How to Land Top Talent in a Buyers’ Market

Our nation seems to have reached a tipping point in favor of the job hunters, who can now be more selective than ever before. In fact, the best of the best get snatched up in less than 2 weeks, and it’s frustrating hiring managers to no end. A whopping 96% of executives tasked with recruiting top talent say they can’t find people to fill seats.

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To give a scope of the “problem,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded more open positions than job candidates for the 5th straight month in October.

Simply throwing money into the mix doesn’t move the needle in every case. Workers, especially Millennials, aren’t motivated solely by a paycheck. Until corporations accept that, they’ll continue to scramble for rising stars. Of course, the smartest ones will reconsider their ways to give themselves an edge.

Why Job Candidates Say ‘No Thanks’

Collectively, people browsing for jobs—especially those already employed and searching for new challenges—are no longer looking at salaries alone. Sure, they want to be paid appropriately; however, they’re willing to work for less if an exciting opportunity arises.

Companies haven’t quite caught up with this mind-set yet, which is clear when you see low-energy, traditional work spaces operating with an old-school mentality. A good example is an organization without a diverse interviewing team. Potential hires who don’t fit what they perceive as the company “mold” are then less enthusiastic about coming on board.

Finally, some organizations just haven’t gotten the memo that having a vibrant corporate culture is a need-to-have, not a nice-to-have. Up-and-coming leaders looking for a new home want to collaborate in a flexible work environment that promotes novelty, purpose, and productivity. They’re ready to self-actualize. If they walk into a place with low energy and no identifiable culture, they’ll look elsewhere to plant their stakes.

What a Talent-Wooing Workplace Looks and Feels Like

When we take interviewees on tours of our facility, their eyes light up the moment they walk in the door: They immediately feel the energy of the space and people. As they tour, the attention to detail matters—from the on-site gym and sparkling bathrooms with towel service to the pumping in of wonderful smells and our active work space. They recognize that we actually walk the walk when it comes to the way we work. Not only does it showcase our sincerity, but it also attracts great performers.

We didn’t get to where we are overnight, but we’ve proven what study after study indicates: Companies must reimagine how they look at—and appear to—people walking in the front door. Ready to jump-start your talent-courting process? Remember these tips:

  1. View furniture as a true asset.

Flexibility and adaptability aren’t buzzwords: They’re part of our mantra. Sadly, 48 million employees say their workplaces lack innovation. Want your employees to innovate? Don’t hamper them with inflexible office setups. Instead, consider the ever-changing needs of your workers when it comes to space.

It’s now easy to reconfigure spaces without the help of professional movers. The more power you put into your employees’ hands to switch up their environments as needed, the better work they can do—whether that’s a private one-on-one meeting or a teamwide collaboration in a bigger space. You need to be able to assemble areas quickly to handle new projects—and disassemble them just as fast to move on to the next thing. In a learn-fast, fail-fast culture, your teams and space should work the same way.

  1. Prioritize employee well-being.

Yes, you should focus on providing healthcare insurance if possible to your people by whatever means possible. But go beyond and add elements like a quiet yoga room, workout equipment, on-site showers, etc. Most workers move only 10% of the time, and it’s wreaking havoc on their health. Rather than praying that your workers will take care of themselves, make moving part of your at-work culture. Centralize the printer and trash cans to facilitate more walking, and have some “strolling meetings.” As a side note, be sure your C-suite people lead by example; sedentary leaders translate into sedentary workers.

  1. Provide learning opportunities.

A learning culture is an engaged culture. Talented recruits and new hires are sponges. Take advantage of their desire to explore and grow by sending them to conferences, holding workshops and lunch-and-learns in your space, and providing tuition reimbursement packages. When individuals see that you’re serious about growing your employees, they’ll be more likely to consider your workplace over another, even if the salary is lower.

  1. Live your values and mission.

Are your values and mission statement well-documented? Remind everyone to breathe it every day with some support. Corporations with strong, livable visions that are supported by robust teams exude a magnetic enthusiasm. Walk around your office today, and ask everyone you meet what your company’s mission is.

If people give different answers, you need to get everyone on the same page so that job candidates see a cohesive team working toward specific goals, not a bunch of folks doing their own things.

Times have changed. Employers no longer hold all the power. Be deliberate in how you invest in your current and future team members. They’re the keys to staying relevant, effective, and profitable quarter after quarter and for years to come.

A lifelong entrepreneur, Jason McCann has over 20 years of experience building and running successful companies. As a founder and the CEO of VARIDESK, McCann’s mission is to help companies reimagine the work space. VARIDESK started with one innovative product and has grown to be a global leader in work space innovation, with products found in over 130 countries. 

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