Unless you can routinely entice top candidates with offers of pay and upward mobility that are too good to refuse, you will probably have to get used to searching around for talent. Even offering Google-like benefits isn't going to land you the one talented employee you're looking for to fill a specific role.
Peter Cappelli, professor of management at the Wharton School, writes in Harvard Business Review about how to improve your recruiting skills. He says trying to out-perk other companies is wasted energy. You do want to provide perks, but what you really want is to become "a more desirable workplace than your competitors" by being a more successful business.
Cappelli says if you outperform your competitors, people will naturally gravitate toward your brand for a very simple reason: "People like being associated with a winner." Harvard, Goldman Sachs, and Google are coveted institutions because they are successful and exclusive. The result is the clubhouse effect--deny a few people entry and soon people will be lining up.
Below, find more tips to up your recruiting game.
1. Aim for quality, not quantity
When you're hiring for one position, you do not need more than a few resumes from trusted recommenders. Your recruiting efforts shouldn't appeal to everyone, Cappelli says. Instead, "you'll want to figure out what kinds of candidates are a good fit and then meet their particular needs," he writes. If you want an employee with a fancy pedigree, you'll have to pay them big bucks. If you want an employee who will stay for the long-term, think about what advancement opportunities your company can offer.
2. Be transparent
This is a good trick to scare off the majority of applicants (whom you don't want anyway): Advertise the most unappealing aspects of the job and the company right off the bat. "It's much better to be honest from the outset. Scare away those who won't fit--and establish positives that will attract the right candidates into the pool," Cappelli writes.
3. Offer your uniqueness
Once you have everything out in the open, now it's time to reveal "what you can offer that most competitors can't," Cappelli writes. Whatever it is that makes your business uniquely appealing--a remote workforce, a great location, a team of smart and motivated employees--trumpet it. The right employee will come around; it's just a matter of minimizing the number of resumes you get and weeding out the people who don't fit.