If your business is struggling to find, onboard and keep the best and the brightest people, then here are six tips that could help you seal the deal and surge ahead:

  1. Loosen the purse strings

The good news is that studies reveal that today’s best employees are not exclusively motivated by financial compensation (respect is number one on the list of must-haves). The bad news is that employers can’t afford to make lowball offers that drop them out of consideration.

If you don’t have the capital to get your offer reasonably near some of your deeper-pocketed (and probably larger) competitors, then getting a business loan or working capital loan could be the answer. Obviously this is an expense, but if the benefits of onboarding the right person offsets the total cost of borrowing, then it’s money well invested.

  1. Leverage your intangibles

Workplaces have distinct cultures and vibes. Take an inventory of all of the elements that make your environment great, and showcase them on the “careers” page of your website (more on this in a moment), as well as in your job ads, and during the interview process.

For example, your business may have a legacy of giving back to the community, and each year your team might participate in a local 5-mile fundraising run (of which most of the journey is walking or shuffling!). Highlighting this as part of your pitch is important, because employees aren’t computers: they’re people. As noted above, money is, but it’s certainly not the only or primary consideration.

  1. Make the application process as easy as possible (and then make it even easier!)

Today’s best customers demand an omnichannel experience, which essentially means that they don’t want to fall into gaps when they go from one phase, stage or person to another. For example, if they call in for support, they don’t want to be shuffled around or have their time wasted.

In the same light, top recruiting prospects have little — make that no — tolerance for a tedious, time consuming and confusing application process. As such, ensure that the career section on your website is integrated with candidate-friendly recruitment technology (either that you own, or that is run by a third party in the cloud). For example, candidates should be able to log into the system and clearly see where they are in the application process, and send/receive confidential messages with recruiting managers (or whoever else has ownership of the process).

  1. Tap employees to refer candidates

Many businesses incentivize non-sales employees to make referrals that generate sales. For example, employees can earn gift cards, as well as earn points and compete with colleagues — and of course, get featured on the company Facebook page so they can brag!

Similarly, businesses can tap their employees to refer candidates, and reward them accordingly. This is a win for everyone, including the new employee who already knows someone in the organization and therefore may have a smoother orientation. After all, even the most competent and experienced new hires can be nervous when starting with a new team.

  1. Look at contractors instead of employees

If your recruitment campaign isn’t working then it may be viable — or necessary — to hire a consultant. Keep in mind, however, that the IRS has some strict rules that govern how employers must treat employees differently from contractors. What’s more, the onus is on you to get this right. Even if a contractor signs a contractor agreement and accepts the designation “contractor,” if he or she is treated like an employee (partly or wholly), there could be compliance and liability issues. If you head down this road, make sure you get all of the facts beforehand, not after.

  1. Explore the viability of recruiting a foreign worker

If despite your best efforts and investments you cannot find the talent you need in your local labor market, then you may be able to recruit a foreign worker. However, as noted by immigration law firm Pollack PLLC (learn more about them at www.pollakimmigration.com), there are many rules involved in the process, and the process is long and complex — especially since part of the petition will involve getting Department of Labor certification that, among other things, attests to the fact that there are no U.S. citizen available who can do the job. Trying to apply yourself is a non-starter and will result in a waste of time and money. Working with an experienced immigration attorney is essential.

The Bottom Line

If big data is the new oil, then talent is the new capital. That’s because in many sectors and industries — health care, cyber security and accounting spring to mind — finding essential talent and keeping them around for the long-term can be much tougher than raising money or finding customers. The above tips can help you find the people you need to stay strong and stable now, and for years to come!

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