Recruiting the best talent is hard these days. We are still in the midst of an unprecedented labor shortage, which has left significantly more vacant positions in the job market than people to fill them. As a result, companies are striving to find ways to better attract and retain top-tier talent to their organization.
By adopting an employee-first approach with a few key strategies, businesses can maintain their workforce in the challenging circumstances we face right now. Below, I outline five ways to get started.
1. Understanding the “3 M’s”
The first thing an employer must focus on during the recruitment process is the “3 M’s”: method, messaging, and market. Considering these three factors is key, as it will ensure that businesses reach their intended pool of talent. Leaders must think about what methods they will use to reach potential candidates (and ones that potential candidates will use to reach them), the message they want to share with prospective employees, and where they need to target their focus to successfully find top-tier talent.
It’s important for a recruiting strategy to be deliberate but not overly narrow. Casting too wide of a net will waste a small business’s precious time weeding through candidates that are not a good fit for the role, but too narrow of a focus could keep that perfect candidate from finding the job. As such, employers must strategize their method, message, and marketing to ensure that they are designed to attract the type of candidate they are most looking for in the role.
2. Building a Strong Value Proposition
One crucial part of a successful job listing is building a strong value proposition. Business leaders should think about the things they would like to see if they were applying for a job. It’s good to start with competitive pay and benefits, but you should also consider the bigger picture, such as company culture, values, and other factors that make a business stand out.
The goal of building a strong value proposition in a job listing is to create a position that an employee would brag to their friends about being hired for. If an employee isn’t proud enough to be working at a company that they are willing to brag about it, then chances are the company isn’t offering them anything beyond what any other workplace could provide.
3. Adding Fun to the Workplace
Another great method for employees to attract and retain high-value talent for their workforce is adding fun to the position. The easiest way to make an employee feel happy at work is to try to make their jobs feel less like work. Of course, even if one loves their job, there are still days and tasks that are tedious and burdensome. However, the goal of an employer should be to find ways to minimize the effect of these more cumbersome tasks.
Many companies have turned to gamification as a potential solution to make their workplaces more engaging. Gamification is an umbrella term for any engagement strategy that involves implementing game-like elements at the workplace, which can include initiatives like incentive programs for employees.
One survey found that gamification can have substantial effects on their feelings of productivity and happiness at work, but many businesses still do not take advantage of this powerful strategy. As such, a “gamified position” can make an employee feel like they are getting a fun work opportunity they couldn’t find anywhere else.
4. Focusing On Self-Development
Companies have also seen benefits from focusing on self-development and training beyond their workforce duties. Especially in the new hybrid and remote work ecosystem in which we now live, it can be easy for business leaders to lose track of the human element of running a business.
Employees are people, and they want to be treated as such. Being a great leader is not just about helping employees do their jobs better but also about helping them learn how to lead a better life.
Employers should consider ways to help their employees thrive outside of their job. For example, resources like personal budgeting sessions or health and fitness discussions can let employees know how their leaders value them beyond their contributions to the company. Take feedback from employees and listen to what matters to them, and find ways to create opportunities meaningful to them.
5. Emphasizing Values That Are Important to Employees
Businesses should strive to have company values that align with their employees’ values. Studies have shown that employees who feel aligned with their company’s values are more likely to have higher retention rates. Employees want to feel like they work for a company that is not just doing right by them but also doing right by the world. Some workers are even willing to take less money if it means working for a company whose values they support.
Common values that tend to resonate with employees include relationships, growth and development, enjoyability, and accountability. However, it is important that businesses do not merely claim they hold these values — they must show the actions and initiatives to back them up. As a business leader, find ways to create an inclusive and welcoming workplace or support employees’ career and personal development. Approaching company values insincerely can often cause more harm than good.
These days, it’s harder than ever to attract and retain high-quality employees because the power is in the employee’s hands, not the employer’s. Learning how to create a job posting that offers a legitimate value proposition and makes the company appeal to the candidate’s values and goals will help companies navigate this increasingly complex labor market we face today.