What motivates high-calibre people to invest their talent in a new company? Salary? Career progression? Training? It is essential to understand the attributes that motivate and inspire candidates to invest their talent in a company.

Employers need to use strategies to attract the best professionals on the market. “Most likely, your company will not be the only one that is interested in talented people, so you´ll need to do your best to tempt candidates to work for you,” says Thibaud Adès, Managing Director of Michael Page Belux.

“That means, for example, that you will have to offer much more than just a good salary,” explains Thibaud Adès. “You will have the offer a personal develop plan, and commit to it. As a company you´ll need to make crystal clear what a new employee can expect: how will you help to develop his or her career?”

Here are some of the common attributes top performers look for in a new employer.

1. Check if your values are aligned

Top performers will choose to work for a company if there is a strong alignment between their personal values and the company’s corporate values. Be sure to clearly promote the values on which your company is built, such as customer service, creativity and innovation, social improvement or thought leadership. Does your culture reward teamwork or competitiveness? Individuality or conformity? Promoting the company values will help to attract like-minded individuals and will increase the likelihood of finding the right match.

2. Explain what sets your company apart

Top performers want to know what sets your company apart. What does it stand for? What kind of culture is promoted? How is achievement recognised and rewarded? What challenges are available to high achievers? What else does it have to offer? Examples include career development opportunities, competitive pay, work/life balance initiatives and company stability. Aim to promote these attributes through your website, public relations, advertising and word of mouth, so that prospective talent can see the value in joining your company.

3. Work on your reputation

The most popular companies to work for have strong brand recognition and a reputation for excellence in the market. The most discerning professionals also use their networks to gain insight into the internal reputation of the workplace, or the ‘real picture’ of what it’s like to work there. Are your employees brand ambassadors or critics? Working to engage and motivate your existing employees is critical in the attraction of quality talent, as they are your most powerful source of advertising and testimonials.

4. Offer a personalised training program

In the past companies used to offer a one size fits all training program to their employees. “Nowadays you need to look at individual needs,” explains Thibaud Adès. “Generic training doesn´t have any added value anymore: everybody can find on internet. Just like Netflix offers you a range of possible films and series, based on your personal taste, employers need to offer is a menu of possible training programs, tailored to every individual.”

5. Offer development opportunities

For high achieving professionals, the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is crucial for job satisfaction. They want to invest their talent in a company that can help progress their career and expand their existing skill sets. Do you offer ongoing training and development? Clear pathways for growth and promotion? Challenging and rewarding projects? Cultivating an environment of continual learning and progression will help to engage existing employees and enhance your reputation as an attractive employer.

To attract top performers it’s critical first to establish what defines your organisation.

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