How to attract top talent in a candidate-driven market

Advice on how to find top talent now candidates are back in the driving seat.

As demand soars for key talent, many recruiters are recognising the need to stand-out from the crowd. Candidates may be in receipt of a handful of offers and differentiating your business from the others is the key to hooking the right employees. Here are some tips to ensure you don’t get left behind.

Position your employer brand as valued, trusted and engaging: Reputation counts when the competition is high. Building a strong employer brand takes time but ensuring that the values of the business are embedded in the day-to-day culture helps to ensure that the brand the business has as an employer is strong and robust. Using social media advertising, together with positive case studies of what it is like to work at the organisation, helps with employer positioning.

Create a robust and rigorous recruitment process: Your hiring process must be transparent, open and consistent. This also goes a long way towards enhancing your employer brand. Are recruitment adverts targeting a diverse talent pool? Are they inclusive of all genders, ages and stereotypes? Is the process clear and unbiased? Do candidates receive regular feedback at each stage? Are there ample opportunities for interested professionals to ask the questions they want to? A healthy Q&A is essential to understanding if your recruitment strategy can withstand competition.

Be mindful of the new workplace landscape: Many employees have become accustomed to remote and home working practices. For some this new way of operating is desirable – it’s essential that as life resumes, post pandemic, that employers tap into the appeal of flexible working policies and ensure that technology-enabled home working can be offered as part of the package, where possible.

Be quick to act: In a candidate-driven market, employers cannot afford to take too much time to come to a decision. When the right person for the job is selected, recruiters need to act with an offer before a competitor does. Ensure that the package is competitively framed and offers the company benefits.

Use a specialist recruiter/headhunter: When the right candidates are not forthcoming, it might be time to seek the help of a targeted recruiter or headhunter. In a competitive market, it might be that a candidate needs approaching, rather than the other way around. Professional headhunters can offer search and selection services that can seek out the best talent.

Tap into existing networks: Professional networks are a viable way of finding great staff as well as using existing recruitment channels. Talking to those in the industry and understanding the benchmarks that are offered in competitor outfits can help businesses to understand where they are positioned and what might have to be altered to attract the right staff. Being open to change is essential when demand soars.

Getting the right employees is essential for any employer that is looking to succeed and evolve and is even more challenging when the market is candidate-driven. Yet by targeting the right candidates, whether they are already in existing roles and not looking for a job change, or available for hire, and, offering a robust recruitment process, coupled with an attractive employer brand, recruiters can find the right people. 

Businesses that are aware that today’s employees are accustomed to home and remote working packages will ensure that they appeal to talent that now demands flexible working options.

Read more about how to rethink your employer brand in this free downloadable ebook: Employer Branding Reboot: A guide for employers throughout the pandemic and beyond

Need advice or help building your employer brand? Get in touch with Wonderful Workplaces on [email protected] 


Annie Hayes is a specialist HR, skills, careers and L&D writer with 19 years experience in the sector. 

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter

Fill in your details to get our monthly newsletter straight to your inbox.