How to Sell Your Company to Top Talent

Chris Allaire
Chris Allaire

If you’ve browsed through any of the leading business publications over the past few months, you’ve noticed an increased reliance on military metaphors. In today’s tightening labor market, companies aren’t just facing challenges, they’re “under siege.” They’re urged to put together an aggressive “battle plan” if they’re going to win in the “war for talent.”

It might make for compelling headlines, but declaring war isn’t going to help in your recruiting efforts. Today’s tech professionals aren’t swayed as much by the high salaries and generous signing bonuses that experts have insisted for decades are the only way to attract the best people in their field. And the perks of the last 10 years or so — like installing a keg of beer in the lobby — won’t convince them, either.

During the Covid-19 crisis, tech workers rearranged their priorities. There’s a reason why we’ve been seeing a record number of people quit their jobs in the tech sector in the past few months. If they were only looking for better compensation, they would have accepted other positions right away. But despite unprecedented growth in the IT sector, applicants are taking their time to sign on the dotted line.

Here at Averity, more and more job applicants are telling us that they are waiting for the right fit. They are looking for a great company culture, corporate values that align with their own, or a work schedule that considers their changing needs. The companies these IT professionals eventually join will be those that can best articulate why they are the best place to work.

Today’s applicants are asking a lot more questions than they used to. The most common ones these days are about what it’s like to work at your company. If an applicant asks you a question about your corporate culture, you’d better have an answer.

The trouble is that a lot of organizations know how to sell their product, but they have no idea how to sell their company. No matter whether you’re a startup or a major corporation, you still have to give them good reasons they should join your team. But how do you accomplish that?

Start off by talking about your company’s values. If you are committed to a diverse workforce, talk about the steps you are taking. If you are passionate about climate change, prove that you put your money where your mouth is. You’ll definitely see a difference. A recent study showed that 9 out of 10 people are willing to accept a lower salary to do work that they believe in.

Flexibility has become one of the most important incentives for those looking for new jobs. A recent survey of 1,100 engineers found that more than 75% want to work from home all or most of the time. Only 2% wanted to be in the office full-time. Companies that have announced that employees will eventually have to return to the office — even tech powerhouses like Apple — are getting serious blowback. If you offer more flexibility in terms of where and when your employees work, that’s a huge plus.

Your future employees want a chance to hone their skills. In fact, a survey conducted by the cloud computing company Citrix found that 88% of respondents say they look for the availability of learning opportunities when hunting for a new job. During the final interview, your team should map out a growth plan for the candidate. Give them a 30-, 90-, and 180-day timeline that shows what they can expect to learn at your company.

When IBM recently polled 14,000 workers about what they wanted from an employer, 43% put career advancement opportunities at the top of the list. Less than half of those reported that they were actually getting a chance to advance within their company. Talk about how you define success for your company, for your tech team, and for each employee. If you can demonstrate that you’re a company that promotes from within, it will set you apart from competitors.

Organizational impact is a term we’ve been hearing about more and more these days. Top-tier engineers want to make an organizational impact with their skills. If the interviewer talks about how the candidate can make an impact on the company, they are more likely to want to work there. Who doesn’t want to feel that their skills are valued?

It’s especially important that the interviewer be prepared with a story about why they accepted a job with the company and how it helped them grow on a personal or professional level. Telling their own story adds the human aspect, and it’s something potential employees really connect to.

Finally, the interviewer should leave plenty of time for questions. Give the candidate space to ask about anything so that they can make an educated decision. 

Everyone on your team, from the CEO on down, should be able to articulate your company culture. Team leaders should discuss your company culture with potential hires. It should figure prominently on your website and in your social media posts. You’ve already got everything you need to attract top talent. You just need to get the word out.

Chris Allaire
Chris Allaire

Chris is an entrepreneur, pilot, avid golfer, pretty awesome cook, crab cake connoisseur, guitar player, and a proud husband and father. When Chris isn’t playing with his 2 daughters or traveling with his incredible wife, he is recruiting for Open Source Engineers in New York City. His love for recruiting stands just shy of his love for the Boston Red Sox. Chris has almost 20 years of recruiting and staffing experience on a National level with over 10 years in New York City, both contract and full time.

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