Attracting key staff in a competitive talent pool by CB Resourcing

I’ve been asked the same question on a number of occasions recently by senior hiring managers: how do you sell an opportunity to a candidate in a highly competitive talent pool?

There is no easy answer to this because every candidate is different and first you need to put yourself in their shoes to understand their likely motivations.

For instance, not everyone is motivated by money. Sometimes it’s recognition, a stimulating work environment or flexibility but it’s usually a mix of all of these and more.

Ask yourself questions like:

- What other organisations (and sectors) are competing for this type of talent? What might they offer in terms of pay, career and work environment in comparison to us?

- Where did similar profiles come from in the past? Also think beyond this particular specialism/role - where else might we find people with the core skills we need and what would motivate those people to join us?

- Could our selection process be made more efficient and achieve the same outcome?

- Are we using the application process to sell our brand and opportunity to candidates?

- Does our job spec make sense to candidates who don’t know our company’s internal language?

By far the most effective method for selling an opportunity, I find, is identifying how the role will move their career forward.

In an age where a ‘job for life’ is a misnomer, candidates are looking to future proof their skill set but also progress their careers. Hiring managers need to position themselves as excellent mentors.

High performing people want to work with like-minded individuals, so it’s good practice to come up with some strong examples of where your firm excels in order for you to share with candidates at interview.

Overall, the aim should be to leave candidates with positive feelings about your firm and a strong respect for its people and capabilities. It’s also worth remembering that high performing candidates all have the potential to be future customers of your firm’s services as well as employees.

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