jeff borra

BY JEFF BORRA
Managing Partner at Brightwing

Right now, the talent market is flooded with opportunities for job seekers.

In fact, as the market stands right now, there are way more opportunities than candidates. This is pretty much the case across all sectors. 

You may be acutely aware of this struggle right now. You may be struggling to find great, experienced talent for all your open positions.

If this is the case, you need to change your approach to recruiting, interviewing, and job offers. 

Luckily, we’ve had some successes in this area recently, and can offer some first-hand advice. So here are five things you can do today to stand out in this competitive job market.

 

1. Define your ideal candidate. 

 

If you want to effectively compete for a certain type of candidate, you have to first define who that candidate is and why they’re a good fit for your organization. Otherwise, you’ll spend time and resources chasing the wrong people, wasting both your time and theirs. 

To do this effectively, you need to go beyond the standard demographics that everyone looks at: years of experience, qualifications, seniority level, etc. While important, these give you a one-dimensional understanding of the candidate. 

Here are some questions you can ask to try and go deeper: 

  • Is this a role that will be actively managed, or do they need to be self-reliant?
  • Can this role function as a remote or hybrid, or does it require someone willing to be in the office full-time?
  • Can you accommodate on-the-job training, or do you need someone fully qualified and ready to hit the ground running from Day 1? 

Ultimately, you want to understand not just who the person is, but how they work and what their priorities are. This will provide clarity, whether you’re searching for and screening candidates yourself, or working with a recruiting firm like Brightwing. 

 

2. Position your organization to attract your ideal candidate.  

 

Once you’ve defined your ideal candidate, the next step is to position your company so that you’re the kind of place where that person would want to work.

In a market that’s flooded with opportunity, job seekers have the luxury of being choosy. If you want to stand out among the other banks and financial institutions out there, you have to have a “hook” that draws them to your company — and away from your competitors. 

There are a number of factors that come into play here:

  • Brand recognition
  • Reputation
  • Manager/supervisor
  • Special projects
  • Company/office culture

The specific factors you’ll want to emphasize will depend entirely on who your ideal candidate is, and the things they value most. If you’ve effectively defined your candidate (per the previous section),  you’ll have a clearer idea of what to prioritize as you market the role.

 

3. Offer upskill & career pathing opportunities. 

 

When career professionals accept a given role, they aren’t taking it because of what it’ll offer them right now. They’re thinking more strategically, about how that role will drive their career forward. 

As a result of the talent shortage, many savvy professionals are seeing this as the perfect opportunity to find an opportunity that better suits their long-term goals. 

This could mean upskilling in certain areas to stay ahead of shifting trends in the market, especially among engineers and IT professionals. It could also mean that they’re ready to start taking on more leadership roles and becoming managers. 

In either case, if you want to stand out and attract great talent, you need to provide them with opportunities to move their careers forward. If not, they’ll simply go with another organization who will. 

 

4. Create flexible work environments. 

 

For many, COVID-19 was the perfect opportunity to reset and spend more time at home with family. This inevitably resulted in a shift in priorities, causing the desire for remote work to go through the roof.

If you can offer remote work opportunities, you’ll have a leg up when it comes to attracting quality candidates. 

However, having a 100% remote work environment may not be feasible for you. But you can still create more flexible work environments by allowing hybrid office experiences, flexible PTO, and other benefits that can help promote a greater work-life balance. 

 

5. Designate an internal salesperson. 

 

This final tip is one that a lot of employers skip over; which is unfortunate, since it’s probably the one that’s most important.

After you’ve defined your ideal candidate, positioned your organization, and highlighted the available opportunities, you need to actually sell the candidate on the experience of working with you. That means that you need someone to function as your internal salesperson.

Now this person could be the hiring manager. But if your hiring manager isn’t a natural salesperson, you may need someone to come along and help them during the interview process.

If a candidate doesn’t get excited about working with you, odds are they’re not going to take the job. 

 

Conclusion: Be clear about what you have to offer. 

 

Different candidates have different motivations. Some want opportunities to push themselves and upskill, others want a dynamic company culture, and others want flexibility. 

Attracting quality candidates requires that you become crystal clear on what you’re looking for, and what you have to offer them, and whether that fits with their own career goals. So it’s important that you be very clear on what you have to offer them and whether that’s going to be a good fit.

If you have a competitive offer for the candidate, and you’re able to effectively communicate that offer, you’ll certainly stand out from the competition. Only then will you be able to attract the best candidates in your territory. 

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