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In the year of the “Great Resignation” and record levels of unfilled job openings, companies became more interested than ever in figuring out how to entice job seekers. Our 2021 survey, Employee Expectations in Hiring: Rethinking Compensation Strategies to Attract Talent in the 2021 Job Market, gave us valuable insight into what job seekers expect from employers today. From those insights, we distilled some practical tips to help you in your quest to attract the talent your company needs. Here are a few to get you started.

Tip #1.  Invest in your employer brand and image

Our survey found that post-pandemic job candidates are holding companies to a higher standard. Candidates are evaluating companies based on their corporate citizenship. More than 3 in 4 Americans  (76%) say that how a company responded to the pandemic is a factor in applying for and accepting a job. Furthermore, two-thirds (66%) of Americans do more research into a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts than prior to the pandemic.

People want to work for a good company. Perhaps the pandemic made people reflect on what is really important and they want their lives and work to be meaningful, beyond just collecting a paycheck. Or, perhaps rising consciousness about women’s rights, environmental sustainability, diversity, and social justice, has led workers to care about these issues and to prefer employers who are part of the solution. Employer branding is key here because a company can quickly be portrayed as part of the problem if it's not vocal about (and demonstrative of) its values. Or, maybe the existence of many job openings makes candidates feel they have the option to seek out companies they can be proud to represent.

Whatever the reason, it has long been the case that socially responsible companies attract top-tier employees, engender customer loyalty, and produce higher-than-average returns.  

So, nurture and communicate your employer brand, and be sure you walk the talk. Be the kind of company that people are proud to work for, and that cares about the needs of its employees. It not only will help to attract new talent, it just might inspire your current employees as well. 

Tip #2. Use salary benchmarking and analytics to ensure fair pay

Our research shows that over two-thirds (68%) of job candidates would be willing to accept a lower salary as long as there was transparency about salary benchmarks at the organization. This suggests that fairness and equal pay practices within the company are meaningful to candidates.

To ensure fair and competitive pay, make sure you have the data and tools needed to benchmark market pay for your positions and make informed pay band decisions, to ensure your company is offering competitive rewards. Keep abreast of competitive trends regarding PTO, work structure, and innovative benefits. Be sure you can mine your compensation data to uncover pay gaps.

Pay equity analytics can help you to identify risks from gender pay inequities before they become problems, so that you can get ahead of any potential situations by spotting the employees that are at risk due to pay inequity. Fixing these imbalances proactively will help retain and motivate your workforce, and reduce legal risks. How does that help with hiring? You'll be known as a company that pays its people fairly, which can be an important competitive differentiator. In today’s world of social media and transparency, with sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Comparably, your reputation is on full display and can affect your ability to attract talent.

Tip #3. Invest in technology to enable a flexible and fair compensation strategy

Having innovative ideas for a great rewards strategy is a good start, but if you can’t implement your vision effectively, globally, and at scale, your efforts will be for naught.

Make sure you have solid technology to enable your rewards strategy. With dedicated compensation management technology, you can ensure that you are paying your people fairly and competitively, as benchmarked internally and to each market in which you operate. Look for technology that lets you tailor rewards flexibly to meet the needs of specific employee populations and employees. It not only will drive better performance, but will help to attract and retain talent. 

Get more hiring tips

Did you like these 3 pro tips on attracting and recruiting talent in 2021 (and beyond)? There’s more where that came from. Download our free quick reference guide of 12 Tips for Competitive Hiring to inspire you in winning the talent wars. 

12 Tips for Competitive Hiring