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Updated September 1, 2022

How to Recruit Top Talent When Employment is at an All-Time High

With low unemployment and a record number of unfilled jobs, the competition for top talent is fierce. Job seekers know they're in the driver's seat, and they're ratcheting up their expectations. For the best chances of attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent, employers must respond rigorously and strategically to this "new normal" job market to meet those expectations.

Here are five critical steps every business with growth aspirations should consider for their recruiting, hiring, and retention strategies.

Bring Clarity to Your Mission and Values

Quality employees aren't simply looking for a job. They're looking for the best fit for their skills and values. Candidates can better assess their fit when a business offers a clear value proposition signifying its mission and core beliefs. Employees tend to feel more connected and are more likely to thrive when the business's values are aligned with their own.

Businesses should target potential candidates based on a persona built around their value proposition, mission, and core beliefs. Those are the critical selling points for your target audience.

Create an Employee-Centric Culture

Top-tier candidates are looking beyond the conventional, 9-to-5 workplace standards to find a source of rejuvenation and excitement for their futures. People know when they belong to an employee-centric culture. It's an environment in which employees feel empowered and engaged. It's demonstrated daily through policies and communications that foster transparency and a free flow of feedback up and down the organization.

For example, an emphasis on work-life balance is essential, as are flexible work schedules. Clearly defined career advancement tracks and on-the-job training are crucial for top talent. They also appreciate a well-maintained work environment that encourages employee engagement through outside activities.

Incentivize Employee Referrals

Your best source of top talent may be sitting right in front of you. You can encourage employee referrals by giving your employees a stake in shaping a work culture that benefits everyone. There are many creative ways to get your employees involved. Chief among them are rewards such as cash bonuses, gift cards, or extra time off. Provide your employees with "top-talent referral cards" they can give to people they find impressive. The card should include your business's top selling points, and employees could be prepared to cite why they feel the person would be an excellent fit for the company. It can give both the employee and candidate a nice ego boost.

Meet Top Candidates Where They Hang Out

You're likely to meet your best candidates by meeting them where they hang out. It's even better when you can meet them before they have any irons in the fire. That means getting out of the office and attending networking events centered around similar industries where top talent congregates. It's a numbers game, but the more people you meet who fit the persona, the more they will know about your business and the opportunity you offer. Get agreement to stay in touch and dash off an email every so often to check in with them. If you can fill your funnel with potential candidates, results will likely follow.

Increase Your Social Media Engagement

Social media has become the premier venue for connecting with people, including potential job candidates. Use your social media sites to share information about your company, including recruiting videos and testimonials from existing employees. LinkedIn is widely accepted as a place for like-minded professionals to meet. But you can also use sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to differentiate your company and show that it's a great place to work.

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