Today's employment environment is a fast moving and highly competitive marketplace where securing top talent has to be a priority. Leading Career Consultant Mike de Boer believes "top job seekers have their pick of employers offering similar financial and non-financial attractions to stand out. However its not enough today to offer the same old thing, when your competitors are putting a lot of thought and resources into standing out as the industry's employer of choice."

Therefore what can an employer do to proactively secure top talent over the short, medium and long term?

1. Have a defied long-term employment brand strategy

Most organisations wouldn't dream of having an 'ad hoc' approach to their marketing material or logos. However these same companies are terrible when it comes to having a cohesive employment culture and brand. "Having a 'top down' Board driven long-term employment brand strategy is vital" de Boer believes. "Too long businesses have had a reactive approach to employment. Instead they must have a pro-active and professional branding approach to the long-term recruitment of top talent."


2. Clearly articulate your employment brand and culture on your website and in your employment material.

Show as a business how you stand out ahead of your competition as an employer and very clearly define your company culture across all media platforms. You are not afraid to do this when selling your products and services, so why should your employment advertising be any different? Be creative in candidate offerings and do more than just offer a good remuneration package.

If organisations can't articulate their point of difference, they will start to lose out when top candidates are selecting who they want to work for.

3. Target specific candidate groupings to attract top talent.

De Boer asks "why do so many organisations recruit Gen X, Gen Y, Migrants, Expats and Baby Boomers all in the same way? We should be looking at the key drivers for each of these groupings and define how we as employers can become more attractive to each of them, independently of each other."

4. Be respectful of all applications.

A common refrain I hear from candidates on a daily basis is that their applications are not treated professionally. One terrible example is when companies state in their advertising that 'only shortlisted candidates will be contacted'. The candidate has taken the time to send in an application to your company. Surely, they now have the right to know that their application has been received, professionally assessed against the key criteria, and that they are unsuccessful.

Treat all applicants with dignity. Remember that while a really top applicant may not be suitable for a specific role at the time, they may be suitable for another one in your organisation later on. You can create serious brand damage if you are being disrespectful to potential future employees, influencers and top talent.


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