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4 Tips to Beat Your Competition When Attracting Talent

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4 Tips to Beat Your Competition When Attracting Talent
Caroline Gleeson
8 minute read
Talent Acquisition

We all know the broken record that is the candidate-driven market; Candidates choose us, but how can we draw in the best candidates for our business?

The labour market is growing increasingly competitive for employers. There is an abundance of quality candidates, yet it seems the top companies have a monopoly on talent. How employers communicate their employer brand could be secret to drawing in quality candidates. Employers need to stop shouting and start talking, but how can you make your voice stand out in a room where the noise is deafening? A well thought-out recruitment strategy is an excellent place to start.

Simply promoting your business in the same fashion as everyone else risks your message getting lost in the noise. Curating a strategy and message that best represents your brand, workplace culture and most importantly, relates to potential candidates is the most effective way to attract quality candidates

Building your employer brand with the ideal candidate in mind can drastically reduce hiring costs and according to Jobbio 75% of hiring managers agree that the quality of candidates has improved with the investment into employer branding.

Why is a recruitment strategy important?

In order to recruit the best candidates, you need to create a hiring strategy that pinpoints who those candidates are, and how you can attract them to your company. this will help you hire the right candidate, both in terms of the position and your company as a whole, first time around. a good recruitment strategy utilises previous recruitment data and metrics to inform HR and hiring teams of the best candidate sources and the most effective recruitment processes. This should ultimately give companies a competitive edge, allowing them to get to the best candidates, quicker and for less spend.

How to attract the best talent over your competition?

1. Create a candidate persona

The first step to reaching the right candidate is understanding who they are. Candidate personas are a semi-fictitious profile of your ideal candidate. The practice is borrowed from sales and marketing, who use personas to understand those they are marketing or selling to, therefore better tailoring and targeting their efforts.

Build your persona with help from your employees and potential candidates. Get them involved with the process and ask them questions.

Effective techniques to collect this information include:

  • Quizzes
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews

Assemble information concerning their:  

  • Qualifications
  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Influences
  • Interests
  • Job Search preferences

Characteristics, skills and traits that your current employees have in common will merge and your candidate persona will begin to take shape. To learn more about creating a candidate persona see Social Talents blog on mapping out your persona.

Once an accurate candidate persona has been developed, HR can leverage this information to design a made-to-measure recruitment campaign that takes into account your candidates needs and wants, targeting your ideal candidate directly.

Knowing your ideal candidate will also help your hiring team by knowing who’s NOT a suitable candidate - ensuring you’re only targeting the right people for the job and your business, with messaging they relate and respond to.


2. Determine how you’re different

To beat your competition you must know your competition. Be your competitions biggest fan. Sign up for google alerts. Follow them on their online platforms. Keep track and examine the content they put out to attract candidates. Read their newsletter, blogs and keep up to date with their job listings. After some time, the fundamental message they are using to attract candidates will become apparent. The insights you gather and how you use them will be significant in enhancing your hiring efforts as they'll enable you to make more strategic recruitment marketing decisions.

Keep note of how they position themselves in the candidate market - How are they interacting with candidates and how do they communicate this message. What channels are they using to reach candidates and are their efforts successful?

Taking the time to build a positioning strategy with the data you’ve collected will enable you to position your business uniquely. Focus on the channels they’ve used to attract candidates and see how you can stand out on the popular channels. Take into account channels that they may have missed too and determine whether they could be a viable option for reaching candidates based on your persona.


Lincoln employer branding statistics

3. Develop your employee value proposition (EVP)

Your EVP, employee value proposition, incorporates the values that you as an employer provide to your employee’s, much like the value you provide to your customers. If you're hiring people, ever, it's a crucial aid in your fight against the competition. A compelling EVP is one that is well kept and regularly developed upon. Not only does it assist in the attraction of quality candidates, but it also drives employee commitment and advocacy. Insync found that having an EVP led to a 28% decrease in employee turnover.

Your EVP should be a roundup of your employee's experience at your company. Include what you offer as an employer, for example:

  • Work Environment
  • Colleagues
  • Leadership
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Nature of the roles you offer

There are several approaches you can take to develop your EVP, but generally, it’s is a sentence or short paragraph encompassing the answers to the following questions:

  • Why should a candidate choose to work at your company instead of someone else's?
  • What does the candidate have to gain?
  • What's your company culture like?
  • What can you offer that's different?

We’ve made a video all about EVP’s and how you can effectively utilise them to improve your hiring. Lincoln has also put together a practical template to help compose your EVP.

4. Promote your business and brand

Now that you have a candidate persona, a compelling value proposition and are aware of the channels that provide the best opportunity, it’s time to promote your brand.

Craft your careers page around your EVP. Do this by showcasing your company values with employee testimonials. Include project examples and videos. Show the company culture your ideal candidate would be attracted to.

Develop relationships with potential candidates online via networking and posting shareable content that is relatable to your ideal candidate. Discover where they hang out online and occupy that space. Make sure to engage with curious individuals in the comments, much like most brands today engage with their customers. An added advantage to having an online presence is that interested individuals are likely to share your content with their network of like-minded friends.

The most crucial places to mention your EVP is in your job descriptions and throughout the interview process.

Don't Just Talk The Talk, Walk The Walk

If you want to attract and retain candidates, transparency as an employer is essential. Sites like Glassdoor mean potential candidates will always have access to the true nature of your company. Embracing transparency can have positive effects on your employer brand. Just look at companies like DELL, they have used Glassdoor to their advantage. By replying to as many Glassdoor reviews as possible, they've made it a pivotal part of their recruitment marketing strategy. 

For example, if your EVP promises growth and development beyond everyday responsibilities, practice what you preach and provide your employees with learning opportunities. You can do this by paying for courses outside of work or bringing educational events to the office. The important part is that your EVP is a true representation of life at your company.


Modern recruitment software is an essential tool for competing for quality candidates. Providing a seamless application process for candidates and eliminating tedious tasks can strengthen your employer brand.

Check out our website to discover how our A.I. driven software can help you attract quality candidates. Subscribe for more recruitment tips and tricks sent straight to your inbox!

Summary Points

The labour market is growing increasingly competitive for employers. There is an abundance of quality candidates, yet it seems the top companies have a monopoly on talent. Here are our 4 tips to beat your competition when attracting talent:

  • Create a candidate persona
  • Determine how you are different
  • Develop your employee value proposition (EVP)
  • Promote your business and brand

Finally, don't just tell people what they want to hear, walk the walk and talk the talk! 

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