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Do You Know How to Compete for Top Talent?

Updated: Jul 31, 2018

Know your hooks: Genuine leadership talent won’t be swayed by generic recruitment messages 

For your company to succeed and seize a leadership position in your industry, you need to have the best people leading your teams. The ability to attract and retain those assets can give your company a key competitive advantage – no matter what your size or recruitment budget.

Why? Because it isn’t easy. Because so few organizations are good at actually identifying real talent and offering leaders (and future leaders) the opportunities that will bring them on-board.

How many corporate websites boast about their work hard / play hard culture? That’s great, but no ambitious visionary has ever been swayed to join a company ONLY because they have a pool table. Do you really want your IT team lead by a director who came on board for the opportunity to show off their ping pong skills?

Know your candidates

To attract great people, you have to know what they’re looking for. People have different needs and wants at various phases throughout their careers. Those fun activities may actually work when recruiting for more junior roles, but leaders want the opportunity to lead. You need to attract them with growth and vision.

And while your company mission must appeal the whole team, that message alone won’t win over the leaders you need. That’s because the top professionals in various departments will be attracted to different things about your company.

For example, a VP of Technology might want to join an organization that is taking a leadership role in adopting the latest application and infrastructure software and cloud architecture – not spending 75 per cent of their team’s efforts maintaining legacy code. However, those facts about the company would mean much less to a potential Human Resources director.

You recruiters need to think like the leaders in the industries they are sourcing for. They need to know what your company has to offer the top talent in their fields specifically.

What are ‘hooks’?

Customized employer branding messages to the wants and needs of the talent you’re recruiting. You will achieve much greater success than by using one-size-fits-all corporate messaging.

What are the attention-grabbing headlines about working for you that will connect with the in-demand candidates you’re after? Your recruiters have to know your company’s hooks – and they must be able to clearly articulate them. Leaders want interesting work that challenges and motivates them. They want opportunities to advance their careers.

They aren’t always what you think. i.e. compensation and benefits:

  • Consider your existing leadership team. What are their awards, accolades, and achievements? These can be key selling points. Top talent will be drawn to the opportunity to work with the best in the business.

  • What are your growth projections? Investor confidence? A small but ambitious company can be very attractive to candidates who are determined to make their mark on an industry.

  • How are your products or services impacting the market, breaking new ground, improving people’s lives? The talent that can take your company to the top aren’t just looking to land a gig. Genuine leaders across industries want to know that their work will contribute towards a mission they believe in.

  • This where your company’s values, vision, and brand come in. Let candidates know why your work matters (and how they can play a valuable role in its success.

The key to attracting leaders isn’t having the biggest brand name or offering the biggest paycheques (although those things certainly don’t hurt), and it’s not about the ping pong table.

It’s knowing what really matters to the talent you need – and being able to communicate the best things about your company that are relevant to them.

The Leadership Agency was founded with one purpose: to help companies lead by helping them hire the best leadership talent they need to take them to the top of their industries. To find out more, contact Jamie Hoobanoff, Founder at The Leadership Agency.

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