, which is why it’s important to throw this out there from the very beginning. Make sure you describe the position as clearly as possible in order to avoid misunderstandings.
The same goes for the required skills and experience. By doing this, candidates should have a clear idea of whether they’re a good fit for this position or not. This will also make the process easier for you since you’ll automatically be filtering out unqualified candidates, and be able to focus only on the best talent. A clear and detailed job description will save you time and money.
5. Everyone wants to know about the perks and benefits.
List all exciting things here. There will be numerous companies competing for the best talent in your industry. You might have similar requirements and offer equivalent salaries, but how can you make a difference? Why would this candidate want to work for your company?
Here’s where you really have to sell your brand! Many companies —specially startups— now offer remote work days and flex time, which is why this might still not be enough to make your company unique. Aside from salary, the most common perks and benefits candidates seek are vacations, a reasonable commute, an attractive office location, a pleasant culture and promising growth opportunities.
Because top talent brings in more value, you’ll have to add a little more to inspire top talent to apply. Begin by brainstorming and asking your current team members why they chose your company and areas for improvement. In my experience, talking to my current team provided me with honest and valuable information that helped with retaining my valuable team members and continue attracting top talent.
One of the things all my team members agreed on was the need for a better vacation policy. With that said, we transitioned from a traditional vacation policy to an Unlimited Vacation policy that pays team members $500 to go on vacation. According to a 2015 research from SHRM, less than one percent of employers offer an Unlimited Vacation policy. Our company is now in the minority, which makes us pretty unique.
In a nutshell, this is your opportunity to make your company shine. The top talent you’re seeking might currently have a good job, but exciting perks and benefits will motivate them to apply.
6. Keep it simple.
A lot of information has been shared, but this doesn’t mean the job posting should be lengthy. Keep in mind that your job opening isn’t the only opening candidates will be exploring. The best talent most likely is not actively seeking for a job, which is why your information must be delivered in an effective way. Use attention-grabbing headers, and use bullet points instead of paragraphs when appropriate.
7. Get social.
Top talent is curious and detail oriented, which is why you should expect for them to do research beyond your website. If your company doesn’t have a social media presence, it’s not too late to start!
If your company is on social media, invest the time to post on it regularly. Social media is a great way to convey your company culture and prove that all of these exciting perks on the job description are a reality.
8. Your current team members must have a lot to say!
Like we mentioned above, don’t be surprised if these candidates expect your company to have more than a website. Besides getting a feel of your culture on social media, these candidates are probably curious to hear what your current employees have to say about your company. Employee reviews on Indeed and Glassdoor are valuable tools that could be the determining factor in this decision. You never know, your company might be one review away from acquiring the best talent.
Even if you’re trying to fill a less than attractive position that’s inherently dull or monotonous, marketing any job effectively will bring the best talent through the door.
Brett Farmiloe is the CEO of digital marketing company Markitors and advisor to Organizational Leadership Degrees. He is also a backyard chicken farmer who frequently contributes content to Forbes and Huffington Post.