How to attract the best candidate for the job

By Robert Half on 30 October 2018

Employers recognise that they need more staff to capitalise on the current economic climate, but they can't just employ anybody.

Hiring managers are looking for skilled and experienced professionals to fill niche roles – individuals who can add real value to their organisation moving forward.

However, there are a number of challenges.

Difficulties securing top talent

Firstly, because so many businesses and organisations are looking to hire, there is simply not enough talent to go around. Employers are being forced to compete within the same pool of candidates, the result being that some are failing to hire their preferred option.

Employers face the dual challenge of attracting professionals who are capable of taking their organisation forward, whilst still retaining their best people. In order to compete effectively for the top talent, they need to offer something extra-special - whether that be in pecuniary terms, career progression, or other benefits.

Candidate selection is just the first step

The best candidates for the job know they are in high demand among potential employers, and in this regard, they may be assessing prospective employers as much as they are being assessed. In order to secure their services, organisations need to make as positive an impression as possible.

If candidates are underwhelmed by what they see at interview - whether in terms of the professionalism of your organisation, facilities and resources, location, job conditions or remuneration - this may be the last you will see of them.

When dealing with preferred candidates, hiring managers need to ensure they represent their organisation in the best possible light.

Decisiveness is key

Hiring managers who are able to make quick decisions about prospective candidates may also be at an advantage in terms of recruitment. Delaying the decision can allow other organisations to step in with a job offer first. If your preferred candidate has been going to multiple interviews, then it might be that they have more than one option. In this scenario, moving quickly and demonstrating how much you want them to join could be essential.

Be wary of counteroffers

If your organisation is set to hire a skilled and experienced candidate, it means another employer is about to lose one of their valued people. In all likelihood, they won't allow their talent to leave without putting up a fight.

Ideally, you don't want to get played off against another employer by a candidate - this raises questions about their main motivations and desire to work for you. But at the same time, try to refrain from faulting your candidate for trying to secure the best possible deal.

As long as you can afford the enhanced pay and benefits package, it may be wise to act quickly - this can minimise the threat posed by a counter-offer.

Make an attractive offer

The last thing you want when trying to recruit a skilled professional is for them to be underwhelmed by your initial pay and benefits offer.

Consulting pay benchmarking resources such as the Robert Half Salary Guide can help organisations make a suitable offer. The guide estimates the average salaries paid to skilled professionals across a number of sectors, and compares them to the wages paid in the previous year.

Employers also need to think about offering a well-rounded benefits package, including attractive annual leave entitlement, relocation allowance, child care and other employee perks. If the preferred candidate has a young family, they may be interested in flexible working hours.

Talented professionals will always be eager to know about professional development and career progression opportunities. So organisations need to have a plan in place for training, coaching and mentoring to ensure they are able to attract the best candidate for the position.

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