5 Ways to Attract Top Talent in a Competitive Market

At 3.6%, April’s unemployment rate was the lowest in the U.S. since 1969. While that’s great news for job seekers, it has many business leaders anxious about their ability to attract top talent. The demand for skilled workers seems to far outweigh the supply.

You may be wondering how to recruit strong candidates when you’re competing against bigger companies and known brands. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a huge corporation with a bottomless budget to find the right person for the job. Here are five ways you can attract top talent to your startup and beat out the competition.

1.     Optimize your job listings

It might sound simple, but writing a strong job listing is key to successfully hiring the right people for the job. Think about it: Most of your applicants will likely see your listing as their first interaction with your brand. If they aren’t impressed, they will quickly swipe left on your job and move on.

So what does a great job listing look like? There are a few things you can do to set your job post apart:

  • Outline the application process (and timeline)
  • Write it in second person (i.e., speak directly to the applicant)
  • Lead with what makes your company different from competitors
  • Avoid jargon and buzzwords
  • Be specific and detailed
  • Proofread

Additionally, 52% of applicants use smartphones to apply for jobs, so if your career page isn’t mobile friendly, you’re essentially cutting your applicant pool in half.

By optimizing your job post to work with your applicants (and not against them), you will be a step ahead of the competition.

2.     Offer remote options

Hiring a remote staff is a great option for early startups and entrepreneurs. And as technology makes it easier to work and communicate remotely, more candidates are interested in remote opportunities.

There are several benefits to hiring a remote staff:

  • You are no longer limited by your location, opening up a wider and more diverse pool of candidates
  • Fewer in-house workers means lower overhead costs
  • Remote or flexible work is a high priority for millennial workers, which can give your company a competitive edge when recruiting

Advances in technology and communication make remote work a good alternative to the traditional office. And with so many benefits to both the business and the employee, telecommuting is often a win-win solution for savvy entrepreneurs.   

3.     Integrate tech into the workplace

As the millennial and Gen Z workforce grows, so does the need for more technology integration in the workplace. Today’s talent pool is full of digital natives who expect technology to play a key role in their day-to-day work.

To attract top talent, consider providing the following tech benefits:

  • Multiple monitors
  • Communication options like videoconferencing or Slack
  • Adjustable desks for standing or sitting
  • Personal work laptops

Providing your employees with the tech they need (and an internet infrastructure to support that tech) will not only make them happier but also help them be more productive and efficient.

4.     Create an attractive culture

A great culture doesn’t just mean having a fully stocked snack bar and casual Fridays. Today, applicants are looking for companies that care about their employees and the greater community. 

In a study by Robert Half on Gen Z workers, 40% of respondents said “making a difference or having a positive impact on society” was a top priority when considering full-time jobs.

This is great news for entrepreneurs who can’t fund lavish company outings or weekly catered lunches. Instead, focus on building an authentic mission-based culture. Provide opportunities for your employees to make meaningful contributions at work and within their community.

Some ways to do this include:

  • Sponsoring a 5k fundraiser
  • Participating in local community cleanups
  • Investing in an office recycling program
  • Listening to and acting on employee feedback
  • Connecting employee work to the greater mission of the business

Companies that authentically connect with their employees will easily attract and retain great talent.

5.     Invest in your employees

The key to successful hiring is not only attracting top talent but also retaining and supporting that talent. To do this, provide opportunities for your employees to grow. Create opportunities for them to advance in their career, take on new responsibilities, and develop new skills:

  • Offer mentorship opportunities
  • Host regular trainings and workshops
  • Invite experts to speak at company events
  • Provide education stipends or reimbursements
  • Cross-train employees and teams to cover skill gaps and build competencies

Developing your existing talent pool strengthens your business, and employees value companies that invest in their future. 

Recruiting top talent is never easy, but it is worth the investment. Use these tips to jumpstart your recruiting process and attract top talent in any market.

 Found these tips helpful? Spread the knowledge and share this post with your network.

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Alice is an experienced freelance writer who covers business and technology. She has a passion for translating difficult to understand concepts into simple, actionable tips for business owners and technology enthusiasts.

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