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Why pay won’t attract talent and what to do about it

Published by: LifeWorks,

J.D. Irving Limited (JDI) knows the secret to acquiring top talent today lies in treating employees as people — people with needs and goals both inside and outside the workplace.

Which is why JDI outlines front-and-center the reasons prospective candidates should consider them as an employer — none of which include salary. Instead, JDI’s career page highlights their values, professional development opportunities, and even corporate wellness initiatives.

Is offering a competitive salary still important? Yes, of course, but it’s time to think bigger.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can attract top talent by viewing employees holistically:

Explain total compensation

While salary is certainly important, candidates expect more information from you. Glassdoor’s June 2016 study found that they want to see a job posting include information about their total benefits package.

Grab candidates’ attention by explaining total compensation instead. This includes direct compensation, such as base salary and incentive pay, as well as indirect compensation, such as paid time off, educational benefits, retirement options, employer-paid portions of health insurance, and more.

Create a graphic that shows to job seekers how total compensation is calculated and include it with each posting on your career site and job boards. You can also provide a comparison of how your total compensation offering stacks up against the area’s and industry’s average.

Share your values

Culture fit is crucial to employee retention. If you hire candidates who don’t align with your company’s core values, they will start planning their exit before long.

Testimonials can add some substance to your employer brand. Add videos and other engaging content to spark candidates’ interest when they visit your career site and even LinkedIn company page.

Encourage employees to create conversations in specific groups on LinkedIn. Research where potential candidates hang out, and engage in conversations to develop relationships.

Atlassian is an example of a company that communicates their values extremely well. Their testimonial video from 2013 features employees explaining the company’s values and how they align with them. Sten, a product manager, emphasizes how the company focuses on more than just work. He says they encourage a “family feel.”

Use real stories

Candidates connect with real stories from actual employees, which is why testimonials are so effective. Just like Atlassian did with their video, share real stories of real employees in their actual work environment.

Create and share employee profiles that include a picture, short bio, details about their role within your company, and a story about how they feel valued. Encourage their stories to tie into benefits and perks you offer, such as an employee assistance program (EAP) or career development programs.

One great example of this is a 2012 video Starbucks released detailing the career path of several interns and lower-level hires. The video explores how lunch-and-learns provide young employees the opportunity to engage with executives — and how fun events like scavenger hunts and barbeques get them acquainted with Seattle and the company’s culture.

Similarly, PwC tells employees’ stories with individual pages that include a timeline of their career path, a short bio, and a Q&A section. Irine shares how mentors supported her career growth and the hobbies she enjoys outside of work.

Job seekers see themselves in these real stories and can better imagine how they fit into the culture.

You can attract top talent by speaking to what they need — financial, physical, and mental wellness; meaningful work in a great company culture; and to feel like a person, not an asset. Explain the total compensation you offer, promote your culture and values to attract job seekers who would fit in, and let your best resource speak for you — your employees. 

Make your employees feel loved