How To Compete With Top Companies For The Best Talent

As the job market improves, so do the options for talented people to work for companies that value them. Is yours in the running?

How To Compete With Top Companies For The Best Talent
[The grand prize: Doug Schnurr via Shutterstock]

A recent report by LinkedIn found 85% of the U.S. population is passively seeking new opportunities. At the same time, hiring is steadily increasing. With the job market starting to heat up, this could be great news for you–or it could be disastrous.


With a hot job market comes much more competition to keep and attract top talent. So if you think you’re sitting pretty with a great team, you might want to check to make sure you’re up to snuff with the market and what other companies are offering.

Whether you are looking to expand and attract new top talent, retain a great team, or even see a need to improve your current team, consider these tips:

1. Recognize When It’s Time To Part Ways

Sometimes it’s necessary to make room for a stronger candidate by letting go of some low performers on the team. In some cases, one top performer may actually equate to two or three low performers. As a leader, you have to make the call based on what is best for the business and the demand within the job market.

This is never a decision that should be made hastily, but if it is in the best interest for the company (and perhaps even the employee), it may be time. When you let a good and faithful employee go, offer them a good severance package and outplacement services to help them find their next position.

Outplacement should keep them focused on future opportunities, instead of dwelling on the past. It should also assist them in maintaining beneficial relationships with your company in case an opportunity comes up in the future.

2. Allow Employees To Step Away From Their Day-To-Day

Providing your current team with professional development opportunities inside and outside of work will not only make them feel more appreciated, but it can help you to close any skills gap between your team and the industry. It can also increase or expand a current employee’s proficiencies. Additionally, this type of ongoing development can be a huge draw for the talent that you’re trying to attract.


When offering training, consider the skills your employees or potential employees need to perform their daily roles better. Ask for their input to see if there are things they want to improve upon. For instance, improving their public speaking skills or even learning a new skill like coding or design could be on their list of “wants.” This not only allows you to keep your employees happy, but could also provide you with more well-rounded employees who truly love what they’re doing.

3. Revamp Current Company Perks and Benefits

No longer do potential and current employees want a job to be about clocking in and out and collecting a paycheck. Today’s workforce, especially the younger generation, wants to make a difference in their communities and is inspired to challenge the way things have been done. By truly understanding what your team and potential candidates desire, you can better compete with the larger companies that appear to offer it all.

Take a close look at what your team is truly passionate about inside and outside of work. Talk to them and get their feedback on what means the most to them. Once you have a good understanding of this, implement new company perks and benefits.

If you have an older team, you may find it is more important to offer a better health care package versus providing flextime. A younger team may place less importance on health care and instead push for remote office hours or additional time to volunteer.

In the end, the most important piece of the puzzle to keep your top talent around and attract new talent is the strong culture and team you build. Being part of a healthy, passionate, and smart team will look far more attractive to top talent than having a kegerator or wine bar in the office.

Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers, and university career centers. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.