It’s no secret the market has changed this year. With an infusion of high-performing individuals actively seeking work and organizations quickly restructuring to meet their clients’ and stakeholders’ digital demands, it’s necessary to reflect on how you are attracting and hiring top talent.
Attracting top talent is a key element to driving business growth, especially during major market shifts. In recruiting for top brands across North America, I have witnessed a wide range of interviewing styles, philosophies, and processes. Based on my observations, there are three proven approaches that inspiring brands consistently use to attract and hire top talent in an ever-changing market. These small shifts in mindset and process can streamline your hiring process and make your organization stand out from the rest.
1. Know Yourself, Know Your Niche
Knowing and articulating what makes your organization, product, or service unique is a key asset in today’s market. Growing your business and attracting talent depends on it.
A great starting point involves asking questions like:
- How does our company add value to the market? What makes our products/services unique?
- What are our values? Where do they show up in our work?
- Which team members drive results and foster positive culture? What characteristics do they have?
Those simple questions are key to providing the awareness required to determine what type of individuals will likely be most successful on your team, and what values and opportunities those “right fit” individuals are seeking.
When I consider companies who embrace and articulate their values well, there are a few standouts:
- Toolhouse, a mid-size digital agency that partners with innovative and impact-focused healthcare organizations
- Hyper Hippo, an online game studio that has produced industry-changing games with cult followings, is all about bringing joy to the micro-moments in people’s day
- Oliver Russell, a B Corp marketing agency that supports brands making the world a better place
When you're clear on the value you bring to the market and the type of people you need on your team, it’s time to determine how to best attract the ideal candidate.
2. Flip the Script, Lead with Value
Making the right hire is often critical and, in this pursuit, many organizations don't account for the candidate’s needs during the process. Considering a career move, especially for a headhunted candidate, is a big decision. Many of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, especially if we’re working in high-performing roles.
That’s why it’s important to be crystal clear about why you feel the candidate should leave their current role and come work for you. Articulate how your opportunity can elevate their career and how they can make an impact.
I’ve seen personalized pitches work time and again by industry-leading brands with a reputation for strong workplace cultures with high employee buy-in. For example, Origin Design + Communications, is a marketing agency that partners with notable outdoor brands. When interviewing qualified candidates, they quickly draw strong connections between their passion for the outdoors & mountain sports, the innovative and challenging work they do, and the role that top talent plays in their ability to deliver results for their clients. At Conexiom, a forward-thinking Saas company, each stakeholder involved in the hiring process is informed, approachable and proficient at articulating the growth trajectory of the company and the important role employees play in executing business goals.
Putting yourself in the candidate's shoes is a helpful way to figure out how your organization can stand out. When you're building out the role requirements and job brief, consider questions like:
- Why should a candidate take a risk and join our company right now?
- How will this role advance someone’s career?
- How are current employees supported in their personal and professional development?
Take time to know your pitch so you can attract the right type of candidate for the role you’re filling, the team you’re building, and the company you’re growing.
3. Personalize the Process
Interviews are traditionally designed to discern unqualified applicants, test competency levels, and ensure candidates will add value and deliver results.
Does your hiring process allow for sufficient two-way conversation? Yes, you need to determine the candidate’s abilities and experience, but they also need the opportunity to gain clarity and confidence about the role. This approach creates two-way buy-in and lays the groundwork for a successful long-term match.
To do this, ask yourself the following questions before diving into your next recruitment process:
- What does our current hiring process look like? Does each stage include sufficient time for the candidate to ask questions?
- What drew me to this organization when I was interviewing? What about that experience was helpful and what made it challenging?
- How can we create opportunities for the candidate to evaluate us or get to know the team they’d be working with?
Later’s interview process is structured and transparent, allowing for two-way dialogue between the hiring manager and prospective candidate. Their method combines key interview questions with an equal consideration of the candidate’s needs.
Companies like Best Buy, Hyper Hippo, and 1-800-Got-Junk also stand out during these key interview stages. Not only do they find enticing ways to surprise and delight stellar candidates, but they also make space for unstructured conversations like informal coffee interviews or happy hours with future teammates. These are the decision-making moments that excite a top-performing prospect.
Take some time to revamp your interview experience. Small, subtle shifts to your hiring process could lead to enormous positive growth for your organization.
When you’re trying to attract top talent, fine-tuning your overall hiring process pays off.
And remember, you don’t have to go it alone. At Smart Savvy + Associates, we help you attract and hire only the best marketing, creative, and communications professionals. And because we operate as a partner and consultant, when we recognize there's room to tweak the job brief, enhance the interview process, or excite the candidate, we help you adjust.
To learn more about Smart Savvy and to find out how we can help, visit our website.
Partner | Recruitment Director
James is a senior recruitment leader who supports brands across tech, retail, education, professional services, consumer packaged goods, etc., in their search for top-performing marketing talent. With his educational background in psychology, he is passionate about the intersection of people and business.
Smart, Savvy + Associates are experts in helping marketing and communications leaders find people and develop teams that thrive and deliver inspiring results. As a people performance company, we specialize in finding marketing and communications talent in the Pacific North West. We also offer training programs for leaders and teams as well as options to become a certified coach or get coached.