How To Attract Top Talent (Without Spending Top Dollar)

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certified

Many companies in today’s job market struggle with keeping up with their competitors. They want to ensure they are attracting top talent in the marketplace but may not have the financial resources large companies do.

Even if a company does have deeper pockets, they are still interested in enticing good candidates while keeping costs down.

Whether your organization is large or small, financially blessed or struggling, there are a number of low-cost ways to attract and retain talented staff.

Offer Flexible Work Options

The ability to work from home or create a unique schedule is very appealing to many job seekers. With technology today, it is completely feasible that many employees can manage their workload from home. Additionally, it works better for some people to start work earlier and end earlier while others prefer the standard 9-5 schedule.

Giving incoming (and current) employees the option to create a schedule that works best for them is a huge perk that will benefit your organization’s recruiting strategy. Consider indicating that flexible work options are available when advertising for the position so available talent’s interests are peaked.

This option costs an organization almost no money. You may need to update current computer systems to ensure that employees working offsite are able to take tablets or laptops with them.

But overall, offering flexible work options is a low cost way to attract great candidates.

Offer Career Pathing

One of the top things most applicants are looking for is future growth or promotional abilities at a new company. If you are part of a large organization, you can probably speak to the promotions past incumbents of the position have received.

Career pathing may be a little trickier for smaller organizations who have only seen steady job growth over the years. That being said, any sized organization can still create a plan for incoming positions that include training opportunities, certification opportunities, managerial opportunities, etc.

Showing a candidate that the company is invested in growing a new employee will allow him/her to see a potential future with the organization and provide a sense of future job security.

Working to create career paths and promotional opportunities is a low-cost option. You will need to engage your current managers and HR staff to help create the vision but should not need to engage outside resources.

Offer A Great Culture

Your company should be aware of any cultural issues that exist within the organization. They should also have an idea where their employee engagement stands. If employees are coming to the office, punching a clock, then just going home, you will have a tough time standing out to potential applicants.

If your organization has changes to make, make them. Work to create a collaborative environment that supports the growth of the employee, their work-life balance, and the success of the company as a whole.

When your current employees are happy with the environment they work in, they will talk about it. They will not hesitate to recommend your organization over others to people they know.

The cost of improving the company culture can be cheap if there are no real issues. But, if your organization is rife with complaints, you may be spending a pretty penny for outside consultants to help you get it right.

You can start small with developing a confidential employee engagement survey in-house to solicit feedback from your staff.

Offer Small Perks

It is amazing how a few extra little perks can go a long way. Companies don’t have to break the bank to provide incentives to their employees.

Work with a large local gym to see if you can secure a corporate rate or provide a monthly staff lunch.

If your company can offer free parking, do so. Since parking can be an expensive line item for those in urban settings, instead consider offering reduced parking passes for employees who carpool together.

Purchasing an espresso machine for the office won’t cost you as much as offering free medical benefits. Your company can control the cost of perks and incentives based on what you choose to do.

Offer Attractive Time Off Packages

Candidates may be considering leaving a long career with another organization to join your team. Being told they will receive 10 vacation days until they reach their fifth year of service is not going to sound very attractive to someone with a large time off accrual at their current organization.

Some small to mid-size organizations are considering unlimited time off programs to attract applicants with different priorities. When companies offer more liberal time off plans, employees are able to schedule personal time when it is convenient for them and the organization.

Your organization may need to do a simple cost analysis to determine if your current time-off structure can and should be updated. While it may seem like the company is getting less work from employees if they provide more time off, that’s not usually the case.

Whether your organization chooses to offer free parking or provides training opportunities every year, non-standard incentives are what will allow your company to stand out from the rest.

If you want to attract top talent, you need to show a commitment to your employees by creating an environment they want to be a part of.

About The Author

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz is a PHR certified HR professional with a broad range of expertise including recruitment, performance management, employee relations and talent management. She leverages her years of experience in HR to bring functional change to organizational leadership and direction to management structures and employees.

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