Recruiting Top Talent: A Guide to Successful Hiring

Mar 29, 2024
Blog, HR and Recruiting Industry Information, Recruiting Best Practices

In most cases, and for most job openings, recruiters want to secure top industry talent for their open roles. Why? Beyond being the most qualified or suitable person for the position, top performers come packaged with an array of benefits that can give organizations a competitive advantage, improve company culture and help develop organizational leadership.

But attracting and retaining the most befitting employees is easier said than done. So, what exactly are the best ways to ensure you’re attracting the most qualified individuals? And, what does an effective and successful recruitment strategy look like?

Here, we’re breaking down the basics required of a solid recruitment strategy to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth not just out of your newly recruited, talented employees but your hiring efforts, too.

The Basis of a Strong Recruitment Strategy

There’s more to attracting, sourcing and securing top talent than simply posting a job listing. Even if it’s well-written and alluring, there are always others that are more so. This can be especially challenging for smaller organizations looking to get on the same playing field as their larger corporate counterparts.

Hiring managers must not only curate their job listings to a tee but also their strategies to identify and attract those most suited for a particular role. If you’re unsure where to start, or where it went wrong for your organization, start with these seven recruiting basics and get them right:

1. Identify Your Needs

You can’t fill a ravine with water and expect it to be as easily traversed on foot then if there were a bridge instead. Before you go looking for candidates, you first need to identify what you need to help your organization succeed.

This involves collaborating with relevant stakeholders to:

  • Define job requirements and expectations.
  • Clearly understand the specific skills, experience and qualities desired from the ideal candidate.

Once everyone is aligned on the best way to proceed, you can start building the hiring bridge.

2. Attracting Qualified Candidates

To attract the right people, you need to create compelling job descriptions and employer branding strategies. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Clearly stating the company’s values.
  • Effectively communicating your culture.
  • Identifying and making evident the growth opportunities with your organization.

Doing these three tasks the right way will help you attract high-caliber candidates.

3. Sourcing Qualified Candidates

In a perfect world, highly qualified candidates seeking employment would deliver themselves straight to your front door. Unfortunately, hiring isn’t that easy and, oftentimes, top talent needs to be head-hunted. Hiring managers should leverage various sourcing channels, including job boards, social media platforms, professional networks and even industry-specific events, to proactively seek out qualified candidates. A passive candidate is someone who isn’t actively searching for new opportunities but would be happy to entertain an attractive offer.

What Do Top Candidates Want From Organizations?

Before jumping into more concentrated efforts that will help you land top talent, let’s take a look at what job seekers actually want from their prospective organizations. While fair and just compensation is still highly important for a lot of candidates, especially top talent, other elements are equally, if not more important.

For example, a recent study revealed that 91 percent of new hires who received quality culture training felt more connected to the organization than those who didn’t—underscoring the importance of a healthy, active culture for new and prospective hires. Culture training involves educating and familiarizing new hires with the values, norms, beliefs and behaviors of your company’s culture. It’s not just about learning the job tasks or responsibilities; it’s about understanding the organization’s ethos and how to thrive within it.

This often involves training about how to effectively handle challenges within the organization and be a strong leader, as well as expectations for collaboration; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and more.

Beyond culture training, here are a few more nice-to-haves in today’s market that can bolster your organization as one worthy of employing the most talented candidates in your industry:

  • Strong offer letters
  • A streamlined and engaging hiring process
  • Evident opportunities for professional development
  • Strong work-life balance
  • Open and honest communication

How To Attract Top Talent

Great, so we know how to get the basics right and what job seekers truly want from their prospective companies. Now, let’s streamline, optimize and condense everything we’ve learned into one actionable checklist that will surely help you secure the right people for the jobs at hand.

1. Develop A Strong Employer Brand

You attract what you exude. When your brand communicates enticing qualities like excellence, transparency and drive, you’ll inevitably entice like-minded people who wish to work for such a strong, reputable company.

In terms of recruiting, here are a few to-do’s:

  • Define your employer value proposition (EVP): Identify what makes your company unique as an employer.
  • Craft a brand message: Develop a clear, concise and compelling message that communicates your EVP to potential candidates.
  • Build a strong online presence: Leverage social media platforms to share employee stories, company achievements and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your workplace.
  • Provide an exceptional candidate experience: Ensure a seamless and positive experience for each and every potential candidate throughout the recruitment process — which translates into a better employee experience if you play your cards correctly.
  • Invest in employee well-being: Prioritize employee well-being by providing work-life balance initiatives, mental health support and wellness programs.

2. Write Compelling and Detailed Job Descriptions

No one wants to be left guessing after reading a job description. Clear, compelling posting should include:

  • A clear title that’s representative of the role.
  • An engaging overview of the job.
  • Key responsibilities.
  • Requirements and necessary qualifications.
  • Salary information.
  • Expected working hours.
  • Information about company culture.

3. Use More Than One Sourcing Channel

Casting a wide net is key to attracting more talent. The larger your sample size, the more likely you are to catch qualified candidates. This is especially important for small businesses that, by default, aren’t on the same playing field as their larger counterparts.

To do this effectively, post your job openings on popular job boards, industry-specific websites and social media platforms to maximize visibility. But, instead of doing all of this manually, use an applicant tracking system that can cast the net for you.

4. Offer Competitive and Creative Benefits

According to research by the Harvard Business Review, 60 percent of employees say the cost of going into the office outweighs the pros. That being said, one of the most important benefits employers can offer in 2024—beyond insurance and the like—is a well-balanced hybrid working model.

This and other creative benefits, such as student loan assistance programs, more paid time off and funding for professional development are all attractive incentives for today’s workforce.

5. Emphasize Career Development

According to a 2023 study by LinkedIn Learning, providing learning opportunities is the number one strategy for retaining top talent employers can use. This is important because, when you secure top talent, you want them to stick around.

For recruiting, this means:

  • Highlighting growth opportunities from the get-go
  • Building attractive and effective training and career development programs
  • Actively encouraging continuous learning
  • Providing adequate mentorship and coaching
  • Conducting performance reviews and providing actionable feedback

6. Commit To Continuous Improvement

You don’t have to get recruiting right on the very first try. Each organization is different, and depending on the type of industry you’re operating in and what your ideal candidate looks like, your recruiting strategy can change. But that’s the beauty of it!

The easier you can make the hiring process on yourself, the quicker you can adapt your recruiting strategy to fit the needs of diverse candidates — no matter where they are in the talent pipeline.

Streamline Your Hiring Process For Success in Securing Top Talent

It all starts with advertising and recruitment marketing. Create a compelling job posting and cast it out to hundreds of popular and niche job boards in one click.

From candidate sourcing to retaining top talent, Applicantstack makes it easy to quickly scale your team or fill niche roles without any of the hassle associated with traditional, drawn-out hiring practices. Text-to-apply functionally puts control back in candidates’ hands: While they continue their job search, you can start reviewing resumes.

These features, and many more, are what make Applicantstack the premier choice for streamlining your hiring process to attract the most high-quality candidates for your team. Interested? Try it for free today.

Make Recruiting and Onboarding Easy

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