Those in charge of hiring can typically rattle off a solid list of traits that attract a job seeker to an open position within their business. Factors like salary and health benefits will always matter when it comes to recruiting efforts, regardless of the age of the person you’re talking with or the type of position that’s available.
However, there is a range of other components that professionals are seeking out as they look for their next career opportunity. Some of the lesser-known factors that matter to a person in the market for a new job include:
A sense of stability
Those looking to pursue a new career opportunity crave stability from their next place of employment. In fact, a 2015 survey by CareerBuilder found that 65 percent of job seekers ranked stability as the most important factor that comes into play as they considered a job change.
People want to know that if they uproot their professional life (and if a move is required, their personal life as well) to join your organization, a steady working environment will greet them when they arrive. They don’t want to be faced with rumors about layoffs or budget cuts before they can even get their desk set up. How do you demonstrate company stability as you recruit?
- Show how you’ve invested time and energy into your current employees: Do you bring in guest speakers to educate your staff? Do you send them to conferences or pay for them to receive additional professional certificates? Talk openly about these factors during your interview with a potential new hire. This illustrates that you care about more than just day-to-day productivity.
- Acknowledge milestones and achievements: Come up with a way to honor milestones and achievements that happen within your company. For example, if someone is celebrating their 10-year anniversary with the company, send out an office-wide email marking the day. You may even want to throw a small party in the person’s honor. If there’s a company newsletter that goes out, offer birthday greetings to those celebrating their special day that month.
- Invest in team building activities: Volatile businesses don’t care about camaraderie or company culture. To demonstrate that your brand is experiencing smooth sailing, invest in these facets of the business whenever possible. Organize a company kickball league, host monthly lunch clubs or happy hours, or start an office-wide book club. These are important morale boosters for your employees, plus it helps potential new hires see that your business is a calm, stable place to work.
While it’s important to keep the focus on your recruiting efforts, make it a point to give the proper amount of attention to your current staff members, too. They crave a sense of stability just as much as potential new hires do. A stable office environment helps to cut down turnover rates, which saves the business time and money in the long run.
Openness within the organization
Today, those on the job hunt want to join a business that treats employees with respect and honesty. They want information to be communicated in an open, timely way. If there are mergers in the works, employees want details as soon as possible. If there’s a new initiative that’s about to be rolled out, they want to know when, where, and why. Employees don’t want to be on a “need to know” basis, and they hope to avoid working for someone who believes this is the best way to manage a company.
To boost your recruiting efforts, illustrate what you do within your office to keep your team in the loop. Do you use closed social media software that allows staff members to communicate with one another regularly? Do you send out daily or weekly emails that are packed with company updates? Is there a way employees can offer suggestions directly to management?
Giving real examples of open lines of communication is a highly valuable part of the recruiting process. Employees want to be invested in the future of their company, and clear communication shows that you value their contributions to the business.
When professionals are getting ready to make a change in their careers, convenience is certainly a factor in the decision-making process, especially if the switch would cause them to have to relocate. They want to know that their new office is situated in a desirable location, with a commute that’s manageable. When they come into work each day, they want easy parking in a safe area. If they have children, they want to be able to move their family into a home that’s in a nice neighborhood in close proximity to good schools.
Many employers and recruiters don’t think about how the convenience factor plays into an individual’s decision to make a career move. In reality, even the most accomplished professional is also a normal person who values their family and making daily life as easy as possible. If you can illustrate that work and everything that surrounds getting there would be easier for this individual, suddenly you’ve got a powerful point about why they should make a change.
While everyone sees the value in receiving sufficient health coverage, many would-be employees are thinking outside the box when it comes to the kinds of perks they’d like to receive at their next career opportunity. Here are some of the additional benefits that will improve talent acquisition:
- A pet-friendly environment: Besides the obvious benefit of getting to spend the day with your four-legged friend, potential employees who are dog lovers see this as a significant added bonus because they can save on pet care when they’re at work during the day. Plus, having pups running around the office improves morale and lowers stress levels for workers. It’s hard to be panicked when you have someone’s French bulldog curled up at your feet.
- Subsidizing gym memberships: When your employees feel physically healthy, their performance at work is better, which is why many businesses have begun to subsidize employees’ health club memberships. Investing in this cost helps to keep your team physically and mentally well, plus it shows potential employees that you care about all aspects of their lives, and not just what they do during their desk from 9-5.
- Free food in the kitchen: This is a small way to reward your staff for their hard work during the day, yet it’s something that potential new team members view as a valuable added bonus. There’s no longer a need to trek down the street and spend money on a snack. Something to munch on is available right there for them. Extra points for healthy snacks.
- An education or training allowance: When employees stop learning new skills and information, they plateau. Eventually, they’ll become less valuable and relevant to your business as the information they possess becomes outdated. To encourage constant development, businesses can offer an education allowance, where they pay for their team to attend conferences and professional development seminars. Those who are considering joining your team will see the value in this offering, since the business constantly invests in the future of its employees.
Today, workers are shying away from heavily structured businesses in favor of increased flexibility. Very few people like the feeling of being chained to a desk all day. Companies that offer flexibility can stand out and separate themselves from the competition, particularly as far as recruiting is concerned. If your business allows employees to work from home occasionally, suddenly open positions become highly attractive to would-be team members.
Another way to show flexibility is by using video interviewing technology during the hiring process. Instead of forcing employees to take time out of their day to trek to your office and sit through an interview, they can answer your questions at a time that’s convenient for them, right in the comfort of their own home. Showing that you want to make life easier for them by offering video interviewing subtly demonstrates your company’s belief in flexibility for employees, which is something professionals are on the lookout for as they search for new career opportunities.
You can also show flexibility in the way you react to unexpected situations that your team members face. When children get sick or cars break down, cut as much slack as possible for your staff. Keeping track of the exact number of hours of PTO a person has may seem like the most fair way to run a company, but it can also cause unnecessary stress among employees.
Don’t let people abuse the system, but understand your staff members are also humans who encounter family issues, illness, and car troubles. If someone has a legitimate reason for missing work or showing up late, give them a break. When potential new hires see that they’ll be working for empathetic people, they’ll be more excited to join the team.
The ability to grow and develop within the organization
Defined job roles are beneficial because they enable both employees and managers to track individual progress. Without a set job description, it’s likely the professional will feel uncertain about what exactly they’re supposed to be doing when they come to work each day.
However, some companies go too far the other way and get so hung up on the finer points of a job description they block an employee’s ability to grow and progress within the organization. Instead of allowing an individual to develop and take on new projects, they pigeon hole them into the same position they’ve had since their first day on the job. Eventually, they grow bored with their job, feel stuck in their role, and decide to leave in order to take on new challenges.
Make it a point not to stifle employee growth within the company in order to keep current employees satisfied and help with talent acquistion. If a team member has an additional skill they’d like to pursue and they want to work extra hours to learn it, encourage them. Who says a sales person can’t do graphic design work on the side? Letting people pursue their interests and talents without having to leave your business to do it helps promote lengthy employee tenure and effective recruiting.
A pleasant office environment
There have been plenty of movies and TV shows dedicated to the horror of cubicle life. Cue up Office Space and you’ll see that fluorescent lights and malfunctioning copiers don’t do much for employee productivity. If you want to recruit well, make sure your office looks and feels like a pleasant place to spend each day during the workweek. Focus on incorporating natural light, and pay attention to details like office décor and furniture.
It may seem unimportant, but the energy the office radiates can have a significant impact on employee morale. From a recruiting standpoint, the aesthetics of an office are significant, too. If a place feels cramped and depressing, a potential new hire will think twice about agreeing to spend 10 hours a day in that environment. Bring in plants for a burst of zen and freshness, let employees help decorate, and don’t forget pops of color. These factors contribute to the happiness of current employees, as well as recruiting success.
While a focus on fair compensation and adequate health benefits will help you attract the attention of the most desirable talent in your industry, don’t overlook the importance of other factors. Even small things that can make an employee’s working life better, such as a cafeteria stocked with healthy snacks or a transparent communication policy, can make your office stand out in today’s competitive business landscape.
What are some other things that are important in talent acquisition? Share in the comments below!