HR and Recruiting

How HR can attract top talent in 2022

Written by Kate Lopaze

Even before the pandemic hit, many companies and recruiters were already struggling to find and keep the top talent in a shifting job marketplace, especially in fields like tech and healthcare. And now, with the Great Resignation in full force and the Covid-19 pandemic in yet another new phase, filling open positions with the best people has become even more of a challenge. You’re looking to boost your hiring game, and the good news is that you already have the tools. You just might need to tweak them a bit.

Take a hard look at your employer brand

Right now, having an appealing employer brand is more crucial than ever. Bad word of mouth can sink anything faster than you can say, “Aren’t they canceled?” But it’s not just a harmful reputation that can sabotage your recruiting. A mediocre one can hurt you too if people are skipping over it in favor of other companies.

Do a deep dive on your employer brand, and don’t skimp on the competitive research. How are your industry peers presenting themselves? Be honest about how your public-facing sites, social media, and word-of-mouth stack up.

Have a more visible culture

Similar to branding, culture is one of the key aspects of attracting talent. It’s important that candidates can not only see what kind of culture you have but also see themselves as a thriving and productive member of that team. Robust social media is one way to help boost visibility, but also turn to one of your greatest advantages: your existing employees. Testimonials about company values and priorities in highly visible places (like the corporate site or social media) are likely to resonate more with a potential candidate than an emotionless value statement.

Widen your funnel

Required skills are an important aspect of a given position. But are they really required? Or are there places you can broaden the requirements so that people with capabilities (or soft skills)—rather than hard skills—can do them as well?

For example, are management skills more important to a particular role than coding skills? Is the ability to collaborate more important than a particular certification? And does your job description reflect that? Job descriptions shouldn’t be a rote reposting of what you’ve asked for in the past. Instead, always review them to see if there are skill areas that can be prioritized or deprioritized, and you might catch potential candidates that might not have the best coding skills, but has years of experience successfully managing people who do.

Embrace diversity and inclusion

Most organizations have a lot of growing to do when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and it’s often an organizational goal. HR is a great place to set the epicenter of that change. Look at those doing the hiring. Are the people doing the selecting, interviewing, and deciding from similar demographics? Can you bring in other groups and perspectives to that squad?

There are also programmatic tools that can help you make recruiting and hiring more diverse and inclusive, by helping to limit bias (both conscious and unconscious). Using an AI platform for initial resume/application reviews, diversifying recruitment sources, and preparing for interviews can help you maximize candidates while minimizing biases or arbitrary measures that can cost you talent.

Not focusing on DEI means you’re leaving entire segments of talent on the table.

Focus on development

People want to know that their next career opportunity will help them grow, not just hit certain existing milestones or punch a clock for 40 hours a week. For candidates new to the organization, that means your team being clear (at every step of the recruiting process) that the company values coaching, training, and upward mobility.

For you, it also means taking a fresh look at the talent pool you already have, as well as looking outside the organization. Are there employees who could get to a certain point with a bit more encouragement and training, even if they don’t have the experience? Are you making them aware of opportunities to grow into a role, or does your organization really only focus on promotion and development when employees ask for it—or get offers from elsewhere? In many cases, you might already have the best talent in-house, with just a bit of investment or encouragement.

Being open about a culture of coaching and development can also bolster your employer brand, as you develop a reputation for those values.

Whether you’re re-evaluating how you already approach recruiting or looking for tools that can be brought in to help you maximize the candidates you’re getting, strategic and thoughtful changes will help your team reach your goals—no matter what the hiring landscape might be.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.