Want Top Talent? Rethink Benefits!

This post is Part 5 in a Salesjournal Series on “Making Your Business Attractive to Top Talent.”  Part 1 asked “Is Your Business Attractive to Top Talent?”, Part 2 described how to “Market Your Company and Positions to Attract Top Talent”, Part 3 outlined ways to “Cultivate Your Network to Attract Top Talent“, and Part 4 detailed “3 Steps to Attract Top Talent Through Culture”.

benefitsThe word ‘benefits’ often conjures up the image of 401K plans and insurance coverage. While these benefits are certainly important, often these items are minimum requirements for prospective employees and are not the real decision factors when choosing a new employer. Talented professionals are often attracted to companies that match their personal goals and interests.

As a starting point, what do your current employees find attractive about your company? Is it your company’s values, mission, or work environment? How is your company different from other firms in this respect?  If possible, clearly identify unique reasons why people would want to work for you versus another company across town.  Write it down.  Share it in your job descriptions, in your candidate screening, and in your interviews – make it concrete and real to your applicants.

As President of Naviga, a North American Sales Recruitment agency, I am exposed to many unique companies that want to upgrade the talent in their organizations.  When asking the question “Why should someone come to work for your company?”, the response is often about salary or the benefits package.  Most candidates make decisions on lots of other factors. A few of the factors that we see affecting employer choice for top performers includes having a shared mission, providing opportunities for growth, and encouraging work-life balance.

Cultivate a Shared Mission

When Blake Mycoskie first started TOMS, his mission was to start a company that would provide shoes to children suffering from injuries to their feet. The company’s concept grew into a global movement; donating a pair of shoes for every pair sold. Being able to work for a company whose overarching goal is to contribute to society is something that is very attractive to top talent and socially conscious people. For some people, having the chance to make a difference in the world is a benefit in itself.

Provide Opportunities for Personal Growth

Many high achievers that are considering a new employer look for companies that offer career advancement and personal growth opportunities. Worldwide Express, a global logistics company that handles package and freight shipments for small businesses, targets these types of individuals.  In addition to offering a chance to work in a thriving business, they place a heavy emphasis on ongoing education and training programs. Their emphasis on career advancement, continuing education plans, and training programs make them an ideal prospect to candidates who thrive on learning and being exposed to new opportunities to expand their skills.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Most top talent aren’t just committed to work, they bring their same passion and enthusiasm to areas outside of work.  By promoting flexible work schedules, wellness programs, or allowing employees to pursue their interests at the office companies can really show support for motivated, active employees.  Netflix takes this support to the extreme and doesn’t keep track of employees’ hours. Instead, the company only measures what people get done. As long as employees do their work, it doesn’t matter when or how long they spend in the office.

Every business has a story; sometimes you have to dig to find it out.  If the story isn’t compelling or is not apparent – create a new one that matches the values you want for your organization.  To attract top talent, your organization must offer benefits that are attractive.  Not the traditional salary and medical benefits, but a chance to work in an organization that aligns to the interests of high achievers.

What benefits of working for your company do you convey to prospective candidates?

At Naviga, our expertise lies in being able to match talented professionals with prospective employers. Over the years, we have been able to narrow down what top talent is looking for in a company and have seen how many companies fall short of attracting the right people. In this blog series, we wanted to share some insight into 4 key areas that should be expanded in order to attract top talent. In writing this series, we found some reoccurring actions that were apparent in all 4 areas we highlighted. Planning, engagement, communication, and promotion can all be applied throughout the process of attracting top talent.

Thank you for reading our series on Attracting Top Talent, and we encourage you to please share with us any suggestions, feedback, or comments you may have.