How to Recruit Top Talent

A survey shows four emerging trends that small business-owners need to know if they want to attract the best new hires.
October 18, 2012

Corporate recruiters must constantly be on the hunt for new talent. To do this, they need to understand what candidates are looking for in a career in terms of compensation, culture and perks. Even in today's lagging economy with a high unemployment rate, there is still a war for talent. To be competitive, companies must innovate and it takes the best and brightest to get there.

It's the reason why big companies, such as Amazon, will open offices in different cities near top universities. I see this happening a lot in Boston. Near MIT, you can find some of the largest technology companies including Google and Microsoft. They have to have buildings there in order to better attract the MIT graduates, who are some of the most prized. A new study by Careerbuilder called "Candidate Behavior 2012" shows six key trends that employers need to know about.

1. Candidates are always open to new opportunities. Job seekers are relying heavily on the Internet in order to find work. Almost three-quarters of workers are either actively searching for a new job or are open to a new opportunity. Candidates are building profiles and engaging with brands before they even apply for jobs. This is how they get educated on the opportunities and companies out there so they can better decide to which jobs they should apply. Also in the report, they found that job seekers review 15 resources during their search including social networks, job boards, employer review sites and more.

2. Candidates aren't passive. Some 35 percent of workers begin preparing for their next job within weeks of starting a new one. Workers are never satisfied and want to always see where they stand in the market, how much more they can make, and if they can better align who they are with what they do. Companies have to treat all candidates as active when recruiting.

3. Candidates respond to employment brands. The way a company presents itself on social networks, in the media and to its current employees can really help or hurt the recruitment and retention efforts. Job searching has become similar to the consumer purchasing decision process. Even after making a final decision of where to work, they are still searching for jobs. Employers need to figure out their employer brand and then use it consistently online and offline. They need to ask themselves "what makes this company a great place to work?" By doing this, candidates can more easily differentiate between various companies and apply to the one that is the best personal fit.

4. Candidates make decisions with their networks. This is especially true for Millennials who are all about collaboration and seek feedback from their peers about their job choices. A whopping 92 percent say they discuss their job search experience with others, in person and online. Employers need to really focus on giving candidate a good job search experience because otherwise they will get negative word-of-mouth, which will cause fewer applicants. Don't just brush off the rejected candidates; give them feedback. The applicant might not have the right skills, but he might know someone who does.

Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y research and management-consulting firm. Subscribe to his updates at 

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