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Five ways to attract the best talent

By Elsbeth McSorley

When adding to your staff, most of the focus naturally falls on what incoming applicants have to offer your company, rather than vice-versa. Flipping the script, however, is a progressive, success-oriented tactic to entice quality talent. When you broadcast the auxiliary benefits of working for your company, you’ll be positioning your company as something worth fighting for, rather than just an interchangeable paycheck. Here are 5 of the best ways to get high-quality job seekers to sit up, take notice, and book an interview:

1) Make your office inviting

According to Forbes’ Carol Kinsey Goman, you have a mere 7 seconds to make a first impression in business, psychologically speaking. What type of impression is your office making in those 7 seconds? Even if you have a great handshake and make eye contact, your foyer or a messy receptionist desk could be signaling a hectic, uninviting office culture. Before you kick off rounds of interviews, take the time to walk through your front door as a “stranger” and critically assess the images greeting first-time visitors.

2) Clearly spell out incentives and benefits

Money is obviously a big bargaining chip, but it’s not the only one. As new generations join the workforce, they come with a cautious outlook that isn’t strictly financially-focused. These are the young men and women that have watched their parents struggle for happiness even after achieving the paychecks and savings accounts they had worked for, and the new generation is demanding more life satisfaction from their jobs as a result. Does the office offer bagels on Friday mornings? An annual retreat? Substantial employee discounts? Be sure to mention these fringe benefits during your interview sessions to boost your company’s profile.

3) Be transparent about company history and future goals

Few events are more unsettling to a new hire than a company that makes major brand-impacting mergers and acquisitions right away. Questions about changes immediately begin to pop up, such as additions to job duties, layoffs or relocations. If your company has something big in the works, be open and honest about what it could mean for your interviewee, even if the news isn’t necessarily rosy. They’re less likely to be disgruntled or feel as if they were led on if they’re allowed to walk into the situation with their eyes wide open. Looping these same individuals into future expansion plans will also help them get excited and invested in company growth from day one, should they end up being a good fit.

4) Be willing to compromise on non-essentials

If you’re truly invested in securing the best talent, you should always be prepared to negotiate by building in a little “wiggle room.” If your interviewee mentions that he or she hates commuting, for example, telecommuting options could weigh heavily in your favor. If they love to travel, offering them the chance to represent the company at trade shows may be very enticing. Be prepared to give and bend a little and your new hire is a lot more likely to meet you in the middle without a lot of resistance.

5) Make the rest of the staff part of the “welcoming committee” by introducing them to potential hires

It’s important not to give interviewees the impression they’re a “shoo-in,” but that doesn’t mean the trip to the office for the interview has to be an unfriendly one. Give your staff the heads-up that you’ll be walking through the office with your interview appointments, and encourage them to say hello or offer some short words of advice about the company. Even if you have a packed interview schedule, almost everyone has time for a quick wave to put visitors at ease!

Read our 10 tips for expanding your field of candidates, attracting better quality talent, and keeping them from jumping back into the talent pool once you’ve got them.

Elsbeth is the content and community manager at PI.

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