Businesses, no matter their size, all want to attract and retain top talent. This sounds simple but the reality is that it is very difficult to attract and retain top talent in today’s global environment. Hiring the right candidate has never been as important as is it now and there’s a direct correlation between the right candidate and the bottom line! It’s no wonder that talent acquisition efforts feature largely on the C-suite’s agenda. The Candidate is in the Driver’s Seat We appear to be in a candidate driven market right now. This means that while there is opportunity and positions needing to be filled the right candidate for the position is limited. A highly skilled candidate has the luxury of many offers of employment. The question now becomes; “How can my company entice and secure this particular candidate so that company X doesn’t get them?” Instead of competition among candidates for a position we have a competition among companies for one person. So, what can you do to ensure that your business acquires the talent needed and desired? One way to accomplish this is to focus on improving your employer brand. Employer brand is what your current employees think and feel about the company. What are they telling their peers about working at your company? Let’s assume that the feedback you have is excellent, your people love you, love what they do, the environment and the perks and benefits your company offers are out-of-this-world amazing. Excellent, but it’s not helping you unless you do something with that positive energy! Here’s where you can put today’s social media platforms and content creation resources to work for you. Highlight employee engagement in your newsletters and annual reports; ensure your website recruiting portal has employee testimonials. Use social media to release enticing tidbits about life at your company and highlight successes and achievements. Developing your employer brand will help you to stand out in the candidates mind and becomes a deciding factor for them. Refine the Candidate Experience Take a close look at the selection process that your company has developed, really scrutinize it and put yourself in a potential hire’s shoes. Are there gaps in the process; is it clunky with stops and starts or does it flow smoothly and continuously from one step to the next? You don’t want to lose a potential candidate because they became frustrated or began to suspect that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Refine the procedure and have processes in place that work. Ongoing communication with the candidate is not only the respectful thing to do, it is a must. Touch base with a phone call, send out a quick email, let them know that you’re thinking about them and they in turn will be thinking about you. When they are on site show them around, introduce them to your other key players. Offering the potential hire a good look into your company, the environment and culture rather than just a hint or a glimpse will assist in swaying the odds to your favour. They must feel that they are, quite frankly, as important as they really are! If the potential hire has a good experience from the outset they will be more likely to place their attention on your business and look more seriously to working with you. Your employer brand and the candidate experience are two critical components of the recruiting process. Refining both will help you to attract the talent you want and need and you’ll keep them too.