How to attract top candidates for your business?

The Canadian job market has experienced some long-lasting impacts of the pandemic. In the beginning, we witnessed a large number of layoffs across industries and skillsets. Unemployment numbers across the country rose with our national average peaking at 13.7% (Statistics Canada, 2021) in May 2020.

Fast forward to today, employers are endeavoring to rehire the talent lost in the last 18 months, increase internal capacities and prepare for future growth/initiatives. Canada has added 94,000 new jobs in July 2021 ( The national unemployment rate has also declined to 7.8% (Statistics Canada, 2021).

As Canadian businesses are returning to the new normal, business leaders are searching for highly skilled, flexible, and ready-to-work job seekers within the available cohort of professionals. This has resulted in competition among businesses to hire the most skilled professionals available in the job market for their teams. Many employers are left pondering over the big question “how to attract talent in a candidate-driven market”

The old school of thought that the employer is in the seat of power and that it is the candidate’s role to impress no longer holds true. This notion has become an ineffective strategy to attract top talent, foster loyalty or retention.

In today’s job market, both employers and candidates have a need to present each other with a mutually beneficial solution. In job markets that are controlled by candidates, it is even more imperative to adopt this mindset.

Remember that candidates have multiple opportunities, are interviewing with several preferred employers, receiving counteroffers, etc. It is important to consider hiring as a partnership, rather than just filling a position. How do you adopt this mindset?

Evaluate your company’s culture, growth opportunities, and compensation packages to identify why an employee may want to work for you. Generation Y which makes up approximately 54% of the Canadian workforce considers the following when making decisions about their employment.

1) Comprehensive Compensation Package

Candidates have endless opportunities and are weighing their options carefully.

Structure your package to include a) competitive or above market rates b) benefits package c) vacation time d) bonus/incentive programs

2) Lifestyle

It is important to remember that we work to live, not live to work. Lifestyle plays a large part in candidates’ decisions around future employers.

a) a work environment that supports work + life balance b) Health & Wellness programs and/or incentives c) RRSP programs d) Mental Health resources

3) Company Culture

Candidates are looking for employers who align well with their values and promote comfortable and rewarding work environments.

Identify what are those and use them to sell your organization.

4) Future growth

Top talent will be thinking beyond the here and now about their future with your organization. If there is room for development, this is something you need to discuss with candidates. If you do not have a growth plan or potential for employees to grow, this is something worth evaluating. Is there an opportunity to create internal growth?

5) Interview process

The interviewing process is the introduction for potential employees to your organization. If it is long, arduous, and redundant this is not a positive reflection of your business. Top employers will regularly review their process and work to make it accessible by removing obstacles and bottlenecks. 1-3 interviews depending on the seniority of the position are acceptable.

6) Find a partner with expertise

Talent acquisition is only one part of your complex business. If your organization does not have a dedicated team member(s), consider partnering with a Recruitment Firm that specializes in your needs. External partners can offer a deep talent network, in-depth knowledge of the market, and access to passive candidates.

In today's job market Candidates are becoming more discerning in where and how they work. Highly skilled candidates are moving from one opportunity to the next quickly. Benefits and perks that were once a primary reason for accepting a job offer have now changed. Money is no longer the sole driving factor and candidates are now looking for different parameters when it comes to Attracting and retaining talent has become a focal point for most successful Canadian businesses.

If you are in search of strategies to attract and retain top talent, download our FREE Guide HERE. 

Regional Manager, Agilus Work Solutions

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