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"Degrees & Programs"

Three creative ways to hire top talent

By University of Phoenix
April 29, 2020 • 3 minute read

By Joe Capp, director of talent acquisition.

Are recruitment issues putting the brakes on your business? Are you struggling to attract talented employees who can help accelerate business growth and innovate for the future?

Recruiting challenges are understandable in today’s marketplace, where unemployment rates remain lower than at any time since the close of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s term in 1969[1]. But understandable doesn’t mean inevitable.

If your business is attracting lack-luster talent — while others seem to snatch up superstars — it may be worth considering their recruitment tactics. Let’s explore the strategies of several notable companies that have demonstrated an ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees through three creative recruitment and retention initiatives.

1. Lead with culture

Is your company a place where people want to work? Or is it just someplace for up-and-coming talent to cool their heels until they find greener pastures? Remember, Millennials have fewer kids and less promise of a pension. Even if they have to work, they don’t have to work anywhere in particular.

Companies that win the corporate culture game take different, creative approaches to foster an attractive work environment that makes it clear 1) their work is valued and 2) their work is valuable.

When approaching how to create a corporate culture, you can take a riskier but potentially more rewarding approach to corporate culture by prioritizing results, not performance. In this approach, management sets high expectations but gives employees generous benefits such as unlimited holidays.

Another approach is to recruit from the heart, offering opportunities for veterans and recent college grads who want to make a difference that is in line with your corporate values. Ask yourself why what your company does matters. Once you understand it, make sure every employee from the VP to the mail clerk knows it too.

2. Offer the best benefits

Recruitment isn’t rocket science. Offer the best incentives, and you may get the best employees.

You don’t even have to break the bank on large salaries or meticulous health plans if your budget doesn’t currently allow for this. Some of the best incentive innovation is coming from low-wage, low-skill labor markets in the form of education benefits. The Society for Human Resource Management’s 2017 Employee Benefits Survey found that “around 50 percent of employers offer some form of assistance for undergraduate degrees and 53 percent for graduate degrees.”

Another incentivizing benefit to consider offering is a variety of educational benefits to employees through tuition loan assistance and scholarships, as well as professional development opportunities for continuing education and skill development opportunities. This way, employees can pursue their educational goals and enhance their careers through lifelong learning. You can achieve a net benefit as well, with a better-educated workforce.

3. Promote from within

In the post-World War II era of lifetime employment and pensions, 90 percent of all hires came from internal promotions and employee development. Today, only 28 percent of hiring comes from within[2].

With few resources devoted to employee development, employees feel no loyalty because their employers seem to have little loyalty to them. The result is a merry-go-round of turnover that leaves businesses perpetually hobbled.

The applicant funnel then becomes oversaturated with job opportunists, thus convoluting the interview process. Harvard Business Review agrees: “Recruiting and hiring consultants and vendors estimate that about two percent of applicants receive offers. Unfortunately, the main effort to improve hiring – virtually always aimed at making it faster and cheaper – has been to shovel more applicants into the funnel.”

Fantastic corporate culture and employee development investments, like educational advancements and creative incentives, make it easy for employees to buy-in for the long haul. The culture is so good that they want to stay, and the company’s investment in their development makes it worth their while to stay.

The advantages here are essentially limitless. You already know the person and have a solid grasp of their work ethic because you work with them every day. This move just makes sense, right?

Having led human resources, sales, marketing and operational functions as well as having served as president of two companies, it has been my experience that employees who have the mindset and ability to ‘figure it out’ make a greater impact on organizations than those who don’t.

As an employer, you need talented people to execute your vision. These creative strategies will help you rise above the competitive marketing place and attract the talent needed to grow your business.

Joe Capp joined University of Phoenix as the head of recruitment as a service in August of 2019. Prior to joining the organization, Joe served in human resources leadership positions at Vasa Fitness, Merieux NutriSciences, Publicis Lion Re:Sources and Dunkin’ Brands.