Are You Attracting Top Talent?

We all know the company with the best talent wins, so that makes the attraction and hiring process a competition with high stakes.

Approaching it as a marketing project will differentiate your company and surface the best applicants.

Whether you’re a small business, a brand new startup, or an established industry star, use these FIVE KEY questions to assess your talent attraction skills.

1. Does my website make people want to work here?

You don’t have to offer free laundry services and ping pong tables, but you do need to show that everyone matters. Take a stroll through your site. Who’s mentioned? Top talent wants to know they matter. Your website is the first place they’ll look to begin forming an opinion on who’s important and how you manage.

2. Do my job ads stand out from the crowd and grab candidates’ interest?

Your job ad will appear among dozens of others, all competing for very short attention spans. A great way to differentiate your opportunity is to focus on the candidate instead of you. Let’s compare two job ads.

A. Acme Inc., originators and sole distributors of Clock, the award-winning new time management system, is seeking a business developer. Candidates must possess a proven track record of meeting and exceeding sales targets in a competitive B2B market with a focus on C-level enterprise SAAS sales.

B. We’re ready to hire a business developer to become a key member of our team. You’ll manage the entire SAAS sales cycle from prospecting to implementation. We’ll want you to bring us up to speed on what your C-level contacts are talking about so we’ll be coming to you for input before annual planning sessions. Send us your resume along with results against revenue goals and let’s get talking.

The first ad is okay but it’s going to generate a lot of interest from the mediocre crowd. It also uses up too much real estate to brag up the company. Many job listings will only display the first 10-20 words. Job ad A will not do well in that environment. Job ad B, however, will shine. It shows the company has put thought into what the new employee will deliver and how they’ll impact the company as a whole. Top performers will pick up on this and they’ll go to great lengths to make themselves known. Also notice that B doesn’t rely on company size or stature to attract the best which makes it an ideal technique for startups.

3. How well can I describe what it’s like to work here?

Without using stock phrases like open door policy or everyone matters, what can you say about the work environment and your company’s approach to making decisions? Show that you’ve put thought into what it’s going to be like for a new person to walk through those doors and begin integrating and learning.

If your new hire will work remotely or from home, talk about the communication and feedback plan. What will the first week look like? The first month? The more planning you’ve done to assist with the new hire’s success, the better you’ll be able to articulate this.

4. Can I explain, in 20 words or less, how the new hire can win in this job?

Most candidates are hoping the interview ends in a job offer. In contrast, great candidates want to know how they can win in the new role so they can more accurately assess the fit.

Cut through the BS and tell them exactly what they will need to accomplish to become a rock star in this role. What are your expectations at the 30, 60, and 90-day marks? Show that you’ve put thought into measurements and you’re ready for someone to step in and be wildly successful.

5. Do I understand our total compensation so well that I could explain it to a fifth grader?

This is more difficult than it might seem. After all, you won’t be able to use common buzz phrases like we pay a competitive salary and offer full benefits. Imagine what a fifth grader would do with that phrase. How much money? When?

Do I have to share it? Remember that any perks you offer carry a financial value. Make sure to include those when you’re providing the financial picture. When a job offer is extended but not accepted, it’s often due to lack of clarity around compensation.

Working through the answers to these five questions can make the difference between securing the best talent and having to move on to the next candidate name on your list.

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