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7 tips for attracting a higher quality of candidate

May 26, 2021
Lukas Vanterpool
How to attract high quality candidates

Employer of choice – let those words sink in. If it isn’t already, becoming an employer of choice should be high on the list of priorities for the HR department and, if we are honest – business in general. Previous research showed that over half of employers experience a real challenge when it comes to finding and securing the employees that will make a difference. 

That means individuals that are driven, accountable, proactive and innovative. Individuals that go above and beyond, identifying the areas that can be improved, streamlined or made more profitable. Not those that come in, do what is required and stagnate. We don’t mean creating a culture that makes the team feel they have to work beyond their contracted hours before burning out, but those that think differently and aren’t afraid to speak up – and speak out. Let’s look at what it means to be an employer of choice.  


What is an employer of choice?  

An employer of choice is a company that is able to attract high-performing, valuable candidates because of the perception of their brand. Often, these businesses have been proactive in creating a culture that is employee-centric, offers benefits and rewards that are aligned with the needs and lifestyle of the modern workforce.  

Let’s not forget the management style of businesses considered to be an employer of choice. While a company structure still has its place, businesses that effortlessly attract and retain candidates seem to have done away with the outdated and draconian hierarchy. In place of this, employees are invited to contribute ideas, challenge processes and be fearless in the pursuit of innovation. 

Sorry to be the ones to say it – we are talking about disruption. But clearly, for those embracing the thoughts and ideas of the workforce, especially those who are customer-facing and on the front line, it’s really making a difference.  


What are the benefits of becoming an employer of choice? 

There is a list of benefits that could be discussed when it comes to being an employer of choice, but ultimately, the areas that really matter are: 

  • Lower recruitment costs  
  • Better retention rates  
  • More productive team 

By actively improving your culture and benefits, employee engagement and candidate experience, you will naturally create a strong employer brand that piques the interest of prospective candidates. This will naturally make it easier to recruit the candidates you want, as well as keeping them. It will come as no surprise that a happier team are more engaged, passionate and motivated – not to mention, productive.  

Giving you the competitive edge.  

Our team have multiple conversations with clients and candidates every day. This gives them the ultimate insider insight when it comes to understanding what makes those high-value candidates want to work for a company.     


To turn their knowledge into tangible and actionable advice for your business, we asked our team –  


What is the ONE piece of advice you would give to employers looking to attract a higher calibre of staff/recruit staff to stay for the long haul? 


Here is what they had to say:  


Treat your employees like your most valued asset. 

“Ensure your people are seen and treated as your most valued asset – your staff are the key to your current and future success.  With the well-being of your current staff at the top of your people agenda, your attrition will improve, and so will the productivity of your workforce. When you do come to recruit, you will be a more successful company to join and this will attract the higher calibre staff and as well as ensuring the talent that you do have is nurtured, progressed and satisfied.” Elisha  

Your employees want their efforts and results to be recognised. Being appreciated is one of the key contributors to employee satisfaction. By acknowledging success and hard work, you boost the morale of both the individual and the team, reminding them of their purpose within the business, and establishing their career choice. This small gesture packs a lot of punch.  



Why should the candidate work for you? 

“Don’t assume recruitment is a one-way process – you need to be able to sell your company equally. Oh, and don’t restrict yourself from finding the best talent by doing everything internally.” Gianni 

Despite the changes in the landscape, those high-value candidates know their worth. It’s incredibly important that you create a business that authentically looks after their employees, knows their worth, and communicates this from branding, through to the recruitment process.  



Understand what matters to your current employees. 

“Build loyalty through investment, don’t make them feel like a number on a spreadsheet.  –whether its training or benefits- have benefits that suit their whole family, not just the employee.” Matt

Employee engagement is absolutely key when it comes to the success of the business. By understanding and providing benefits that add value to their lives, you create loyal brand advocates that look after your employer brand for you.  



Make your culture the top priority. 

“Ensure the culture is right, morals are transparent and there is clear and consistent communication with staff / new recruits. Understand issues and work collaboratively to solve these.” Dan 

A strong culture helps to establish tribalism and a strong loyalty between people that work for your business. This sense of tribalism will help to attract new recruits and can be incredibly impactful, so it’s vital that you take control and work with your team to create a vision for your company culture that can be achieved and maintained with the help of everyone.   



Finding purpose. How does this person fit into your business objectives? 

“Know the business/team plan for the coming month/quarter/year, know where & how this person will fit long term.” Hannah 

Understanding purpose is incredibly important for our professional identity, helping to quantify success. Even at the interview stage, you should be explaining how this role contributes to the overall business objectives and how this will be measured, rather than giving a list of what the job entails.  



The salary should not be insulting.  

“Pay the right money for the right people.” Nick 

You want to recruit and retain great candidates? Benchmark your salaries often in order to gain a competitive edge. 



Allow for real work/life balance.

“Offer autonomy and flexibility as much as possible around hours – school runs, balance with home life etc.” Joe 

Micromanagement is out. In fact, it’s been out for some time. Employees who are empowered to make their own decisions are more engaged with their employer, becoming incredibly loyal, content and committed. Allowing the freedom to approach work in a way that suits them still a sense of trust and independence that leads to more creative and innovative thinking. People have a life outside of work, embrace this.  


Ultimately, in order to attract the best people to your business, you need to set out to truly become an employer that recognises the value of the employee. Our team can become an extension of this brand – helping to channel the raise awareness and channel individuals to your business. To learn more about how we can help, get in touch today.  

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About The Author

Lukas Vanterpool

I started The Sterling Choice with Gareth Whyatt back in August 2013. We’ve always remained true to ourselves and what it is we’re trying to achieve – A great company with great people and great results! This journey never stops, we are always finding ways to support our colleagues and make sure they leave every day feeling fulfilled.

Over the years I’ve always been asked “what’s your USP??, what makes you different from all the other agencies??”. That’s an easy one for me to answer – “Our culture makes our business and our people make our culture”

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