How to attract top talent when pay is a challenge

How to attract top talent when pay is a challenge
Alison King
Alison KingBespoke HR

Posted: Tue 28th May 2024

Job seekers are looking beyond salary. Research shows that Millennials and Gen Z seek meaningful work with purpose and a positive company culture.

For small businesses, we know that offering large salaries is a challenge. However, research suggests that Millennials (born between 1981-1996) and Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) value more than just compensation. As these generations increasingly populate the workforce, it's important to understand what's driving them (and it's more than just salary).

We also know that recruiting good people is the number one challenge for many companies. A great recruitment strategy, therefore, hinges on the business selling itself to candidates as much as vice versa.

So how do you create a great strategy and attract the best people when pay is a challenge?

Creating a positive company culture

Research shows that Millennials and Gen Z look for meaningful work, seeking out businesses with a positive company culture and values with ample opportunities for personal growth and development. They gravitate towards businesses that resonate with their personal values.

In sectors, where salaries are limited, creating a strong company culture focusing on distinct values, such as sustainability or community can be a significant attractor. Promoting these aspects of the business not only helps to attract the right candidates but also creates the spirit of teamwork and enhances employee retention.

Watch this webinar for practical tips to make your small business stand out in the eyes of prospective candidates:

Showcase learning and development opportunities

Investing in employee development not only retains talent but also serves as a great recruitment tool. Training programmes should be promoted, including any mentoring opportunities in recruitment and marketing materials. This will give potential employees an insight into the business and how it values and invests in its people.

Promote flexible working

This is high on the agenda for many job seekers, so promote it in the recruitment adverts.

In industries like hospitality and retail which typically may not appeal to those with family commitments, offering flexible schedules can be highly attractive.

Create your 'employer brand' and showcase it

Just like a product or service, your employer brand is essential for attracting talent. It's what sets you apart from other employers competing for great candidates.

Creating a strong brand means showcasing why your business is a good one to work for. Do you have great employee success stories to share? A strong online presence, particularly on social media, helps display positive employee stories and gives an informal glimpse into company culture.

Use your platforms to showcase behind-the-scenes details of company events, meetings, products or anything that gives potential employees an insight into the business. Great company culture can be demonstrated through your job descriptions, social media posts and all communication. This should also be consistent across all your channels.

Be transparent

Transparency is key from the very first job advert to all other communications. This means providing details of salary, expectations, duties, qualifications and the skills or experience needed.

So many candidates are frustrated by job adverts that don't display salary details. This ultimately results in wasted time for recruiters and candidates who could be applying for roles that are just simply not applicable to them.

Ask employees for referrals

A tried and trusted method of recruiting good people is to ask existing employees for referrals. Ask staff to refer people who would be a good match for the company, with a reward for successful placements. This can help to boost morale and also contribute to a reliable workforce.

Streamline your recruitment process

Using the right platforms to recruit can help streamline the process. This includes specific social media platforms where your audience may be. This extends to ensuring the company website is up to date. Also, consider using video interviews and online assessments to speed up the process.

Highlight any additional benefits and perks

If salary is constrained then make sure that all other perks are highlighted in recruitment material. These include healthcare plans, employee discounts or wellbeing programmes. Other perks could be things like days off for birthdays or anniversaries and volunteering.

Measure success

KPIs can help measure the success of the overall process. This enables you to refine and make any improvements to the recruitment strategy if needed. KPIs can include the amount of time it took to hire, retention rates and candidate satisfaction.

Adopting a comprehensive approach that goes beyond salary can help you attract the workforce that will help your business grow and evolve.

Relevant resources

Alison King
Alison KingBespoke HR

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