5 Strategies to Attract and Retain Top Talent

In the current job market, candidates have the power to pick the organization where they want to work, not the other way around. This is why HR professionals must work harder to both attract top candidates and keep them at their company in the long run.  


Struggling to attract and retain top talent?

Given the current job market, Human Resources professionals must work harder than ever to recruit top talent onto their team. 

Since employment rates are at an all-time high, candidates have the power to pick the organization where they want to work, not the other way around.  


But the hiring process can be frustrating, especially when HR devotes its resources to an applicant only to be blindsided with a rejection at the end or hires a candidate who doesn’t stick around.

How to attract and retain top talent?

Luckily, there’s plenty of recruitment advice and news about trends out there to help companies avoid these mishaps. 

➡️ For example, check out 15 recruiting trends you should implement in 2020 and learn how to keep your best employees.

If you don’t have the time right now to dive in deep, don’t worry - in this article you’ll find the very best 5 practices for attracting top candidates and keeping them long term. 

5 ways to attract and retain top talent

Here are five ways HR pros can overcome those hurdles to recruit and retain top employees:

1. Catch their eye with recruitment software

Modern recruiters have turned to technology to strategize their hiring process. Technological innovations grant HR the ability to balance day-to-day responsibilities and recruitment without sacrificing productivity in either.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is specifically designed to maximize the efficiency and success of the hiring process. 


While there’s no one-size-fits-all ATS, each applicant tracking system comes equipped with a variety of tools in its arsenal to assist you in the battle for recruiting long-term talent.  

➡️ Check out the detailed, step by step GUIDE For Finding Your Perfect Applicant Tracking System (ATS)!

2. Transform dull job postings into dream job promotions

A job posting is the first glimpse a candidate gets into your company, making the very first step in the hiring process the most important one. When your job postings fall short, so does the quality of your applicants. If you don’t maintain an attractive and accurate job description, potential talent starts looking elsewhere for better opportunities, leaving you with only a pool of unqualified applicants. 

But so many different components go into an enticing job listing that it can be difficult to create one on your own. ATS software helps remedy this issue with its concise reports, which will allow you to make a data-driven decision about what to include. These reports provide a detailed breakdown of your job postings, presenting valuable stats such as:

How could you use this information?
Well, if you discover LinkedIn is bringing in the most applicants, your company could devote more resources to that platform. Or if many candidates don’t finish the questionnaire portion of your application, you might need to shorten or remove that section altogether to encourage more applicants to make it to the end. All this information can help you create a job posting and application experience that stands far above the rest.

3. Streamline and simplify the process

It’s no secret that a slow hiring process is a huge deterrent to talent. A 2017 CareerArc survey found that 69% of job seekers say that “response time” is the worst part of the hiring process.
While waiting for a response, promising candidates might get antsy and start looking at other positions. The longer the hiring process, the further talent slips away into the claws of your competitors.


In this day and age, it feels almost primitive to painstakingly sift through applications and keep track of who’s who. Not to mention, these administrative tasks eat up a good chunk of your valuable time. An ATS solution streamlines the process by automatically ranking applicants as they come based on a set of predetermined criteria. Candidates whose applications don’t meet the criteria are automatically removed from the pool, allowing hiring teams to focus on the top contenders.

4. Reciprocate their interest

Seventy-two percent of candidates who have a poor application experience – by getting ghosted, for example – report sharing that experience with others online. And 88% of customers claim that online reviews influence their buying decisions. This highlights the importance of an often-neglected, but crucial part of the recruitment process: the declined candidate.


Candidates are customers in the sense that they shop around for the best jobs in the market. It only makes sense, then, that poor reviews from other job seekers would repel prospective talent away from your company. ATS software can improve the application experience by automating communication with candidates. 

This feature allows you to prepare personalized emails to both those who’ve made it to the next step and those who didn’t. Not only will this help you communicate with applicants faster, it’ll also boost your brand as an organization that values people enough to respond, even with bad news.

5. Identify those with long-term investments in your company

As backward as it may sound, talent alone isn’t always the best fit for your team. Organizations can focus so much on raw talent that they may forget about the equal significance of engagement for molding a great employee.


The most talented workers will get the job done well, but they might not contribute much more to the team outside of that. Worst of all, if they have no passion for their work, there’s nothing stopping them from dropping your company for another, costing you thousands in turnover expenses.  

Along with picking out the most qualified candidates, an ATS can keep track of who’s opening your emails and clicking any links. Narrowing down applicants based on candidate interactivity can save your company from hiring an uncommitted employee. And in the long run, it could even end up saving you money.

Make sure your team decides on an employee who wants to come work for you - not just for the paycheck. Potential employees who ignore your emails aren’t going to change that habit once they’ve been hired, and they’re probably not very committed to working at your company. On the other hand, a candidate who opens every email and link is likely to be just as enthusiastic in the workplace.

The continued value of ATS

With the right recruitment software, your company can rest assured knowing your next hire will be the right decision. Future recruitment efforts will reward your company not only with fresh talent, but also a wealth of information that you can use to improve your hiring process. Great workers are hard to win over and keep, so make sure your efforts pay off in the end.

About the author

Amanda Wright is a content editor for Better Buys, helping companies find and select the right software solution. She is an experienced writer and covers a wide variety of industries including Human Resources, Business Intelligence, and ERP.

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