Hiring and keeping the best talent for your company is increasingly difficult. For the first time in history, the number of young workers is enough to replace the retirees, and relatively fewer of them are college-educated because of rising tuition costs.

Waiting for the right resume to turn up is a mistake. Only 35 percent of applicants are actually qualified for the jobs they want. Recruiting talent today is not as simple as an internet search; it’s about marketing your company as a great place to work.

Company Culture

Even more than salary and benefits, organizations that are perceived as excellent companies to work for offer the most appeal to in-demand talent. An employer’s reputation comes from the employees they already have. It’s important to develop a culture where the employee is happy to come to work.

Employees Come First

Employees should be treated with respect and empathy. It’s important that companies find ways to work with employees in scheduling around family or personal needs. Managers should stand by an open-door policy where employees at all levels can ask questions or offer suggestions. It’s also important that the company establish transparency by sharing its goals and milestones with employees.

Maximize the Best Employees

Popular employers also reward loyalty and exceptional performance. Achievements should be recognized, seniority taken into consideration, and opportunities for training, and promotions fairly and frequently offered. Top talent will expect more challenges, responsibility, and an opportunity for growth. Otherwise they’ll move on to new jobs where they can find that career satisfaction.

Perks and Rewards

The companies that are most appealing to candidates also offer extras that go beyond salary and benefits. Access to gyms, day care, club memberships, discounts, and other opportunities should be available. Small gift cards or additional vacation days might be offered as reward to employees that tend to surpass expectations.

Employees that feel valued will provide the most value to their employer.

HR Planning

The first step is to have a clear idea of what constitutes “top talent”. Of course, the criteria will differ from one organization to the next, and even from one executive to the next. Its essential to get business leaders together with HR to create a hiring plan that involves creating job descriptions for every role, including ideal profiles for experience, education, and skills.

Finding Talent

If you want to consistently locate top talent, you can’t wait until someone leaves a key position. Today, attracting the best talent requires marketing yourself as a top employer. At least one page on your company website should be devoted to this. Reaching out to potential applicants on social media is also a good idea.

Don’t Overlook Email

As an ongoing strategy, your company might hire an email marketing consultant to connect with not only top applicants, but professors, employers, or professional organizations at a volume scale. This helps to quickly create and maintain a good pool of top candidates.

Email campaigns can help you keep in frequent contact with both candidates and resources. If you simply accept resumes and the majority of candidates don’t hear from you again, you may find them unreachable or resistant when the next position opens up.

This is where marketing expertise with mobile users is critical; 48 percent of emails are opened from a smartphone. It’s important that relationships are built with potential employees on the channels they prefer, just as with potential customers.

Campaigns should also follow up on all applications with a friendly thank-you and an opportunity to further the relationship. Email consultants can help you create newsletters that candidates will subscribe to in order to stay informed about hiring events, new positions, or even company news. This helps to keep your company in their thoughts as potentially the place for the perfect job.

About  Kevin Faber:

Kevin Faber is an entrepreneur and business consultant. He graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Business/Managerial Economics. In his free time, Kevin is usually watching basketball or kicking back and reading a good book.

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