How to Attract and Retain Talent



In a candidate market, many recruiters face unique challenges that may transform the way they interact with candidates and businesses alike. Are you struggling with the current candidate market, finding it difficult to take the right steps to attract top-quality candidates? Consider how you can face those challenges head-on and improve your ability to bring in the best possible candidates. 

What is a Candidate Market?

In a candidate market, the candidates, rather than the recruiters, have the power. There are fewer candidates available to take open positions than there are open positions–and as a result, the top candidates in many fields have their choice of available jobs. As of July of 2019, the unemployment was at just 3.7%. With the economy set to continue growing around 2-3% annually over the coming years, it seems likely that this challenge may continue. Often, this leaves recruiters scrambling to find enough candidates to adequately fill open positions–especially those that have the right training or technical capability to take on those positions. Instead of employers calling the shots, candidates have their pick of the best available positions–and many of them are eager to take advantage of it. Right now, many recruiters have the challenge of hiring in a candidate-driven market

The Top Challenges Faced by Recruiters in a Candidate Market

If you’re struggling in a candidate-driven market, you’re not alone! Fortunately, by identifying these challenges, you can also find solutions that will help you better manage the market and the available candidates.

Challenge #1: Looking for Candidates in the Wrong Places

In some cases, it’s not even a matter of attracting top talent to your open positions. You may, in fact, struggle to find candidates at all. Do your open positions sit long-term, leaving you struggling to keep up with your workload? 

Where to Find Top Talent

  • Recruitment companies. Work with a qualified recruitment company to help widen your candidate pool and, in many cases, get candidates who are a better fit for long-term placement. 
  • Employee referrals. Accept employee recommendations. Your employees are eager to make contacts within the industry, and they may have access to candidates who might not otherwise have considered a position in your company. 
  • Networking. Start looking before you need an employee in a position. Develop relationships with up and coming talent or industry professionals in your area. You might attend networking events or connect with local colleges and universities to learn more about the talent they have graduating each year. Then, when you do need to fill an open position, you’re more likely to have a candidate in mind. 

Challenge #2: Attracting Top Talent to Your Company

Many recruiters struggle to attract notice from the top talent in their fields–or to convince them to stick with the company once they notice the positions. These candidates already have an idea of what the standard is in their industry, and the top talent in the field may already know where they want to work. Unfortunately, if your business doesn’t stand out in some way, you may not be able to bring top talent to the table. 

How to Attract Talent to Your Company

  • Ideal working conditions. Offer great working conditions and a great atmosphere. Candidates are more likely to show interest in a company that offers them a great place to work.
  • Benefits. Offer exceptional benefits. More than ever, millennials, in particular, are looking for companies that offer flexible working conditions, including remote work, along with a great benefits package that includes items like reasonable health insurance. 
  • Stand out. Look for ways to make your company stand out. Stay at the front of industry innovations. Choose a charity that means something to your company. Push for sustainable business practices. All of these steps can help make your company stand out, increasing the odds that the top talent will want to work for you.

Challenge #3: Closing Candidates

You’ve found a candidate and chosen them as the ideal person to fill an open position within your company. Unfortunately, that does not automatically mean that the candidate will accept the job. Even after you’ve extended an offer, you may struggle to get a candidate to accept it! 

Strategies for Closing Candidates

  • Share information about culture. Acknowledge the importance of company culture. Share information about the culture with candidates during the hiring process so they can more easily determine if they are a good fit for your environment. 
  • Streamline the hiring process. Streamline your hiring process as much as possible. When top talent goes looking for a new job, they’re going to receive offers quickly. You don’t want to miss out on that talent because you were too slow to get your offer on the table. 
  • Know your candidates. Understand what candidates are really looking for–in terms of benefits, salary, and working conditions–in your industry, and do your best to offer it. If you make an offer that doesn’t appeal to a candidate, they will be more likely to turn it down.

Challenge #4: Keeping Candidates

When you recruit a new employee for your company, you want them to stay with your company long-term. Depending on the industry, between 10 and 25% of new hires choose to leave the company within the first six months. A lot of time and money goes into hiring and training a new employee: it can cost $4,000 per hire, and it costs even more to replace them. Not only that, it can take an average of 52 days to fill an open position. Once you have that talent in place, you don’t want them to walk straight out the door again! Keeping candidates begins with the recruiting process, especially in a candidate market, where a displeased candidate can find a new job within a matter of weeks. 

Keep Your Best Employees

  • Honesty. Give employees an honest assessment of what to expect at the job, including working conditions, hours, and job responsibilities. Then, a candidate can make an honest assessment of whether the job is genuinely a good fit. 
  • Training. Make sure your training and onboarding processes are accurate. You want new employees to have a solid understanding of their responsibilities and easy access to critical job-related information whenever they need it. Adequate training is critical to improving employee satisfaction, especially during those early months on the job.
  • Communication. Keep up the communication. Remember, the recruiting process should not end when a candidate accepts a job. Instead, continue to make contact with that candidate to get a better idea of how they fit into the new company culture and what questions they have about the job. 

Your Recruiting Checklist

Are you struggling to find the right talent for your open positions? Go through this recruiting checklist to ensure that you’re on your way to meeting your goals. 

  • Start looking for employees before you genuinely need one to fill the open position. 
  • Work with a talented recruitment company that will get to know your company and connect you with the ideal individuals for those open positions. 
  • Take steps to improve the appeal of your company to a wide range of potential candidates, including the top talent in your field. 
  • Streamline your hiring process so that you can move employees into new positions as soon as possible. 
  • Communicate clearly with all of your employees, including training, onboarding, and the opportunity to ask questions when needed. 

Overcoming the challenges of a candidate industry is not impossible, but it does involve a concentrated effort on the part of your recruiters and, for many companies, a shift in hiring strategy. By considering these challenges and their solutions, however, you can more easily find the right candidates for your open roles.



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