Trying to Land Top Talent? Here’s 9 Tips for Crushing the Competition

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11 Jan 2022
5 min read

The Great Resignation has changed the hiring environment dramatically. Instead of top candidates vying passionately for an open role, companies are the ones competing for talent. 

If your business is trying to add to your talent pool in a competitive city like San Diego, you may feel like you’re spinning your wheels ineffectively. Don’t spend time and money recruiting, interviewing, and negotiating with your first choices, only to have them accept offers elsewhere. Elevate your hiring success. 

It’s vital that employers avoid making mistakes during the hiring process, especially in a competitive market like today’s. We’ve been in the staffing industry a long time, and have seen what works. 

Here are 9 tips you can use to crush your competition and land the top talent you need. 

Work on Your Employer Branding

Ask your marketing department to work with your hiring managers. They can dig into your company’s strengths and communicate them across your social media channels, job descriptions, and website. Also encourage happy employees to write reviews on online employer review sites. 

If everything else is equal, a strong employer brand may be the thing to tip the scales in your company’s favor.

When’s the last time you read your company’s reviews on Glassdoor? The best candidates typically go to Glassdoor to read the reviews before seriously considering your open position. You might be surprised to realize where your brand stands in the marketplace when trying to attract top talent.

Find a Way to Connect with Passive Candidates

Instead of jumping into the raging battle of landing active job seekers, skirt around the melee by finding candidates who are open to a new career opportunity but aren’t actively looking. 

Encourage your employees to recommend jobs to their qualified network, friends and family. Working with a staffing firm is another way to connect with passive candidates. 

Optimize Your Candidate Experience

Potential new hires are weighing (and judging) your company well before their first interview. Was your application unreasonably long? Did your job description ramble? Is your website vague and boring? Did they wait forever to hear back from you?

Put work into treating your candidates enthusiastically, respectfully, and attentively. This includes both personal AND automated interactions. Don’t lose your perfect new hire because your recruiting process is clunky and outdated….Adapt and evolve to remain competitive with the current labor market. Your agency representative is where the real-time market data is obtained so utilize their expertise as you would with any other highly specialized profession. 

Ditch Old-School Bias

Many things that were acceptable in the hiring process a decade ago will make top talent run in the opposite direction today. For example, avoid asking about their current salary. The laws and best practices change everyday, so should you and your company. Your Agency recruiter knows the appropriate behavioral interview techniques to properly pre-screen candidates according to the most updated labor laws. The best agency recruiter should be an extension of your internal team to help you keep up with current market trends including helping your company meet their D&I initiatives and goals. 

Who knows? If you widen your searching parameters you may find a priceless diamond in the rough before your competition does. 

Beef Up Your Communication Efforts

Candidates don’t like to wonder about the next step. From the beginning, share honest, thorough feedback and next step information with job seekers. A concise and timely interview process is a must. Proactively follow up with updates and any changes in the timeline. Top candidates who are interviewing at multiple places will be impressed by the company that manages the communication part of the process best. Make it your company. 

Polish Your Job Description

One of the most time-consuming tasks of the hiring process is weeding through the resumes that aren’t a good fit. This is time that could be spent cultivating relationships with top talent!

If you’re getting lots of interest in your open positions from individuals who aren’t qualified, your job description definitely needs some work. Using a job description from a few years ago doesn’t cut it. Put some time and effort into the job description to help sell it as an opportunity for growth or advancement. This is your first chance to attract the perfect candidate. If you expect the perfect updated candidate resume, then they should expect the same perfect updated job description in return. 

Update your job description to include your requirements as well as an accurate description of who the person will report to and their daily tasks. That way, you start your hiring process on the right foot. Also try modifying the position title to see if it helps increase the applicant flow. 

Partner with a Professional Staffing Firm

There are lots of benefits in working with a professional recruiter, and we aren’t just saying that because we are one! It’s important to know what working with a staffing firm is..and what it’s not. 

Recruiters typically have a pool of talent they know. That means they know the candidate is serious, they know the compensation the candidate wants, and they know the type of position that would suit them best. By having a recruiter on your side, you can bypass lots of the back-and-forth involved in a candidate-employer negotiation. 

While it may seem like recruiting agencies are expensive to work with, they’re actually a cost-effective option to a long, drawn-out interviewing process. With a staffing firm on your side, you’re more likely to make an offer the candidate will accept. This lands the talent for YOUR company, instead of somewhere else. 

Pinpoint Candidate Needs

Don’t automatically assume every candidate wants to work from home, or that a hefty salary will sway them. Some of the top talent you’re talking to may prefer a flexible schedule, the opportunity for advancement, and generous PTO. 

In a market like this one where candidates are most likely talking to multiple companies, employers must listen to what the candidate wants in a position and then try to deliver. A little flexibility or training opportunity may be the clincher in hiring top talent. 

Accelerate the Decision Process

Don’t. Take. Forever. To. Decide. 

Nothing dampens a candidate’s enthusiasm for a role than sitting and waiting for news about the next step. Not to mention it’s one of the top things that really pisses off a candidate. Dragging the decision out is irritating and can border on being disrespectful by wasting their time. Plus, in this market, another company may just swoop in and hire the right out from underneath you. 

Before you even put out the job ad, create a hiring timeline with a step-by-step plan for filling your open position. Chop out the “fat”. This includes taking a week (or longer) to make a decision on the next round of interviews and unnecessary people involved in the process. 

Transparency here is key, too. During the first interview, go over the timeline with the candidate. That way they aren’t sitting around wondering if they’re going to get called back. 

Being quick with feedback keeps the candidate excited about the role. And for the ones you didn’t hire? Well, they’ll appreciate being handled respectfully. 

Hiring in San Diego, and all across the nation, is more competitive than it’s been in decades. Employers who take the time to up their hiring game are more likely to snag the candidates they want. Staying competitive and maintaining the quality of your workforce is well-worth the effort. 

Need help with your next awesome new hire? Talent Experts can help! Contact us today to learn more. 

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