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How to attract talented & highly motivated employees

|Mar 11|magazine14 min read

If there were a magical formula to attract only the most talented and highly motivated job candidates to your business's front door, you'd probably snap it up in an instant.

Unfortunately, no such magical solution exists, and you'll need to put together your own formula for ferreting out the best available candidates to fill your company's job openings. However, suggestions from other business folks who've successfully faced this challenge may help to shorten the learning curve for you.

Job candidates generally fall into one of three categories, according to a Huffington Post Business article by Daniel Burrus, an entrepreneur who has started six new companies, five of which were profitable within the first year.

Based on the hiring experience he's gained in the process, Burrus says most applicants are looking for a job, a career, or a calling.

The "ultimate employee"

If you're lucky enough to find someone who feels that filling your job vacancy is not just a job or even a career but rather a calling, then look no more because you have the ideal applicant for the job, or as Burrus describes him, the "ultimate employee."

Sadly, most of those in the market for jobs have not yet discovered what they were put on Earth to do and are content to settle simply for any job that pays or to pursue what they hope will turn into a successful career.

Another troubling issue that confronts employers is what to do with candidates who show tremendous talent and motivation but are frank to admit that their ultimate dream job most likely lies somewhere down the road from the position you're filling.

Should you take a chance on such job candidates in the hope that you can eventually convince them to stick around? Or that eventually you'll be able to create a position that is a good match for the applicant's ultimate job goal?

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No easy answer

There's no easy answer to the question of hiring someone that may not stick around, one that faces employers regularly.

However, because a good employee is a good employee and not always easy to find, most hiring managers seem willing to give such job applicants a chance even if they fear they may not stay on the job forever.

When it comes to strategies for attracting top-flight candidates, successful hiring managers offer a number of suggestions that should be helpful, even if your job opening never gets profiled in an article promising to reveal the best high-paying careers that you'll actually enjoy.

Among them:

  • Utilize Your Employee Network - Alert current employees that you're looking for candidates to fill job vacancies. They can then spread the word to their networks of friends and professional associates. With the advent of the social media and job-related networks such as LinkedIn, this word-of-mouth tactic can get the word out to quality candidates quickly and efficiently. It's in their interest to help you find a hard-working job applicant who will carry his or her own workload and not leave some of his responsibilities for his workmates to handle.
     
  • List Openings on Your Website - If your company website has a "Jobs with Us" page but you're not using it dynamically to advertise specific job openings as they occur, you're really not getting your money's worth from the space. Too many companies have a general statement about the advantages of working for their company and a blanket invitation for resumes but never use the page to recruit applicants to fill specific openings. Make practical use of this resource if it already exists or talk to your company's webmaster about adding a web page listing job openings.
     
  • Develop an Inviting Corporate Culture - As a business owner, you may never be able to work your way onto one of the lists of America's best companies to work for. However, by creating a workplace that's low on stress and big on teamwork, you may very well be able to develop a local reputation as a good place to work. And creating a happy and healthy work environment pays plenty of dividends, not the least of which is attracting top-flight applicants who are eager to sign on.
     
  • Create a File of Potential Candidates - As a hiring manager, you've probably interviewed a few candidates that had plenty of talent but weren't quite suited for the job opening at hand. Hang on to those resumes and interview notes, because they may come in handy when a job opens up that may be perfectly suited for one of those applicants. Even if the candidate has since found another job, he or she may find that the job you have for them is more enticing.
     
  • Use a Job Recruiter or Headhunter – Finally, if all your attempts to find the perfect candidate for a job opening have failed, it may be time to call on the services of a professional job recruiter or headhunter. This may be particularly true when you're looking to fill a very specialized job opening. You'll have to pay a hefty one-time fee -- 20 to 40 percent of the employee's annual salary -- but if that's what it takes to get the right candidate for the job, it will probably be well worth it.

 

About the author

Don Amerman is a freelance author who writes extensively about a wide array of business and personal finance topics.