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The U.S. economy is in the best shape it’s been since the start of the recession. In 2014, employment rose by 2.95 million, the largest advance since 1999. Employers added 252,000 positions in December, marking the 11th consecutive month of net job gains above 200,000.

In high-demand fields like big data, healthcare and key areas of marketing and customer service, it’s a candidate’s market. Your challenge as an employer is to attract, develop and retain top talent to meet your strategic goals for 2015 and beyond.

The best talent always has options. Employers who truly care about their future must put careful thought into how they catch today’s brightest stars. How can you emerge a leader in this competitive picture?

Treat candidates with respect.

The best candidates respond positively to a well-planned and well-executed hiring process. They appreciate employers who take the time to explain themselves and provide all the necessary details about an available position.

  • Develop an easily understood job description. Avoid jargon and clearly explain the role. Be upfront about the downsides as well as the positives. Sell your company and the position, but paint a realistic picture. If candidates have to “fill in the blanks,” they won’t hesitate to go elsewhere.
  • Have a user-friendly application system. Your ATS may work fine for you, but be sure it does the same for your leading employment prospects. Correct any technical glitches or steps that move too slowly.
  • Talk about salary up front. Other aspects of a job also are important but the reality is, people work for money. List your salary range in your JD or discuss it during an early-stage phone screen. Strong candidates will appreciate your candor.
  • Be worth working for. Offer not only a competitive salary and benefits package, but also provide a high-functioning work environment. This is your product. It includes effective management, professional development opportunities and recognition for work well done. Even the best-run hiring practices can’t overcome negative word of mouth about what it’s like to work for your company.

Market your brand.

Presenting an attractive employer brand has become more complex with the proliferation of social media. It takes expert strategizing and state-of-the-art marketing to reach your most desired prospects.

  • Portray your brand features consistently across all media. Both on-and-offline, use recognizable message points and graphics.
  • Enable candidates to research your employment value proposition. Hiring is like matchmaking. Use your brand to attract prospects who are aligned with your business and your company culture.
  • Be strategic about where you advertise. Choosing the right media, means finding out where the right people are. Find a balance between traditional and social media and monitor activity in both sectors. Meticulously track posts, reactions, likes/dislikes, comments and discussions. They impact what candidates take away when it comes to your brand and reputation.

Network – internally and externally.

You have professional networks. Now use them. Cast a wide net into your network and make optimum use of your connections and contacts.

  • Along with your own social media networks, tap into your employees’ communities. Identify your best current team members and encourage them to promote job openings and tout your brand on line. Tie this into a referral program that provides rewards for finding successful new hires.
  • Promote from within. This builds motivation and further enhances your brand.
  • Participate in professional organizations and events. Carefully review your options and assess their effectiveness. Then be active and visible in those that yield the best returns.

Your goal is to hire and retain the best talent in their field, not just the best of those looking for work. The professional recruiters at BrainWorks can source candidates that you won’t find elsewhere – and partner with you to develop a surefire hiring plan for today, tomorrow and the years ahead. Contact us to learn more.


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