Attracting Top Talent in Today’s Competitive Hiring Environment 

Happy businesswoman shaking hands with colleague after successful meeting

Prior to 2020, most companies required employees to work in an office, offering employee perks to incentivize the workforce to join them: specialty coffee, daily lunches, a nap or yoga room, massages, and live music.   

With these perks, employees would remain onsite to work long days and company cultures were created to retain employees and produce as much productivity as the employee would give to the team.   

With the demands of time and the extended workdays as well as burnout, candidates looking for new opportunities would discuss work-life balance and the importance of time with their families and having lives outside of the office. 

In the remainder of this article, Amy Fraiser, VP of Recruiting, explores the reasons behind the shift in today’s hiring environment and shares some helpful advice for attracting top talent. 

How the COVID shutdown affects today’s hiring environment 

With the shutdown of 2020 due to Covid, many professionals found themselves pivoting to a home office and adjusting to a remote work environment.  With the home office and remote structure, professionals found themselves in a whole new paradigm where work-life balance gave way to work-life integration.   

With technology giving easy access to employees, employers shifted the working expectations to extended hours beyond a typical business day.  Now, there is a shift of employee mindset that with work-life integration and availability extension past a typical business day the employers should offer benefits around lifestyle.   

This includes at minimum a hybrid work from home schedule.  Many professionals are now interested in lifestyle perks such as gym memberships, a monthly stipend around wellness and better health, a more flexible work schedule (working early or later to make up the time spent enjoying a sports activity), or a home office allowance including a monthly stipend for internet and telephone.   

Civic-minded professionals are also interested in community efforts such as a volunteer day or company wide support of a charitable organization.   

How to attract top talent today 

Employers need to stop using the playbooks for hiring from 2019, as those playbooks are no longer effective in attracting top talent in today’s market.  

To attract top talent today, there should be a great candidate experience where the recruiter is engaged and transparent with the candidate on the expectation of the interview process and having honest discussions around the company’s core values especially around work life integration and lifestyle.   

Those discussions should include mentorship, learning and development, career pathing, recognition, and company culture.  In addition, recruiting should have a seat at the table as part of the management team.   

That way, the Head of Talent can have a clear understanding of direction and offerings of the company to have concise and clear messaging to candidates.  

The messaging of the company, core values and benefits should be delivered in clear and concise ways, and the recruiters should be able to customize their interview process to truly understand candidate’s desires in a new company as well as a good understanding of why the candidate wants to leave their current employer.   

These rich discussions are necessary to understand what is important to the candidate and if they are a match for the company.   

By having multiple dialogs with the candidate to get to know them on a personal and professional basis, the hiring managers and recruiters can accurately reflect on the cultural alignment instead of relying on technology to determine the success of the candidate at the potential employer.   

Final Thoughts on Attracting Top Talent in Today’s Competitive Hiring Environment 

With the understanding that employee’s expectations have changed, attracting top talent can be recruited by potential employers providing an excellent candidate experience, lifestyle and wellbeing benefits, career pathing plans, strong core values, and a positive company culture that adheres to the evolved workforce.   

With clear messaging of company’s offerings and understanding of candidate’s needs, it will promote successful hiring for companies — and at the end of the day, build a structure of top-tier human capital for company success.