How to beat the candidate bidding war!

In a candidate lead market, how do companies remain competitive without getting into a bidding war?

Even if you can’t offer candidates top rates—or even benchmark averages—there are other ways to attract and retain top talent. A good starting point is being a company people want to work for!

Since the pandemic, we’ve seen some interesting insights showing that candidates aren’t solely interested in the monetary benefits of a new role.

Hybrid working options, greater medical benefits and company culture are among the biggest reasons a candidate chooses to work for a company—even if the salary isn’t as attractive.

Lauren Bass, Talent Director at Instant Impact, shares a few ways companies can still attract and retain the best possible talent.

1. Invest in early careers and future leaders

Invest in your entry-level employees by developing clear progression plans with promotion and development opportunities. By investing in early careers and investing in their development you will not only improve your current workforce retention but also upskilling future leaders. With the skills your furture business will need. Win win!

Think about it, it’s much easier to hire for entry-level roles than highly-skilled ones. So why not invest in the people already in your business by teaching them the skills they need? It’ll save you money and time in the long run.

2. Consider skills hotspots

If a low candidate pool in your preferred area is the reason for high salaries in the market, consider hiring from other locations where competition may be less aggressive. Use market intel reports (like LinkedIn Talent Insights) to find hotspots for specific skills.

3. Offer remote working

Since the pandemic, the option of remote work in companies where it’s possible has almost become a necessity. Offering remote or even hybrid working is one of the simplest ways to make your role more attractive. It not only saves employees travel costs, but allows for the work-life balance many of us became accustomed to through the many lockdowns.

Plus, it opens up your hiring pool to candidates globally whilst potentially lowing your carbon foot print.

4. Create an attractive window shopping experience for candidates

Like in retail, companies need to ensure their “windows” are displayed in a way that attracts candidates. And by “windows,” we’re referring to your employer branding. Strong employer branding significantly increases your ability to attract top talent.

Did you know that 86% of candidates check reviews and ratings to decide where to apply for a job? You need to ensure you’re marketing yourself as a good company to work for. A great way to do this is to encourage your employees to leave reviews on Glassdoor. You can then send your Glassdoor company profile to candidates as they progress through to the interview stage so they can get an inside look into how your employees feel about working for your company.

Also make sure to regularly share content across your social media profiles that showcase your company, including achievements, employee recognition and team activities. Putting faces behind your company does wonders for your employer branding.

5. Consider transferable skills

Start putting a greater emphasis on considering transferable skills. If a candidate ticks, say, seven of your list of ten preferred skills and experience, they’re still worth considering. If they have the right attitude, that is.

Many clients we work with would rather hire a candidate with the right mindset than a candidate with all the skills but a poor attitude. By giving a candidate with the right mindset and transferable skills the chance to upskill themselves, you’ll have a more engaged employee who not only does a great job but adds so much more value to your company culture.

6. Create a strong candidate experience

Gone are the days of candidates needing to impress employers. Nowadays, it’s up to the employer to sell themselves to candidates. This starts with providing a top-notch candidate experience—from the moment they apply for the job to the interview process and onboarding. A positive connection with your hiring team may just mean more to a candidate than salary. This can start with reviewing your process, tools, and technology that contribute to the candidate's journey and experience, it can also include making sure your hiring managers are trained and skills interviewers.

Many candidates are looking to leave toxic work environments, so if you can prove that you offer an amazing work culture, you’re sure to attract top talent.

7. Be a great company to work for

Attracting and retaining top talent all comes down to genuinely being a good company to work for. A company that cares about and invests in its employees. If your employer branding and recruitment process reflect that, you’ll find that candidates won’t be as swayed about salaries.

The right recruitment team plays a critical role in all the above recommendations — All of these are critical in today's competitive market, if you paying top salaries or not!. Without the knowledge, experience and motivation to apply the above solutions, your company will quickly fall behind your competitors in the talent race.

At Instant Impact we take the time to listen, designing every element of our solution to put your stakeholders, hiring managers, and candidates right at the heart of your hiring. Find out more about our Talent Solutions.