We all want the best people in our business. Great teams with high-performers are the lifeblood of a successful enterprise from SMEs to huge multi-national concerns. If you have the best workforce, there is a very high chance it will bring you success. So, it is no surprise that our clients often ask us how they can encourage the best people to join them. As recruitment professionals, we suggest a few things that businesses can do internally to help things along the right path.
Things you can do to attract high-performers:
- Take the time to define what ‘high-performance’ means in terms of the job roles you are looking to fill. The term may be easy to define in some roles, but it is more difficult in others. However, if you want an overall high-performing team, then it is essential that you define what that means for every role.
- Try and make varied high-performance metrics part of your job description and candidate requirements. It is very easy to be skills or experienced-focused to such an extent that it swamps the other desirable elements. Skills-driven jobs are particularly prone to this issue because they are the baseline for the job role. If you need an Administrator in the sales office, then clearly attention to detail is desired skill, but alone it does not make ‘outstanding’. Part of defining high-performance is the context of your personal needs. For example, it may be that the ability to problem solve because the candidate will be expected to work unsupervised is your particular benchmark for high standards. Try to pen portrait where the excellence in the job role is, and, within reason, add it to your job descriptions.
- Offer better perks and conditions rather than slightly better salary. A slightly bigger wage is unlikely to be the first thing on most candidates minds because high-performers also tend to be high earners in their field. Good conditions and little perks such as extra holiday or flexible working or similar are more likely to be of interest.
- Be visible in terms of your employer brand and your company culture. A bad hire because the new employee does not fit with your company culture will simply cost you money in the long run.
- High-performers want to perform, so they look for an environment where they can develop and grow their careers. The more options for ongoing career development you can lay out up front, the better.
- Do not assume the perfect fit for the person you need will be instantly available. As we just mentioned, development is usually important to high-performers, so is it possible to look to grow someone into the performer you need to widen your candidate pool?
- Ask the team who they want. When it comes right down to the brass tacks, the people within the existing team probably have the best idea about who they need. Consulting the existing team may be an eye-opener, or it may confirm who you suspected your ideal candidate is. Either way, it will help define the high-performers you need.
Singing rather than shouting
If you have a clear culture, strong expectations, the flexibility to hire on strengths rather than skills, and you recognise the need for an employer brand in a competitive recruitment market, then you will have a strong profile to interest the candidate. It is a little bit like the difference between shouting and singing. If you shout about your opportunity, then people will hear the noise you make. However, if you have a focused, clear song about who you and what you want from a candidate, then people will really listen as well as hear you.