The Three Things That Attract Talent

People often go into the new year determined to secure the next, right job for them - which means they are leaving one organisation and potentially coming to yours!

A lot is said and written about what attracts talent and often the focus is on the material things like pay, benefits and working conditions. However, these things are often very comparable between different employers so consider instead what job applicants are really thinking about when they show an interest in you.

There really are only three things at stake when it comes to getting someone excited about your place of work and making sure that you remain memorable as they are courted by your competitors at the same time.

1- Do you have a brand that they know and care about and would want to work for?

If you are not well-known or a recruitment consultant has had to really 'sell' your organisation to potential candidates then this makes things harder.

2 - Do you have a great website, particularly from an employer branding perspective (and particularly in the absence of having a great brand)?

If you have a pretty static, buzzword-heavy website with the usual clichés: 'we operate worldwide', 'we employ great people', 'we offer competitive benefits', 'we are values driven' etc then you really aren't telling me anything different from what everyone else says!

3 – Was the recruitment process professional, incisive and memorable for all the right reasons?

It’s this last one that a lot of organisations really fail at. In our interview skills workshops here at Lightbulb two things are still readily apparent, even in 2019:

  • The usual bank of cliché questions are still used by the vast majority of managers ('what are your strengths'; 'why do you want to work for us'; 'where do you see your career heading')
  • The average candidate will be asked the same question two or three times (because I am being interviewed by different people who don't talk to each other!)

We have all been on the receiving end too of those awful, scripted competency-based questions we know how to prepare for: 'Can you give me an example where you have successfully influenced your boss?!' And then there are the interviewing managers who have rarely ever been trained to interview and who rely on the ‘What are your strengths’ cliché questions or actually put off the interviewee completely.

Ok, so you can't do much in the short term abut brand and the website might have to be a medium-term priority: but the recruitment process is something that can be shook up right now. Here are three pointers:

  • Each part of the selection process should look different - three different people interviewing me in three different interviews and all asking similar questions is just annoying!
  • Move away from scripted competency-based interviewing and move to a format that is more about non-leading, deep behavioural conversations focused on the competencies/behaviours you need now and in the future in that team/role rather than what it says on the historical job description.
  • Consider where HR/resourcing is in the process and how this comes across to candidates. Are they an obstacle to be overcome early on by the interviewee? Should they be doing the 'CV' interview when the hiring manger is surely better-placed to do this? Would it be more effective if they were in that deep, behavioural interviewing piece that comes later in the process?

Check out our alternative to traditional performance appraisal: Chinwag

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