Attracting Top Talent in a Competitive Marketplace

All companies, large or small, share a common goal: attracting top talent. The challenge, however, is finding the best approach that ensures attracting a continuous stream of talented individuals.

While money is a significant factor in attracting top talent, it is not the most important. The best employees value things beyond a competitive salary. Thus, companies must ensure their hiring practices reflect their unique value proposition and corporate culture. These elements allow companies to establish their brand reputation in a competitive marketplace.

Companies can implement several best practices for attracting, hiring, and ultimately retaining the top talent in the market. Here is a closer look at these best practices in action.

Attracting Top Talent in a Competitive Marketplace

1. Build a respectable brand reputation

The aim is to mold a brand that employees, business partners, suppliers, and vendors want to be associated with. As a result, being a part of your company provides intangible value beyond money—it provides a sense of belonging and pride.

How do you quantify “intangible value”?

For instance, working for a respected company or brand gives professionals credibility. After all, a great professional can earn significant respect by working for well-known companies such as Apple and Google instead of ABC Corp. It becomes ABC Corp’s responsibility to build brand reputation that will provide credibility to employees.

Ultimately, top performers are often willing to leave money on the table to play for the best team instead of taking more money to play for the worst team. When your company is the best in its league, top players will come to your company solely for the opportunity to play in it, regardless of money or position. Please bear in mind that being at the top of your league boils down to reputation. When your company boasts an enviable reputation, people will gravitate toward your company.

2. Communicate the company’s unique value proposition

The most reputable companies in their league communicate their unique value proposition effectively. They share their core values openly, highlighting why employees enjoy working for them. The objective is to compel the “why” so talented individuals choose to work for them instead of competitors. The core message typically revolves around a positive corporate culture where employees can find a purpose that reaches far beyond a competitive salary.

Perks, Benefits and Lifestyle:

Undoubtedly, compensation plays a key role. Aspects such as perks, benefits, and bonus schemes must align with industry standards. Additionally, the intangibles should align with the company’s core values. For example, investing in employee development, wellness programs, and career advancement are highly useful in attracting top talent.

Opportunities to Give Back:

Companies must consider one other crucial element: supporting causes their employees believe in. Employees need to identify with their company’s vision. So, what better way to create a strong bond between the company and employees than by supporting causes employees believe in?

Getting the Message Out:

The question now becomes how to communicate the company’s unique value proposition effectively. One of the ways to accomplish this is to consider establishing a substantial social media presence. With so much of the world’s communication done via digital channels, it makes sense for companies to maintain close communication through online means. Organizations must ultimately communicate through the channels that best resonate with their brand culture and target audience.

Team of talent

3. Build a consistent talent pipeline

A healthy talent pipeline ensures a steady stream of talent. In particular, a consistent talent pipeline saves time, especially when a position must be filled on short notice. Building a consistent pipeline requires a proactive approach. For instance, recruiters must establish ongoing relationships with the best candidates. In doing so, the door remains open for when the time is right.

Industry leaders bolster their talent pipelines by creatively sourcing and constantly accepting job applications. This attitude enables top companies to maintain a robust talent pipeline they can sift through regardless of their current staffing needs. Once fully implemented, this approach saves time, effort, and money.

4. Leverage connections

An extensive referral contact network helps companies build their talent pipeline quite inexpensively. Leveraging those connections is a highly effective way of finding the best talent available. Having extensive contact networks also offers companies access to qualified applications without going through the entire recruitment process. Consequently, companies cut down on the time and effort needed to find qualified candidates. For instance, when a company needs to fill a position, its connections can refer qualified candidates.

Leveraging connections can become an effective approach when done right. Here are the most effective ways to build extensive referral networks:

• Establish a referral policy in the company. Employees who refer contacts are eligible for a referral bonus when their referee is hired.

• Reach out to suppliers, vendors, and business partners. Ask them to refer people who might be interested in working for your company. As resumes and applications come in, your company can build its overall talent pipeline.

• Work with high schools and universities. Reaching out to students can help you expand your talent pipeline significantly. Future graduates can quickly fill your talent pipeline with talented and eager young workers.

• Build partnerships with local government organizations or non-profit organizations. Organizations that help unemployed individuals find jobs are always looking for corporate connections. Local skill training and employment programs can become a good source of qualified talent.

Ultimately, leveraging referrals is a powerful way to build a robust talent pipeline. Thus, it is worth putting effort into building as many contacts as possible.

5. Strive for community outreach

Establishing a strong presence in the local community is one of the most effective ways to build connections. Savvy companies know how to make their presence in the local community to the next level.

For most companies, community outreach supports local causes such as environmental protection, social issues, or healthcare initiatives. So, why not use these opportunities to foster your company’s talent pipeline? Your company’s community outreach initiatives provide a great opportunity to community your staffing needs.

Suppose your organization is looking to take community outreach one step further. In that case, you can look into supporting training and employment programs at local colleges, vocational schools, and training centers. Your support can range from corporate sponsorship to encouraging employees to support in any way they see fit. These initiatives help build brand awareness while positively supporting your local community.


6. Host Open Houses and Job Fairs

Another great way to maintain a presence within the community is to host job fairs and open houses. Typically, companies visit high schools and colleges to reach out to students and increase brand awareness. Recruiters often visit schools to give upcoming graduates information about current job opportunities at their company. Students looking to get a job can fill out a job application on the spot. Applicants get added to the database and become part of the talent pipeline.

When companies host an open house, they invite candidates to come and see for themselves what the company has to offer. Open houses are a great way to encourage interested individuals to fill out an application and start the recruitment process.

Please bear in mind that job fairs and open houses work very well with companies that have intensive staffing needs. But what about companies that require skilled and specialized workers? Companies needing skilled workers establish partnerships with colleges, vocational schools, and training centers to refer graduates from their programs to the company.

What do colleges and schools get out of it?

When colleges and schools have placement agreements with companies, it helps boost their credibility. Thus, colleges and schools can advertise that their graduates receive job offers upon graduation. Ultimately, it is a win-win for schools, colleges, students, and companies.

7. Stay on par with competitors

Attracting top talent and prying them away from competitors requires an intelligent approach. A common misconception is that companies need to pay more to get the best talent available. However, paying a competitive wage is not always enough to attract the best of the best. Companies need to establish improved compensation packages that include bonuses, insurance coverages, and additional benefits. As a result, companies need to keep up with the proverbial Joneses to attract and retain the best talent.

Companies that do not stay on par with their competitors’ wages and benefits schemes may struggle to attract and retain top talent. Keep in mind, that money is not the only type of compensation employees want. Now more than ever, additional benefits such as health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and childcare benefits are all at the forefront of employees’ minds.

Consequently, companies must strive to implement compensation packages comparable to what competitors offer. By having a level playing field, your company’s core values can become the determining factor in attracting and retaining the best of the best.

How Can TalentZök Help with Attracting Top Talent?

At TalentZök, we know what it takes to attract top-notch talent. We have the expertise and experience needed to build robust networks that lead to consistent talent pipelines. We have the know-how to supply our business partners with a steady stream of qualified candidates. Let us show you how we can help your company achieve its staffing goals.


This post is made available for informational purposes only to provide a general understanding of the topics discussed herein. It is not intended to provide specific business, legal, or professional advice and should not be relied on as such. TalentZök is not liable or responsible for any damage or loss arising from any reliance placed on such materials.

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