New Year, new career: How to attract the top talent

Columnists | Employment & Skills | How To

Jo Sellick columnJanuary is that time of year when individuals take stock, reassess and put in place resolutions to achieve their goals for the coming months, and finding a new job regularly tops the charts of New Year’s resolutions. This makes January the ideal time for proactive businesses to attract and secure the very best talent who are looking for their next career move.

However, simply advertising a role may not be enough to catch the eye of a preferred candidate. Companies must put their best foot forward to stand out at a competitive time of year, and offering a strong benefits package is an effective way to do so.

To begin with, it is essential to get the basics right. A workplace pension scheme, holiday allowance and paid sick leave are the core foundation of any benefits package and should be considered carefully to ensure they are the very best a company can offer.

It is then vital to consider who the ideal candidate would be and tailor additional benefits to address their specific needs and wants. For example, most workplaces comprise of would-be parents and parents, so it is essential to offer benefits that address the concerns of this group. In order to attract and retain this group, companies should endeavour to offer benefits that make it easier to work without compromising the needs of their family. Incentives such as shared phased returns to work, enhanced maternity/paternity leave packages, childcare vouchers and on-site crèches can make all the difference.

Additionally, it is well known that many Millennial and Gen X employees value a work/life balance above other considerations, such as salary, and so offering flexible initiatives such as flexi-time and the ability to work from home can be a key selling point.

A creative approach to benefits can also help businesses stand out in those sectors where the number of roles demanding highly skilled workers frequently outweighs the available talent. In these instances, companies should consider quirky or eye-catching incentives such as duvet days, dog-friendly offices, onsite entertainment or wellbeing facilities (such as a cinema or gym), extra paid leave for honeymoons and discounted or free food.

Finally, if a company is hoping to attract more experienced talent for more senior positions it is important not to overlook traditional benefits – such as a company car, training and development opportunities or private healthcare.

In order to get 2019 off to a flying start when it comes to expanding a workforce, businesses can do little better than to speak directly to their most valuable resource – their current employees. By listening to the needs, concerns and hopes of their staff, a business can go on to deliver a benefits scheme that offers real value to prospective candidates and stand out from their competitors.

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