Skip to main content

How to Attract Top Talent in the 21st Century


Finding the right employees has been one of the cornerstones of good business since times immemorial. The first caveman who realized he could sell excess animal skins probably went out and tried to hire the best hunters to work for him.

It is nothing new.

The industrial revolution almost destroyed this concept as workers became as interchangeable as machine parts, but as the industrial society continued developing, it became obvious that top talent is still very much important.

In the modern world of technology, finding and attracting top talent has become a must, especially in certain industries that suffer from a chronic lack of educated job candidates. The problem arises when employers and recruiters decide to put outdated talent attraction methods to work in this modern world.

Simply put, the modern job seeker, especially top talent in their industry, is more discerning and it takes a lot from companies to get them on board.

Timeless Classics

Before we get into how attracting top talent has changed dramatically over the last two decades, we should probably point out that there are certain traditional requirements that will never go out of fashion, so to say.

For example, people will always be interested in making as much money as they can get and they will always be interested in getting as many benefits as they can possible get from their employers. They will also be looking for companies that do good business and whose financial reports are not tricked in any way.

Chances for promotion and advancement are also sought after and have been forever, although this has also changed somewhat recently, but we will get to that.

In short, top talent will still be looking for the basic infrastructure that no employee should be without actually. If you want to attract top talent in the 21st century, you still have to keep these in mind, short and simple.

Modern Perks and Benefits

While job seekers have always been interested in perks and benefits, we are currently seeing a serious disagreement between what employees are interested in and what employees offer. For example, this article from Money-Zine shows that while more than 60% of employees value long term care insurance, only 16% of companies offer it. Similarly, while 31% of employees value child care subsidies (a huge percentage considering people without children were also asked), only 10% of employers offered childcare.

Perhaps the most glaring disagreement is observable when we are talking telecommuting, remote and flexible work. Namely, 40% of employees find this to be important, while only 6% of companies actually offer it as a perk to their employees. According to Harvard Business Review, the percentage of people interested in flexible hours and work-from-home options is even higher.

Essentially, if you want to attract top talent and your industry allows it, flexible work options are definitely among the most attractive perks that you can offer to job seekers. And the best thing is that this kind of work will almost always benefit your company instead of harming it.

Innovation. Innovation. Innovation.

We currently live in the Age of Innovation and top talent in every industry is almost exclusively looks for companies that nurture innovation and where they know they will be heard if they should come up with great new ideas.

In order to create a culture of innovation in your company, you will need to do a number of things.

For one, you will need to encourage autonomy as opposed to firmly structured environment where people cannot do a single thing on their own without their managers corralling them back. It is also essential that you recognize the accomplishments of your employees and to make sure everyone understands who it was that did this spectacular thing.

For you to be able to promote a culture of innovation, your employees also need to be provided with the best tools and the best learning opportunities that will help them hone their skills and expand their knowledge.

Finally, it is essential to have an objective and holistic view of failures as an integral part of an innovative environment. Not all ideas are destined to succeed and it is essential to understand that failure is not final.

An innovative company will also know how to present itself as a place of new ideas and constant forward momentum. Instead of boring job ads, it will feature a custom-made job board that will attract more top talent. Instead of focusing on mere, raw promotion on social media, such a company will show off the accomplishments of its employees and their amazing traits.

A Progressive Socially-Conscious Culture

We live in tumultuous times where it is important to take a stand on a number of issues, from social to environmental ones. Some experts even claim that companies can even go political these days, stand for their beliefs and certain world views that they see as progressive and beneficial for the overall state of the society.

For example, it is not enough for a car dealership to be compliant, have their dealer bonds in order and so on. If they want to be a modern company, they need to start selling and promoting hybrid and electric vehicles that are more in tune with the progressive stands on environmental impacts of traditional vehicles. In order for a startup to be really modern and progressive, they will offer their products free of charge to educational organizations and not-for-profit entities.

The modern job seeker will also be looking for a company that is involved in local charities and that is vocal about its stands on social media.

This is something that you as a business owner need to handle with extra care, but if you do it the right way, it is definitely something that will attract the attention of top talent in your industry.

Closing Word

Attracting top talent is something your company cannot survive without nowadays. It has also become more difficult to do this than ever before, but luckily there are things that can bag you the best people in your industry.

Be smart, be progressive and nurture innovation.


AUTHOR: James D. Burbank is the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog.



No Comments yet!

Leave a Reply