In Today’s Job Market, Companies Need to Sell Themselves to Candidates

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Jun 24, 2015

The employment market has seen a dramatic shift, and now more than any time since the recession, companies need to sell themselves to job candidates.

The leverage once enjoyed by employers over job seekers has faded, and as hiring has picked back up, so has the war for talent between companies. So, how can companies lock up the candidates they want?

Here are four tactics that all companies – from start-ups to Fortune 500s – should employ in order to get a candidate to sign on the dotted line.

1. Speed up the offer

With unemployment falling and hiring revving up, talent is in demand and job seekers know it.

Job seekers are receiving more offers and therefore speed in making an offer is vital to ensuring a candidate accepts.

Companies risk losing candidates due to slow offers not only because another company may make an offer sooner, but because job candidates today are less likely to wait and jump through hoops to get a job.

2. Offer signing bonuses

Offering a signing bonus, no matter how modest, can be extremely effective in getting a candidate over the hump in accepting an offer. The psychological (feel good) effect of being offered a bonus is sometimes greater than the financial incentive that comes with it.

A bonus gives the job candidate something to proudly tell their spouse, friends and family about and attaches prestige to the position in the eyes of the new employee.

Even small companies and start-ups should consider leveraging signing bonuses, as these will pay for themselves 10 times over if the right talent takes the job.

3. Turn employees into talent seekers

When it comes to finding talent, a company’s employees can be its greatest resource. No one knows a company, its culture, and its people better, and can therefore speak to it more effectively, than its own employees.

In order to harness this power, all companies should consider offering a finder’s fee for referring candidates that are hired.

By incentivizing current employees to help recruit for their company, employers build employee affiliation and pride, gain access to a valuable pool of skilled workers, and reward employees for taking ownership in the success of the business.

4. Cultivate a company culture and advertise it

All employees want a few universal things: To have their work be appreciated, to have the opportunity to grow, and to feel generally supported by their organization.

In short, the employer who creates a work atmosphere that employees feel lucky to be part of is the employer who will ultimately attract and retain employees most successfully.

The new generation of talent puts great value on accessibility to senior leadership and an ongoing dialogue around advancement opportunities, seeing both as keys to a strong company culture. Therefore, employers need to make more of an effort to sell their culture during the interview in order to attract the best talent.

It can’t just be a one-way interrogation; in this job market, an interview should be a two-way conversation about what the prospective new hire is looking for and how the company can meet their needs.

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