While employers often feel that it should be easy to attract great candidates it is not always the case. Top candidates always have options, and they can generally afford to be picky about which jobs they explore, let alone which offers they accept. This means that employers who truly care about attracting top talent need to put special thought into how they recruit candidates.
Since the best candidates have options, they’ll interview and evaluate employers right back. Employers who assume that the assessment process only goes one way and forget to care about how they’re coming across to candidates will generally turn off great candidates.
Over my years in recruiting within the insurance industry, I’ve found the below strategies particularly helpful in attracting and securing the best candidates:
- The hiring company needs to understand the difference between an active job seeker and a truly “recruited” candidate. It is up to the recruiter to make certain the client company knows who is who, too. Not that the process should necessarily be any different between the two types of candidates, but it can be helpful to know the difference in how each is considered within a hiring process.
- I am presently working with a client that volunteered, during our initial discussion about the project, that the hiring manager would be very open to speaking with any prospective candidate prior to them officially allowing their credentials to be submitted as an actual candidate. When recruiting on particularly difficult searches where the potential pool to draw from is very shallow, this can be a very effective strategy.
- If you, as a hiring company, have a good story to tell, then you should tell it! A recruiter certainly serves as a valued resource during searches, but no one can tell the story like the hiring manager. I’d even suggest that a talent acquisition professional or human resources recruiter, while very knowledgeable certainly, still is not as equipped to talk to a potential candidate about the department culture and why it is great to work for that company and that department.
- Once you have identified a candidate you are truly interested in bringing on board, offer to bring them and their significant other (if they have one) out to your community for a couple days. Set them up with a rental car, a non-aggressive real estate agent and someone on your team that can show them the highlights of the area. I’ve seen this as a very effective way to seal the deal with the person you want to join your company.
The competition for talent is tough. Why not utilize whatever advantages you can to help separate you from your competition?