Attracting Top Performers in 2021 and Beyond


Attracting top performers in 2021 and beyond should be the goal for all organizations. While on one hand it may seem like we can refer to the future as “post COVID-19” it is anything but. The recent events have indeed changed the future of hiring whether you believe it to be true or not. We will of course still be seeing the trickle-down effects of layoffs, etc. but at the same time, hiring is seeing an upswing.  And as always organizations that hire top talent will always outperform their competitors that do not hire top performers. 

According to the Bureau of Labor StatisticsNonfarm payroll employment rose by 661,000 in September 2020. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued increase of economic activity that had been curtailed due to COVID-19. Leisure and hospitality accounts for one-half the increase, followed by construction, education, and health services, and retail trade.  

With this being said, the war for talent goes on. So, what can your organization do to make sure they are able to engage with and hire top performers? Although this is not a new concept, many companies fail to get it right 


Here are our five key steps to attracting and hiring top performers:  


1. Define what a top performer looks like in your organization 

In order to find top performers, you’ll need to be able to define exactly what skills that person should possess. Take a good look at those you currently have and set benchmarksOnce you have defined what is considered a top performer, set out to find those candidates. 


2. Create a well-defined and easy to understand job description 

When seeking to engage with candidates and excite them about the jobs you need to fill, your organization needs to really be able to articulate what it is you expect from the right candidate. This is not the time to be vague and leave the expectations up for interpretation. Lay out some realistic job expectations, as well as what they can expect in return. 


3. Answer the question: What’s in it for me? 

According to research conducted by Indeed, it was discovered that top performers are actively looking for new job opportunities. Typically, top performers are ahead of the game and “actively seek to steer their careers.” This makes sense as they usually have a lot to offer a company, and they know it. 

When a company goes to post their job listing, they are of course laying out what they would like to gain from the applicant, but they need to also need to answer the question “What’s in it for me?”. This is where the company needs to sell themselves essentially. According to one survey, top performers are usually looking for added benefits of working for an organization such as training and flexibility. And, if you can believe it, they are also willing to take a pay cut to get those benefits. 

A great tactic for selling the “Why us” is in your application process as well. Let candidates know what your specific employee value proposition is for them (i.e., that you offer a flexible work schedule, benefits, training, etc.).  

One way to communicate the benefits of working at your organization is via video-based job applications. This takes on a much more interactive way of delivering that value proposition. This process uses adaptive interviewing techniques to find out information about the candidate, and subsequently presenting the company information that is most relevant to them.  This is a major change from the traditional application process which is text-based, and not interactive at all.

4. Be timely 

For many companies, they think their recruiting stops once they’ve clicked the “Post this job” button. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many times, there is little to no follow up with applicants, sort of like their application just went into a black hole. This is a time to keep an open dialogue with the candidates, give them a projected timeline.  The quicker you give candidates good information about their fit and next steps the more likely you are to keep them engaged.  This will help you lower the “dropout” rate of your application process. 


5. Use the right assessments 

Lastly, and should say most importantly, use an assessment! This is crucial, I cannot stress this enough. I assure you that plenty of applicants can type up perfect resume’s, but it shouldn’t end there. There are several types of pre-employment assessments that can be used, which you can read more about hereIn terms of best hiring practices, assessments can be a real differentiator in the hiring process and should not be overlooked 


In conclusion, no matter whether there is high unemployment or low unemployment, every company’s goal should be to hire top talent.  In order to hire the best you have to first get them through your application process.  Today’s top performers are no longer willing to go through the traditional process of answering a lot of text-based questions without getting anything in return.  So, to attract the best talent it’s time to change your process to include video, interactivity, and timely communication among other things. 


Related Blog Post: Measuring the Quality of Hires Vs. Quantity 

Related Resource: Best Hiring Practices 

Related Webinar: Video-based Job Applications – A True Paradigm Shift in Hiring