October 15, 2021

How to Win and Retain Top Tier Candidates

Businesses are created by people. A characteristic of a successful business is one that manages to find, hire, and retain the best professionals who make it possible for companies to achieve their goals.

But how do you find the right person for your team? How to motivate them to accept your offer? What are the typical roadblocks? Let’s figure it out.

How to Attract Talent to Your Business 

The thing is that companies varying in size employ different hiring strategies. That’s why we will look at the best approaches for winning the best talent, no matter if you’re a start-up, small or medium-sized business, or enterprise.

How to Hire for Start-ups

Typically, start-ups have limited resources and, at the same time, a highly competitive environment with a low level of trust and awareness from customers. In this case, the flow of applicants is close to zero.

Start-ups seeking proactive, purposeful people who are inclined to self-motivation, are result-oriented, and know how to take risks should try the following tactics:

  • Provide the opportunity to be on the ground floor of the new company in order to best advance their career and professional prospects.
  • Offer affinity to founders and masterminds. A chance to gain valuable experience and see for yourself how a business is built from scratch is a truly attractive offer for many candidates. It is also much easier to attract talent if the owner is a charismatic, public, and inspired person.
  • Offer the ability to convey and implement ideas.
  • Ensure flexible working hours. This is especially relevant for students who are eager to work, motivated, and experienced, but can’t dedicate every day to work.

How to Win Candidates for Small Businesses

At this stage, the company already has a list of clients and the market is partially aware of the services or products that the organization has to offer.

But the flow of candidates is still quite low — 1-2 per vacancy.

Small businesses need competent employees with the ability to achieve goals without burning too many resources, generate new and creative ideas, are flexible, versatile, and able to convince others with their demonstrations.

What to offer:

  • Fast growth, no age restrictions - this will attract young professionals to you. Career heights can be reached faster than in a large business (in a year or two).
  • Cross-functional transitions that develop soft and hard skills and may be of interest to people who have not yet decided on their professional preferences.
  • The ability to affect business processes.
  • Minimal bureaucratic procedures, easy to implement changes, entertain a willingness to experiment.
  • The ability to learn new skills.

How to Attract Top Applicants to Medium-sized Companies

A medium-sized company is entering the stage of forming its sustainable brand as an employer and producer of services or products. Usually, there is an already well-organized structure and more or less established business processes.

Such companies have already defined their values and goals, and new employees have to adapt to the company’s rules. The candidates have to be experienced enough in accordance with the specifics of your company.

What to offer to applicants?

  • The opportunity to launch a new product or start a project (medium-sized companies are still quite mobile and can afford to experiment with some processes) 
  • Decent compensation according to market standards, benefits package.
  • The ability to grow and manage teams.

How to Win Employees for Enterprises 

Large businesses have (or at least should have) a balanced organizational structure, clear and well-established business processes. Enterprises have defined their long-term strategies, mission, and values.

A company at this stage is less flexible and needs more employees that are ready to adapt to company rules and support already established processes and practices. These should be people experienced in your field with high soft and professional skills.

But how to win over these types of candidates?

  • Offer them stability, confidence in the future: i.e. salary, benefits package, bonuses, and so on.
  • Provide them with the opportunity to gain systemic work experience.
  • Don’t forget to mention working conditions in your company, office location, etc.
  • Offer applicants the ability to cooperate with top tier employees from your company, be present in meetings with partners, the CEO, and so on. 
  • Assure them that, despite the company’s size, they will have a chance to implement their ideas.

Remember that every candidate will expect to work in a warm, friendly atmosphere and have at least a partially flexible working schedule — COVID-19 dictates new requirements.    

How to Retain Employees?

Congrats, you've hired a specialist. What to do next? Identify potential risks that can trigger employee turnover and mitigate them quickly. 

In order to avoid this, try to meet regularly with people to find out what is working well and what needs to be improved. When employees see reactions, changes, and improvements after these meetings, they feel their work is valued because their opinion matters.

Don’t forget to provide feedback. This is not about an annual performance review, but more about relevant feedback whenever needed. Sometimes people leave without even knowing that the manager really values ​​their work.

Provide fair wages. Make sure that salaries are based on the employee's real performance and attitude towards their work (loyalty, innovation, willingness to help, discipline, and willingness to share knowledge with colleagues) while also remaining in line with market salary statistics.

And of course, onboarding matters. Providing employees with the right equipment, tools, and information they need to get started quickly is one of the key elements to successful integration in your company.

In a Nutshell

It is important for you, as for an employer, to use the right methods to attract employees because this is what will significantly save your time, costs, resources, and help you to find loyal and experienced people. 

In order to retain them — communicate and keep your promises. Personal communication with people, learning about their hobbies and life outside the company may help you better understand their good and bad days at work. Maintaining fairness when paying salaries and providing benefits makes people confident in the future and more focused on their work. 

Remember, employees not only stay in companies where they are paid but where they are heard.

Shad Paterson
About author
Shad's been a digital nomad since he was 16, living and working remotely. After working in marketing and selling crap to people constantly, he decided to change his life and do something good. Now he helps other people transform their lives, by landing them high-paying jobs across the world.
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