We all know that the war for talent is real, and it’s urgent. In today’s environment, the tides have turned. Previously, employees struggled to find jobs...now they can choose from a plethora of opportunities. This is great for candidates, but presents a challenge to hire and retain employees, especially when you have to compete against the Big Four (Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon). When they’re offering six-figure salaries and top of the line benefits, it might feel like you have no way to compete, but you do! While a hefty salary is certainly attractive, money isn’t always the top priority for modern recruits. There are still smart ways to attract great talent…here’s 8 ways how.

1.) Offer Company Equity

Equity is compensation that allows employees the opportunity to become part owners of the companies they work for. The big tech companies can offer infrastructure and brand credibility, but they can’t offer substantial vesting opportunities in the same fashion that smaller companies can. This system regularly rewards people who maintain longevity as employees and sometimes can result in large cash payouts.

2.) Tempt Candidates With Exciting Projects

When working for a big tech company, it’s easy for employees to become “just a number”. A large majority of job seekers want to be able to make an impact and have more say in important decisions, and that’s much easier to do within a small or medium-sized business. It’ll be necessary to transmit an attractive and exciting project to tempt them because employees that don’t feel challenged in their given role will leave for the next job. The type of project totally depends on the role, but it could be anything from building a new, big feature within a tech platform or relaunching a brand.

3.) Articulate How Your Company Makes A Difference

People go where they feel valued and enjoy knowing that what they do is making a difference. Knowing and clearly articulating what you do as a company and why you do it is a great way to attract others who also want to make a difference. For example, here at Pillar, our mission is to help organizations grow better with every hire and to break unconscious bias. This is a mission that a lot of job seekers can get behind.

4.) Build A Foundation Of High-Quality Leadership

To attract and, more importantly, retain great employees, organizations first need to create a strong foundation of high-quality leadership, which must be exemplified by leaders. Leaders are trusted with creating safe spaces for teams to do their best work, and they need to feel comfortable doing it within that environment. At smaller companies, managers are usually visible and willing to engage directly with employees, which is something that is definitely lacking within big tech.

5.) Build your Employer Brand

Just as your products or services have a brand, so too does your company as an employer. Building an attractive employer brand is essential. If you have a poor reputation, the best candidates will steer clear from applying. Create stories to help prospective candidates understand what it’s like to work at your organization, specifically on your website and social media channels. Talk about what you’ve accomplished and get them excited about what the future has in store.

6.) Utilize Your Current Employees

According to Glassdoor, 4 in 5 job seekers research company reviews and ratings before deciding where to apply for a job. Ask your current employees to share their reviews of what it’s really like to work for your company. A review on a job site may be the first thing candidates see before deciding whether to apply to your organization. In addition, you can consider an employee referral program. Referrals deliver the highest quality candidates in the shortest amount of time. The reason is simple…top-performers attract others like them.

7.) Show a Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Now more than ever, candidates are prioritizing diversity within the workplace. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Beqom, 48% of employed adults said they’d consider switching to another company if it had a built-out DEI strategy. On top of that, recruiting a diverse and inclusive workforce is simply the right thing to do, and its positive effects on business performance are well-documented.

8.) Speed Up Your Hiring

The best candidates get snatched up quickly. Your hiring processes need to be fast to catch your top choices before they look elsewhere. Larger companies can be slow, taking months to hire. You can be more agile, so make your top candidates feel wanted by quickly getting to know them on a personal level, and making them feel like they’re already part of the team.

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