5 Hiring Moves for Securing Top Applicants

When, years ago, a hiring manager tempted me to accept a job offer on the spot, she did so by offering me personal terms that fitted my needs as a single mother. Instead of taking a lunch break, I could work through lunch and finish my work day an hour earlier. This hiring manager realized that I would be a good fit for the office, and when she heard that I had several job offers lined up, she made a hiring move that tipped the scales in her favor. In the years since, I have seen and used various hiring moves to secure top applicants. Here are the top five.

Job Description

A lot is riding on the job description prospective employees are going to read. Focus on the human element by offering a description like: “Great environment, where we care about our employees. Here you will work with great people in an informal atmosphere.” If your business focuses on excellence, add, “Here we will reward your best work.” Or if you are focused on family values, write, “We will give you more time with your family, and offer you flexible work hours where possible.” In short, your first hiring move for securing top applicants should focus on tailoring the job description to the spirit of your company.

Flexible Benefits

As a hiring manager in a small business you have an advantage that corporate managers lack. You can tweak benefits as you get to know the needs of a potential candidate for a job. If you can’t afford to pay higher wages, offer more vacation days instead. Depending on your business model, make the work hours flexible, so a candidate can start work at 7:00 instead of 9:00 and end her day two hours earlier. In short, use the nature of your business to set potential benefits for new employees that will cost you nothing but will make all the difference to them. This hiring move will secure you top applicants that will remain loyal to the company that showed personal consideration to them.

Informal Environment

People today appreciate the chance to set their own dress code and march to their own tune. An informal dress code at work removes the financial burden of buying tailored, expensive clothes, which must be dry cleaned regularly. It’s up to you as the hiring manager to determine what sort of environment takes its place. You can then portray a creative, individual-based work place to any new employee you wish to bring into this environment. This simple hiring move typically puts candidates at ease and gives the workplace a more creative, free-thinking setting.

Employee Pampering

As a manager in a small business you play a vital role in shaping the spirit of the place. Setting up a free coffee area for the employees has become common place nowadays. But providing a cappuccino machine with biscotti and free sodas is less common and will be greatly appreciated for that reason. Be sure to provide an elegant dining area, no matter how small, where employees can take a break, heat their lunch, talk and look out the window. It is in such a place that the quality of life of your employees will be judged by any potential new employee you are hoping to hire.

Less than the Best Pay

From my experience, pay is the least important of the hiring moves discussed in this article. I have taken pay cuts in my career in exchange for better hours or a better work environment. When you, as a hiring manager, cannot offer the best pay, offer something of higher value instead and make it a bargaining maneuver to emphasize the value of what you are offering, like more vacation days, flexible hours, better work environment.

In addition, leverage the size of your business to gain discounts for your employees where you cannot pay them more. For example, if you cannot afford to buy insurance for your employees, offer to include them in a group plan, for which they will reimburse you. This will still save your employees money over buying insurance individually. If you cannot afford to feed your employees lunch daily, organize a collective deli order, which will reduce the price of individual sandwiches through wholesale pricing.

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