How to attract top talent to your organisation

Average people won’t help you build a world-class business. You need a strategy to attract the best, then keep them there. Let’s find out more.

It’s not your idea that will make your business a success; it is your people. No less a business leader than Steve Jobs put it this way:

I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1.

Given that, you’re well-advised to go after the cream of the cream.

A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, however. ‘A-players’ can have their pick of where they want to work. To attract them, then keep them in your organisation, you need to get everything right. Here are four things you must do.

1 – Build your employer brand

When your ‘A player’ is looking for a new role, they will thoroughly research the opportunities that are out there. When they come across your company, what do you want them to see?

Make sure your website portrays your organisation as a great place to work. Include as much content as you can about working there, including positive employee testimonials. Emphasise learning and development in your company, as this is what many talented people really want to see, as we’ll talk about later. Your LinkedIn company page is also important in this regard, as is your profile on Glassdoor.

2 – Get the job spec right

The goal of your job spec and the advertisement that goes with it is to attract the type of person you want to apply. Build up a persona of that ideal candidate, then tailor everything to them. Terminology is important; really sell it to them.

Who writes your job specs? Is it someone in HR? If it is, you could be missing a trick. Your top performers are your best assets; why not get them to write it? After all, they speak the same language as your preferred candidate.

Talk about what really matters to your ideal candidate. They want to know about career paths, learning and development. They are interested in success stories told by people who work there. They are also interested in what sales tech tools are in the organisation; if you use Refract, SalesLoft or anything else, say so.

3 – Culture matters

It also pays to talk about your workplace culture in your job spec. Then, as your ideal candidates come in for interview, make sure you emphasise it to them. Everyone wants to work somewhere where employees are happy and treated well. Everyone wants to work for an organisation with strong values dictating everything they do. If you are one of those organisations (and you should be), then make sure your ‘A-player’ candidates know about it.

It’s not just free beer on Fridays and table football, although those always make a good impression; other things are important too. Talented candidates want to see a strong team culture that celebrates success. They also want to see a transformative learning culture.

4 – Think about retention

Once you’ve attracted and recruited your team of A-players, you want them to stay. It’s no good if they only stay a few months then jump ship to a competitor.

Career development opportunities are the primary factors here. People join organisations for career development; they leave if they don’t get it.

Statistics from LinkedIn spell this out in stark terms:

  • 56% of organizations struggle to keep high-potential and top-performing employees
  • 59% of employees joined companies for better career paths or more opportunities
  • 45% of employees who left companies cited concern over a lack of advancement opportunities

Make sure that if you sell your organisation as somewhere that talented individuals can further their career, you live up to those pledges.

Other factors that motivate ‘A-players’ to leave companies include a lack of direction on the part of the company leadership. Talented millennials also want to work for a company with a strong vision, values and mission. They want purpose. They want to make an impact. Make sure you can give them that opportunity.

Attract, retain, lead

When you deliberately position your organisation as somewhere talented people can flourish if they work hard, you can attract and retain the people who will take your company to the next level.