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How to attract top candidates when there aren’t many around.

Top performing star candidates are few and far between at the best of times, but when the candidate supply is as tight as it is in the current climate, employers need to adapt their approach to attracting great employees.

Recruiting in a Candidate Scarce Climate

Some employers are moderately surprised to discover that candidates are not always motivated by huge increases in cash.

Of course, it goes without saying that everyone aspires to a large salary – but at the end of the day, that does not retain people in your business if other factors or pressures come into play in their working life.

For job seekers, it’s usually as much about the non-cash benefits, the flexibility of working hours, working location, working style and team dynamics as it is about the money.

It used to be that employers could dictate the start time and finish time for all employees. The doors were unlocked, the employees sat at allocated work stations and had breaks at specific times, and in some environments such as production lines, this is still the norm.

For all other positions, however, clocking in and out is no longer the expectation – and exchanging hours for money is also no longer the standard. The introduction of cell phones & take home digital devices has changed the game completely, and it continues to evolve.

Employers attracting and retaining top talent are following the lead of corporate giants Google and Facebook, who have food available ‘on campus’, fitness facilities on site are becoming more common (or gym memberships and healthcare as part of a package), family-friendly working hours – and even family oriented spaces within the working environment are popping up, so that working parents don’t have to stress so much about school holidays or after school care.

You don’t have to be a giant corporation to add value to an employee package that will remove stress and add value to the employee’s life – you just have to understand the things that are of value to them.

Digital communication channels have enabled global teams – people working from remote locations and dialing into meetings on non-office-days is commonplace. Quiet zones across all channels are commonly observed at specific times of the working day in teams where focus is required to hit agile sprint goals, with specific check-in and scrub meetings also in place – all in the name of increased productivity and decreased interruption from core goals.

High performers love this environment, and they love being allowed to consider the needs of their family along with the needs of their workplace peers – the employment becomes an augmentation to family life rather than an interruption to it. Employees will stay longer, feel more committed and valued.

So, the next time you’re considering adding another $10K to a package to get that person on your team, ask them what external memberships or subscriptions they would value to the same or similar value (or even half of the equivalent value). Ask how many office days a week they feel they would need to get the job done to the required standard in the context of the team he or she would be working in, or what their preferred working hours are with their family needs in mind.

We guarantee they will sit up and look excited to be asked.