Tactics and Tips That’ll Help You Recruit and Attract Top Talent [Part 2]

We recently kicked off a series of articles that are of high interest to the CEO and senior leaders at companies large and small. “How to Recruit, Reward and Retain Top Talent in 2018.”

In this second installment, we’ll examine how the best companies recruit and attract top talent and pass on several tips that will help you do the same.


According to research conducted by Vistage International each year to gauge hiring patterns, there are a handful of factors that influence candidates in deciding whether or not accept a job offer. Besides compensation, potential employees care about such factors as organization structure, culture, values, and technology.

Amid a growing economy with relatively low unemployment rates, the competition for candidates is intense. Therefore, for companies that want to hire the best candidates, you better bring your “A” game. According to Joe Galvin, chief research officer for Vistage, start by offering better pay. “Offering competitive wages is a classic way to recruit top talent. It's also a popular technique right now, flagged by 31 percent of CEOs in our survey as a top strategy for 2018,” he says.

But at the same time, you also have to compete with substantial benefits. “Offering great benefits to employees can give companies a competitive advantage in the talent war,” insists Mr. Galvin. Indeed, in markets where demand for engineers and technical professionals is high, tech companies like Facebook and LinkedIn offer employees free food, access to woodworking shops, onsite daycare, laundry services, and more.

Few firms in Minnesota offer benefits as lavish as these—it is the Midwest after all—but many forward-thinking companies are providing more competitive benefits such as paternity leave, school loan reduction programs, and access to health clubs. “For a potential hire considering different companies, perks such as healthcare, vacation and even professional development opportunities can serve as compelling points of differentiation,” summarizes Mr. Galvin.

Today’s companies, however, need much more than competitive compensation and industry-leading benefits to compete for top talent. Elizabeth Dukes writing for Inc. Magazine says your company should be concerned about four “must-haves:” innovation, transparency, flexibility, and workplace design.

Innovation: Essential for Attracting Millennials

Ms. Dukes says that “millennials value innovation over anything else when it comes to choosing an employer.” Why is that important? This rising generation makes up more than one-third of today’s workforce, and they value innovation over anything else when it comes to choosing an employer. “According to Deloitte's millennial survey, 78 percent of millennials believe innovation is essential for business growth, yet only 52 percent of them feel their current work environment supports innovation.

Millennials, and, well, most other people, want to work in modern offices with collaborative workspaces, top technology, and cutting-edge tools that enhance experiences, increase employee performance, and make everyone happier.

Transparency: How You Combat Mistrust

Sadly, according to the American Psychological Association, “Twenty-five percent of American employees don't trust their employer,” reports Ms. Dukes. On the other hand, a transparent company shares company performance, provides feedback and creates an open environment for input and communication. Employees are encouraged to speak freely and share their thoughts with managers directly or through annual employee engagement surveys, now a staple at most companies.

Flexibility: Work-Life Balance and Much More

The Deloitte survey also revealed that 82 percent of respondents evaluated employers based on how much flexibility exists in the job and with the company. Candidates want a great work-life balance, flexible hours and even the flexibility to work from home occasionally. Some companies, such as Minnesota’s Ceridian Corp., are doing away with regular vacation days and adopting a flexible PTO program, which puts employees on an honor system to meet personal obligations like doctor appointments and vacations.

Workplace Design: Create a Collaborative Workspace

Again, many of today’s job candidates value open seating and more collaborative workspaces. Indeed, Ms. Dukes says the “look, feel, and setup of your workplace also has an impact on potential candidates' perceptions of you as an employer.” Modern offices in attractive colors, comfortable furniture, and other appointments shout you care about the well-being of your employees. Besides, who wouldn’t want to work in a showcase office space?

In our next installment of “How to Recruit, Reward and Retain Top Talent in 2018” we’ll share several best practices around how to design competitive compensation and benefits packages.

Learn how to recruit, reward, and retain top talent in 2018!


About the author

Gary Teagarden
Vistage Minnesota

Gary is an accomplished copywriter and B2B content marketing strategist. He’s written numerous articles and member stories for Vistage Minnesota since 2012.


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