Candidate attraction: finding the needle in a haystack

By Paul Slezak - Jan. 12, 2012
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The ability to retain top talent is one of the keys to any business’ success. And yet, while companies with a proven staff retention record certainly have a competitive advantage, candidate attraction still remains one of the greatest challenges faced by businesses today.

Losing top performers will always have a significant impact on your team’s morale and overall productivity, but actually attracting (and ultimately hiring) the wrong people into your business can have the same result.

You must be prepared to invest in the talent attraction process and to believe in the need to cast the net out far and wide. Don’t just try to find people with a certain skill set or a specific level of industry experience. The real key lies in finding people who share the same goals, values, vision, culture and work ethic as your company.

Believe it or not they may currently be working in a totally unrelated field just like a colleague of mine who used to run a very busy physiotherapy practice and was recently hired into a senior communications role in a professional services firm.

What makes your company different from others? What is unique about your culture? What is the perception and reputation of your brand (and organisation) in the market place?

Candidates will all have preconceived ideas about what your company stands for before they even apply. So it is therefore crucial that your brand helps to attract the top talent you want. You then need to ensure that your reputation is not only represented through all your recruitment advertising, branding and PR, but is also embraced by your current staff whenever they interact with their clients, suppliers or any potential new hires.

For most people evaluating whether or not to accept a new job it is never really just about the money. In a market where the demand for top talent is rapidly outstripping the supply, whilst offering “killer salaries” may seem like the best method for attracting the best candidates, this common misconception, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.

The ability to demonstrate to potential candidates that your organisation can offer real careers will help you attract your future top performers. This is all part of your brand promise as are the many non-financial benefits highly sought after by top talent today.

Be prepared to implement multi-channel sourcing strategies, and to go beyond the traditional candidate attraction routes of print advertising or online job postings. Remember the passive job seekers … those potentially top level candidates who are happy in their current jobs, and who are not actively applying to advertised roles. How can you tap into that talent pool and lure them in your direction?

Never settle for second best. Talent sourcing is not a one-off event – it is an ongoing process. Attracting the right people will not happen simply as a result of coming up with a finely tuned strategy … it will only happen if this strategy is continually implemented.

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.


Paul Slezak

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.

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