Attracting the best candidates to your company is about more than just finding the right recruitment specialist to put your business in front of talented workers — though, that certainly helps!
If you want to convince talented individuals that your company is a great fit then you need to show you really value them by treating them as people, not employees.
You do can do this in four key ways:
- Giving them clear paths of progression
- Advertising your excellent company culture
- Providing a personalised work schedule
- Offering perks that make a difference
We’ve explained each of these things in detail and given you examples of how your business can employ them to secure the best candidates.
Demonstrate clear progression paths
Clear progression paths is a straightforward concept. It’s showing your candidates how they can grow within your company and what they need to do to move from one role (even department) to another.
It’s something the best candidates expect from your business, if they’re going to commit to it for the long term.
Progression is enormously important to Millennial and Gen Z job candidates, with a survey from CareerAddict highlighting that 82% of people would consider quitting their job if it didn’t have great development opportunities. With this in mind, if you want to attract the top talent then you must demonstrate that these opportunities exist in your business.
The best way to demonstrate your business has clear career paths in place is to have an organisational structure that makes it easy for staff to see all the different directions they can take. This should show how all the different roles in your business relate to one another and be aligned to a training scheme that outlines how you’ll help people get the skills they need to progress.
Advertise a great company culture
Company culture is all about the environment people work in and the colleagues they work with. It’s about fostering an atmosphere candidates find enjoyable, rewarding and challenging. These are all things the best candidates want because they need to feel happy when they’re working.
There’s no doubt people are more engaged if they like where they are and who they work with. So much so that working environment is what matters most to job candidates. The question then is not if you should advertise a great company culture but how to do it. Here are a few examples of how you can show your business is a great place to work:
- Display charity partnerships: Charitable work shows your culture is about more than just business success. You can find the right partner by using the government’s charity register, which allows you to search by area filter by income.
- Publishing your values: The golden circle is a marketing concept that states customers care more about “why” your business exists than what it does. The same is true of prospective candidates, which is why you should publish clear values that let them know they’re signing up to a culture they approve of.
- List employee testimonials: Your current employees are the best people to explain the quality of your company culture. Prospective candidates can find what current staff think about your business via websites like Glassdoor, so add testimonials to your site to show you don’t have anything to hide.
These are just a few ways you can advertise your company culture. You might have other ideas about how you want to show your business is a great place to work for but we recommend using our suggestions as a starting point.
Provide a personalised work schedule
A personalised work schedule is exactly what it sounds like. It’s stepping outside of the standard 9-5 timescale and allowing employees to work to a schedule that better suits their lives and maximises their productivity. It’s something that more and more candidates expect of their employers, particularly since lockdowns enforced remote working.
Personalised work schedules make a big difference to candidates because they have lives outside of work, such as families and their associated commitments. This means people now expect the best employers to work in partnership with them to design work schedules that allow them to live their lives comfortably and work efficiently.
Flexible working is the solution to providing a personalised work schedule. Acas highlights that it’s a right for employees to request their working hours and conditions are altered to suit their needs, so be proactive about this and offer flexi working to candidates from the outset. Include it in your job adverts and speak directly to people at the interview stage, so they know you’ll work with them to provide the best possible schedule.
Offer perks that really matter to people
We’ve already explained that salary isn’t the most important thing for candidates when they’re deciding whether they want to work for your company.
But finances are important and you do need to go way beyond the “competitive salary” and “great perks” lines trotted out in many job advertisements. You do this firstly by saying what the salary is and secondly by actually offering great perks, ones that matter to candidates.
When we say perks that matter to people we’re talking about company benefits that make a genuine difference to the lives of your employees — not things like “great coffee in the office”. Here are some examples of perks you can offer:
- Insurance coverage: Insurance cover is something that you can offer to provide protection and peace of mind for your staff. A provider like Legal & General offers a range of cover, from income protection to critical illness that provides a lump sum in the event that an employee is unable to work for a period of time.
- Company car: A company car allows your employees to use the cash they’d otherwise spend on purchasing a vehicle for other things, like a family holiday. Sites such as iCompario allow you to pair this perk with fuel cards, which makes it easier for your staff to record their expenses and for your business to track them.
- Pension top-ups: Pension contributions help your workers to plan for the future. It’s a great way for them to save for their retirement and for your company to show you care about them. We recommend you either speak to an independent financial adviser or check the government’s resources on workplace pensions before you offer this perk.
There are plenty of other perks you can offer to attract the best candidates but the ones we’ve recommended are a good starting point. The key is that you give your staff a perk that makes a real difference to their lives, rather than a superficial benefit.
Demonstrating clear progression, advertising a great company culture, providing a personalised work schedule and offering perks that make a real difference are all great ways of attracting the best candidates to your company.
You might already be employing some of these tactics or you may be using none of them. You could even have thought of a few ideas of your own as you’ve been reading this article.
What’s essential is that you go beyond offering more than a great salary. Because the very best candidates expect that as a bare minimum and demand you go the extra mile if they’re to pick your company over one of your rivals.
Picture credit: Flickr
Writer: Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer for MicroStartups, your online destination for everything startup. She's passionate about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.