Hiring can be tricky. In the past, the main concern for hiring was how much money an employee would make, making sure your benefits package was stronger than your competitor’s, and giving your prospective employee a clear sense of how they can work up the chain over the next 20 years. Today’s job market is different because the values of the workforce have shifted.
Making a good income with a strong benefits package, that’s considered standard. It’s no longer the golden egg that would make the best of the best flock to you (but without it, they won’t even consider working for the company). The things that make the biggest difference in attracting the best employees are your company culture, your company’s values, how you help your employees grow (personally and professionally), and how you can show growing levels of success.
Here’s what you need to know about attracting top tier talent.
Culture Is Vital
Professionals are looking for a company they’re passionate about and where they feel that they can make a difference, as well as make good money. Whether you subscribe to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or Tony Robbins’s six core needs, there is an innate, unshakable desire for your employees to feel like their work has an impact. When their work has an impact, then they’re making a difference. This increases your employees’ internal status, validating their importance. That’s one of the reasons why you see some of the most talented employees from Fortune 500 companies flocking to startups, even though they’re taking a pay cut. There’s a mission that they believe in, and they’re going to a company where they can see the direct impact of their efforts. That’s compelling. However, keep in mind, when the pay cut is too severe, employees will not make the switch, so it’s important to balance great culture with competitive pay.
This is one of the reasons why you need to have a clear employee development program. An employee development program does not need to be a tuition reimbursement program. Employees are simply looking for ways to grow that will challenge them personally and professionally while making their contributions to the company of higher quality. Some employees need help with their communication and others need more support with their hands-on skills. Whatever they need, creating clear, personalized employee development plans with your employees will not only attract top tier talent, it’ll keep them.
Emotional security has been a driving factor in seeking new employment. Over the past few years, toxic work environments and corporate burnout have been under more scrutiny. As modern workers have created more remote working opportunities and more startups have launched, more employees view working for specific companies as a choice versus a requirement, and their tolerance for emotional mistreatment has lowered (which is a beautiful thing).
Employees need to feel safe when they walk into (or sign onto) a team meeting. They need to be able to share their voice, perspective, and unique ideas without fear of emotional backlash. That’s why the opportunity to work for a company where an employee feels safe and emotionally secure will win out.
By making your company an emotionally intelligent and safe space for your employees, you give them the opportunity to unleash their creativity and talent in new ways. This allows employees to put more brainpower into their work instead of their self-preservation.
When looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Tony Robbins’s six core needs, no matter how you slice it, people need a way to feel successful. When your company can offer a clear path of growth, where your employees will be given more responsibility and become part of the higher-level teams, you’ll attract stronger applicants.
Think about it. No one wants to be an entry-level anything forever, stuck fixing things they can do in their sleep. They want to grow into positions where they’re making important decisions and affecting real change, to help achieve the company mission they stand behind.
Discovering Where Your Company Needs Help
If you’re not attracting (or keeping) the talented employees you want, it’s time to start asking the right people some important questions. Line up interviews or conversations with people who left for pay cuts or people who turned down a job offer to see why they chose another company over yours. Their insight is priceless because it’ll tell you exactly where you’re falling short, and how applicants are perceiving your company.
It’s important not to take this information personally. You’re not under attack, and if you don’t get these insights, you can’t create the change you’re seeking. These interviews can make all the difference with your next hire, which can make all of the difference in your bottom line for the next ten years.