No doubt, it is a hot employment market for top talent. Salaries are increasing, traffic is worsening, top talent often has more than one choice, and is likely considering 2-3 offers at once. It is a robust climate for business. Candidates are more educated than ever. They often have unprecedented access to information about you, your technology, the market for your technology, whom you have worked with, and who works with you now.
Like you, candidates are doing their homework and are studying your team, the board of directors and investors. These “A-Listers” will also possess a strong network and will ask for input on their choice of potential employers. There are many factors in a top candidate’s decision regarding a new role. How can you influence YOUR top candidate to choose you and your company as the obvious best choice for them?
Here are 5 factors that have the most impact:
1. Your reputation as a leader
- Great people attract and are attracted to other great people. Not just in performance and results, but also in how they engage each other, lead, develop people, and treat others. Your potential total impact and your integrity matter to them. What do people say about you?
2. Your Team
- Not just the level of talent and capabilities. You want your team to welcome all new potential team members. This can be difficult for science or technology-driven organizations. Your team must possess high Emotional Intelligence – and must display this capability in the interview process. The candidate needs to feel comfortable with the entire team, even if that candidate is not your first choice.
3. Your Business Model
- Can you articulate what you hope to accomplish with your company and the impact this hire will make? Is it compelling and enticing enough that the candidate can understand your vision for the future, and see themselves as a contributor to your success? Will they be a part of a strong team and be the difference that can take you over the finish line? Strong candidates want to know that they are a part of a bigger plan, and want to be able to view themselves as an integral part of your success.
4. Your brand
- Your image says everything – it gives people a feel for what it is like to work with you and a feel for how you approach people. Your website, marketing materials, slide decks, videos, etc. It may not seem all that important, but the first place people go to check you out, besides LinkedIn, is your website. It is very difficult to recover from a bad first impression. You don’t even need a lot of information, but you do need enough to describe what you are doing and why, and you need a good look and feel. It is all part of your brand, and it is what enables you to attract people who will naturally resonate with you.
- Your Physical Office Atmosphere. Fresh paint, clean carpet, and pleasant smells. This may sound very basic to you, but many office environments do not comply with this basic standard and push candidates away. Beyond the physical office, people can sense the “vibe” or “energy” of your business when they walk in the door. Be sure you hire an interior designer to help you with this. In the past, people would often give up creature comforts in exchange for cashing in on stock options. But that is not the case any longer. Great people want to work in a place that feels deserving, a place that feels “great”.
5. Your recruiting process
- When clients have trouble closing in on any candidate, let alone their first choice, it is often because there is a breakdown in the recruiting process. You need to know who the interview jury is, be able to communicate any next steps and provide an associated timeline to all prospective candidates. The experience people have with your recruiting process provides them with a taste of what it will be like to work for you.
Attracting talent is as much an art as it is a science – getting people to feel great about you, your company and your technology are all a part of your recruiting process. Think about how you can be more attractive. Your process is your tell, it is a live demonstration of how you get work done, the culture you have built or are building, and how organized and efficient you are. It is also very telling about how focused you are.
We work with companies to identify, select and hire high functioning leadership teams We specialize in placing CEOs and Vice Presidents who perform to or beyond the expectations of the board that hires them, and we guarantee it. Call for a free consultation regarding the hire of your next executive.