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5 Powerful Strategies to Attract the Best Employees

Attract the best employees

Hire and pay talents
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180+ countries

How do you attract the best employees? It’s a question that all businesses grapple with. As most hiring managers will testify, finding qualified candidates who fit in with your company’s culture can be extremely challenging. In data published within Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends, researchers noted that attracting and retaining qualified talent is one of the biggest challenges faced by recruiters. 

Key Takeaways

1. Recruiters need to develop a candidate persona that reflects their ideal candidate for each vacant role

2. Employee referral programs encourage existing employees to actively participate in the hiring process. These programs are an excellent means of executing fast and cost-effective hires. 

3. 80% of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to hire remarkable talent.

4. Recruitment automation can accelerate the time it takes to execute a hire, reduce the costs per hire, and enhance recruiter productivity.

5. Employers need to diversify their outreach strategies and consider academic programs, specialized job boards, or networking events when searching for talented professionals. 

Erica Volini, leader of Deloitte’s Global Human Capital team, notes that today’s recruitment challenge is influenced by increasing automation adoption rates, which call for a host of technical skills which many in today’s workforce simply do not possess. Volini adds that a large number of employers believe that many of today’s college graduates lack the necessary communication, collaboration, teamwork, and complex thinking skills — all vital skills needed to thrive in the modern work environment. 

Additionally, there is also the fact that senior employees are retiring. Considering all of these factors, it’s hardly surprising that recruitment has evolved into an intensifying competition for talent. 

So, how can your organization attract and retain the best talent? This guide will showcase five recruiting strategies that you can use to connect with top candidates. 

Recruitment strategies to attract the best employees 

When you consider everything that’s needed to replace a staff member — advertising job vacancies, screening, interviewing, selecting candidates, employee onboarding, and training or upskilling — it’s easy to see why hiring is such a time-consuming and costly process. This applies equally when hiring in-office, hiring a global team, or hiring remote workers

Employing the right talent is a key component of every company’s strategic HR management. As such, it’s essential that every company optimizes its recruiting strategies and methods in order to be successful. 

To read more about attracting talent in hard-to-staff tech areas see How to Hire a Software Developer.

1. Develop a candidate persona

To connect with top talent, you need the best possible candidates to quickly notice the positions that you’re advertising. However, before this can occur, it’s necessary to define who your ideal candidate is. This is done by utilizing research, data, and facts to develop a candidate persona

In recruitment, a candidate persona is a profile that represents your ideal candidate, in relation to a certain role. This can include your ideal candidate’s educational background, professional qualifications, skills, personal characteristics (e.g., workplace adaptability), work experience, personal interests, and much more.  

When you know precisely what you’re looking for in a prospective employee, you’re able to customize your recruitment strategy to attract the most suitable candidates. 

By formulating a candidate persona, you can: 

  • Optimize candidate sourcing
  • When you have a clear picture of the type of person you want for a certain role, it becomes much easier to locate them. As an example, if you require an SEO expert for your website and social media campaigns, a targeted ad on LinkedIn or Facebook is likely to yield excellent results. An Expert ensures that you not only find the right talent but also enhance your team’s ability to execute effective SEO strategies with SEO checklist.
  • Develop more effective recruitment marketing content
  • By knowing who your target audience is, you’re able to create relevant content that resonates with the right people. And the best way to achieve this is by developing a clearly defined candidate persona. In this matter, a SaaS link building agency should create recruitment content that attracts candidates skilled in SEO 
  • Write more powerful job descriptions
  • The job descriptions that you write are a critical means of connecting your business to the best candidates. They highlight the skills and experience you’re seeking, whilst ensuring that the most qualified candidates apply. This also results in less time spent screening unqualified candidates. Make sure that the job description sets out clearly the requirements for the role, such as whether it is a remote-only role. 
  • Enhance HR metrics
  • When you develop an effective candidate persona, you’re likely to see recruitment metrics — such as applicants per opening and employee retention rates — significantly improve.

Strategies for developing a candidate persona

  • Begin with a questionnaire
  • To assist you in defining a candidate persona, make a list of relevant questions. This can include things like education, skills, work experience, and preferred salary and benefits. 
  • Assess the data that you already have
  • Start by looking at performance data from your people analytics system. Evaluate the background, relevant experience, and career profile of your top employees. This can assist you to define the necessary skills and experience of future hires. 
  • Interview your top-performing employees
  • Talk with your best employees. Survey them and seek to understand what makes them such valuable members of your team, and what their ‘employee experience‘ is. When speaking with these employees, don’t just focus on their jobs. Ask them about their motivations, their goals, and their interests outside of work. 
  • Research job boards and discover what top performers are saying online
  • Browse job boards to see which qualities other employers are seeking in similar roles. Search online to determine what high-level professionals share, and with whom. This can provide you with an understanding of what motivates and appeals to such people. 

2. Create an employee referral program

Alongside social media and online job boards, employee referrals are one of the major sources of quality hires

Employee referral programs are structured programs in which you ask your employees to recommend suitable candidates for vacant roles. More than any other source, your employees understand the type of candidates that you need to hire. Consequently, this makes employee referrals a superior recruiting tool, which results in reduced costs, lower turnover, faster hires, and improved workforce planning. 

Once your business has decided to develop an employee referral program, there are a number of steps that need to be implemented. These steps are outlined below:

Identify your hiring priorities

Would you like referrals for each of your open positions? If you have a limited hiring budget, employee referrals can be an excellent way of executing a fast and cost-effective hire. Referrals also work well for:

  • Hard-to-fill positions 
  • Senior positions
  • Positions that must be filled quickly 
  • Essential positions that cannot be left vacant 
  • Positions that require specialist or ‘niche’ expertise

Develop a referral policy

Each company’s referral policy needs to highlight the referral process, hiring expectations, vacant positions, and the relevant incentives and benefits. The referral policy should be drafted in a clearly worded document and made available within the company’s intranet or HR software platform

Simplify the referral process

Whether you’re searching for a casual employee or looking to fill a senior position, your employee referral position must be easy to use.  Consider the following tips:

  • Advertise vacant positions internally
  • All vacant positions needing referrals should be posted in one place. This can be in a weekly email to your team, your company’s intranet, applicant tracking software, or your website’s career page. 
  • Social media
  • Encourage employees to link to your vacant positions on social media, particularly LinkedIn. This way, you can use a LinkedIn Chrome extension to source the contacts of your desired candidates.
  • Customized email
  • Use a specialized email address – such as – to direct all employee referrals into a dedicated hiring channel. Moreover, to ensure the integrity of the referrals, integrate professional free email verifier for accurate data validation.
  • A tracking system
  • If you’re considering using a referral tracking system, look for one that offers automation and gamification features. This makes the referral experience significantly more engaging for employees. 

Utilize incentives and recognition

Incentives for successful referrals can be both monetary and non-monetary. For non-monetary incentives, you can be as creative as you like. The idea is to get as much buy-in from your team as possible. 

You can offer gift cards and certificates, a publicly announced thank-you, leisure packages, certificates of appreciation, flexible working hours, or even paid time off. You can also use AI voice to send out heartfelt congratulations or appraisals to remote employees. 

Analyze the program’s success

Just like any people management or employee program, it’s necessary to measure what’s working and identify areas that can be improved. Metrics to be tracked include:

  • Employee participation rates 
  • The overall percentage of referral hires
  • Number of referrals generated by each employee

It’s also important to look at how satisfied your candidates, referring team members, and hiring managers are with the referral program. 

3. Attract the best employees through improved employer branding

To create a successful talent acquisition strategy, it’s critical to focus on your employer branding. This is highlighted by a 2017 LinkedIn strategy that found 80% of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to hire remarkable talent. For many potential recruits, the branding of the company is how they present their ‘employee value proposition‘: The value a company brings to an employee in return for the value the employee provides. 

Before accepting any new position, talented candidates will meticulously compare companies. These candidates will invariably choose companies that offer the best culture, work-life balance, and opportunities for growth: Candidates search for the best employee experience. If your company can cultivate an appealing employer brand, you stand a much better chance of attracting high-level talent and finding long-term success. 

When reframing your branding, consider how you can focus on the best aspects of your company’s culture and values. As well as highlighting your compensation and benefits packages, you could make reference to your company culture, in which employees enjoy a supportive and collaborative environment. Additionally, you could mention the growth opportunities offered by your company, along with an emphasis on your company’s work-life balance. 

Employee review sites like Glassdoor, as well as the ‘About Us’ page of your website, are excellent platforms to showcase your company’s unique attributes. This can be the difference between highly qualified candidates selecting your company over your competitors. 

4. Expand your outreach strategies

To connect with high-level talent and attract the best employees, it’s vital that you expand your sourcing strategies. Ultimately, different skill sets require different methods of outreach. You’ll find your best sales managers in a different place than your best programmers, which means you need to diversify your sourcing approach.

This is also a crucial component for recruiting a diverse workforce

Instead of spending the bulk of your time on LinkedIn, you should consider academic programs, niche-specific job boards, or networking events where you have the opportunity to find a specialized group of talented professionals. 

Employers need to identify the places in which they can find top talent, whether that be conferences, professional events, social media, or online forums. Once this is done, the focus can shift to strengthening relationships and networking with the right people. This enables employers to increase their pool of candidates, maximize brand awareness, and enhance their ability to attract talent in the future. They can also find influencers to boost their brand and attract talent.  

5. Take advantage of recruitment automation

Recruitment automation is defined as a human capital management strategy that utilizes technologies like artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and machine learning to automate the recruitment process. This has the ability to accelerate the time it takes to execute a hire, reduce the costs per hire, and enhance recruiter productivity. It has also been shown to improve the quality and effectiveness of a company’s workforce. 

Recruitment automation is utilized by companies hiring at scale, as well as those seeking to attract the best employees in the shortest space of time. 

Implementing recruitment automation

The below-hiring processes can benefit through recruitment automation:

  • Job advertising
  • Programmatic job advertising utilizes software — rather than people — to buy, place, and optimize job ads. This enables companies to target their ideal online demographic and prevents them from overspending on clicks that don’t convert with automated bidding processes.
  • Interview scheduling
  • Interview scheduling software enables candidates to view available interview time slots. This allows them to reserve an interview time without needing to call or email a company’s hiring manager. 
  • Candidate pre-screening
  • Pre-screening tools like resume scanners allow employers to rank and grade applicants based on their experience, skills, education, and other factors. This lets companies quickly identify the most qualified candidates. 
  • Applicant tracking
  • With an applicant tracking system, employers can organize, filter, and sort job applicants. These systems also monitor the stage an applicant is in, whilst allowing the hiring team to collaborate more effectively.
  • Offers
  • After selecting a candidate for a vacant role, HR planning software can automatically generate a letter of offer, employment contract, and other necessary documents. 


Recruiting top talent and attracting the best employees is an essential means of securing your company’s future. However, the current job market has never been more competitive. To ensure your company stands out from the crowd, it’s necessary to develop a recruitment strategy that showcases your business in the most appealing light. 

By creating effective candidate personas, maximizing brand awareness, and utilizing an employee referral program, employers can better connect with top talent. This, combined with recruitment automation and diversified outreach strategies, is the best way to discover the talent your business needs.  As a final thought, you might also consider the rising trend of “boomerang employees”, and actively recruit specialists whom you previously employed.

Frequently asked questions

To attract good employees, we recommend you:

  • Develop a candidate persona
    Think about an employee referral program
    Improve employer branding
    Expand outreach strategies
    Automate recruitment where possible.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. Some of the factors that will make your company more attractive to prospective employees include:

  • Attractive salaries
    Potential equity/shares in the business
    Generous benefits (paid vacation, health insurance and so forth)
    Brand recognition. Many prospective employees are interested in working with companies that are well-known
    Development opportunities. Top performers need to know that they will be able to grow with each new role.

Companies need to think about:

  • Overall brand. Is the company communicating something exciting or interesting through their brand messaging?
    Employer brand. Is the business well-reviewed on Glassdoor and other employee review sites?
    Progression. Do employees have the potential to progress and get promoted within the organization?
    Flexibility. Does the company offer remote work or hybrid work options?
    Recruitment process. Are applicants/candidates treated well throughout the process, or are they treated like ‘just another number’?

Hire and pay talents
with Horizons in
180+ countries

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