Build a strong reputation
To attract top talent, you must become an employer of choice, the type of company that talented employees in your industry and region aspire to work for. The ideas we'll discuss later in this guide will feed into this process. However, it's also vital that you think about your company culture and reputation in the broader sense.
There are many ways to build a successful business brand but think about what's likely important to potential employees. For example, how can you showcase your workforce's diversity or company values? In addition, having a positive presence on social media platforms, getting involved in community initiatives and working on your environmental, social and governance strategy can make all the difference to your reputation and ability to attract top talent.
1. Write good job descriptions
Good job descriptions enable you to build on your existing company reputation and create a positive impression on potential employees. If you've taken time to craft a strong brand, your job descriptions should be consistent with this. In addition, it helps candidates understand your company culture and their duties and responsibilities.
Information to include
A well-crafted job description clarifies what's expected of your candidates. Be realistic about what skills, training and experience the successful candidate needs and the role's requirements. It's a good idea to include information about salary and benefits. Even if some elements depend on a candidate's experience, you can indicate the salary range.
Make your job description clear and easy to read
Good formatting is essential. Using headers and bullet points makes descriptions easier to read and skim for important information. Qualified candidates may have expectations about pay and benefits or want to know if they have the right qualifications for the role before they decide to read the description in full. If faced with walls of text, they may give up at the first hurdle. Buzzwords such as 'guru' or 'ninja' can also be extremely off-putting.
Finally, ensure you include clear instructions on how to apply.
2. Make the hiring process straightforward
Potential employees understand that you want to get to know them before deciding whether to make them a job offer. However, a prolonged and complex application and interview process is a surefire way to put them off. Determine what information you need to assess as part of the hiring procedure and interview process and how to do that quickly and effectively. For example, how will you assess a candidate's hard and soft skillsets? Developing a uniform approach to your hiring processes means you'll also make more effective use of your hiring managers' time. Ensure that hiring managers have interview-focused training to ensure an efficient recruitment process.
Finally, when you've completed the hiring process and are ready to make a job offer, do so promptly. High-quality job seekers are likely to be in demand, so keep the interval between the interview process and the offer as short as is practical.
Showcase your company culture
When you want to attract top talent, showcasing your company culture is an excellent way to start. This applies throughout the hiring process and after they start. A candidate's decision on whether to work with you can often depend on whether they like what they see when they come for an interview. You're also more likely to retain your employees if they feel that the culture suits their approach to work.
During the recruitment process
If an interview has gone well, offer a candidate the opportunity to look around your workplace and talk to current employees. This shows prospective employees that you're confident that current staff will speak positively about your working practices. As well, enabling them to meet both the immediate team they'd be working with and support staff gives you and the candidates the opportunity to assess whether they'd be a good fit.
Good interpersonal relationships in the workplace are essential to a positive working experience. If a new hire is going to clash with your existing team, you should find out during the actual hiring procedure rather than during their first few months in the role.
As part of day-to-day operations
It's essential companies create a positive culture. This doesn't just help you attract the best talent; it also ensures that you retain it. You can improve your office culture by enabling staff to request flexible working or a job rotation programme and by introducing more informal perks that help your employees feel appreciated. These could include team activities, outings, or even just dress-down Fridays. Shared lunches can help your team develop good interpersonal relationships and allow line managers to get to know their staff in a more informal setting.
3. Offer competitive pay and benefits
In a recent survey, the CIPD found that of the 6.5 million people thinking about changing their jobs, 35% were looking for better pay and benefits. Attracting top talent means offering clarity over the salary a candidate can expect and putting together an attractive employee benefits package. Therefore, it's wise to include an indication of salary in the job descriptions and assess candidates' salary expectations during the interview process.
Other types of compensation
A competitive salary is a good starting point, but consider what you could add. In addition, work-life balance is an important consideration for potential employees, so consider whether you can offer flexible working or a generous holiday allowance.
Staff bonuses and pension contributions can also form part of an attractive compensation package.
The likelihood of attracting top talent and retaining them long-term increases when you create a good quality employee benefits package. Benefits that improve your employees' health and well-being and offer them financial security are particularly valuable. Here are a few ideas of elements to include.
Private health insurance
Private health insurance gives your employees quick access to private healthcare but can also allow them to improve their physical and mental health and well-being. You can tailor your company's health insurance to suit your needs and budget. However, many policies come with additional services and benefits as standard. These can include access to discounted gym memberships, counselling and even financial advice. In addition, some services enable your employees to work towards their health and well-being goals. Your business can also benefit from additional services, including help with well-being initiatives that can increase employee engagement.
Group life insurance gives your employees peace of mind knowing that their loved ones will be taken care of if the worst should happen. With a group policy, your business pays the premiums and pays a lump sum to an employee's family if they die during their employment with you. Some policies will also pay part of the lump sum if an employee is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Whilst life insurance provides a death-in-service benefit, income protection insurance pays a regular income to staff who can't work because of illness or injury. An income protection policy typically has a waiting period which you can set based on an employee's entitlement to full company sick pay. Insurance payments can start when their sick pay level drops below their usual net salary.
4. Provide an effective onboarding process
An effective onboarding process helps new employees develop good working relationships, feel part of the team, familiarises them with their new role and helps them to understand your workplace culture. Even if you've hired a skilled and experienced employee, it's crucial to provide relevant training to ensure they're familiar with your processes. Establishing training schemes can help you to offer a consistent experience. It's also essential companies keep up to date with developments in their particular sector and update their training regularly.
A high-quality onboarding process offers new employees a positive experience, increasing employee engagement and retention.
5. Offer career development and progression
When you provide candidates and new employees with clear guidance on their potential career progression and development, you enable them to envision a future with your company.
This doesn't just have to focus on upward movement towards higher management roles. Giving an overview of your business during the employee recruitment process also gives them an idea of their options if they want to consider a sideways move in the future. If candidates come for an interview with a clear career progression path in mind, consider a tailored professional development scheme to support them.
Include information about training and development opportunities during the induction process if appropriate. These could include training in professional development that will enrich their current role or a job rotation programme that allows them to experience other departments and consider alternative career progression opportunities.
6. Look after your existing employees
Your existing team can be your greatest ambassadors, recommending you to their friends and networking contacts and providing employee testimonials that help to build your reputation.
Helping your current team to feel fulfilled within their roles increases the likelihood that they'll speak positively about you and makes your office somewhere candidates feel comfortable when they arrive for their interview.
Creating a culture where employees feel their needs and ideas matter and where they can speak freely with their line managers gives you better insight into employee engagement. This improves retention and increases your chances of attracting the right talent.
Get in touch
Including private medical insurance, life insurance, or other protection in your employee benefits package could help you attract top talent. We're specialist brokers offering a personal service to help you make the right choice for your business. Contact us for independent advice and a comparison quote.
Frequently asked questions
How can I attract top talent to my business?
Start by looking after your existing employees and building a solid company reputation and workplace culture to make your business attractive to prospective employees. Next, offer competitive pay and benefits and a clear career progression pathway. Finally, make the recruitment process straightforward, from a clear job description to a structured interview process.
What can I offer as part of a competitive employee benefits package?
An attractive benefits package can include options for flexible working and training opportunities and insurance coverage, including life insurance, private health insurance and income protection coverage.