Building an Award-Winning Workplace: Small HR Teams’ Guide to Attracting Top Talent

April 27, 2023

One of the biggest challenges for companies is to attract and retain top talent. 

This is particularly true in times of economic uncertainty when the job market is tight. Whether it’s in a time of a recession or the after-effects of a pandemic, you name it, we often blame these challenges on why it’s difficult to hire great talent.  However, despite these challenges, companies can still become award-winning workplaces by focusing on recruiting great talent for their organizations.

A key to a company’s success is to master what it takes to find and keep the right talent. 

When you hire the right people for your organization, they bring with them their expertise, skills, and desire to succeed. Those that are the right match for your organization are more likely to be engaged, productive, and motivated to help your company achieve its goals. When you fail to attract or keep strong talent, it can lead to a host of problems such as increased turnover, low engagement, and decreased productivity. 

HR and Recruiting 

Recruiting great talent is a critical priority for companies of all sizes, and this task often falls on the shoulders of HR professionals. However, for smaller HR departments or departments of one, recruiting can be especially challenging. With a multitude of responsibilities already on their plate, finding the time and resources to dedicate to recruiting can be daunting. Despite these challenges, investing in recruiting great talent is essential for any organization’s success. 

As an HR professional in a small team or a team of one, recruiting top talent can appear overwhelming. Even those in larger HR teams may find themselves stretched thin, juggling the multitude of responsibilities that fall under the umbrella of HR. 

Here are a few targeted strategies to aid with recruiting when you already have a full plate:

  1. Block time on your calendar to dedicate to recruiting. This could involve scheduling dedicated time to update your job postings, review resumes, or schedule interviews.
  2. Leverage technology to streamline the recruiting process, such as an ATS. 
  3. Connect with resources and networks that send candidates to you. This could involve social media platforms, university career departments, and employee referrals (we’ll talk about that more below).
  4. Maintain relationships with prior candidates and those for that you may not have a current opening that matches their skill sets.  These connections may be a great candidate for a future opportunity.

Keep in mind that recruiting is an ongoing process, even if you do not have any current job openings, these strategies will help you to make recruiting more manageable, even with all the additional tasks you are currently handling. By staying proactive and engaged with recruiting efforts, you can attract great talent, and keep top talent that aligns with company values and culture. 

Challenges with Hiring

Whether you are hiring one employee or doubling your staff, recruiting talent can come with its challenges. 

When open positions are not filled, it can have a significant impact on your business. You may experience decreased productivity, missed deadlines, and unsatisfied customers. Unfilled positions can also increase the workload of existing employees, which can lead to burnout, decreased morale, and increased turnover.

How can you overcome challenges with hiring?

By staying consistent and creating structured recruitment strategies that align with your company’s vision and direction, you can set your organization on the path to success. 

Consider incorporating these recruitment strategies:

Hire for matching values

Hiring employees that align with your company’s values is crucial for building a strong and cohesive team. When employees share the same values and beliefs as the company they work for, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to the company’s mission. 

To ensure you are hiring employees that match your company’s values, it’s important to define your values clearly. This can involve creating a mission statement, a set of core values, and a description of your company’s culture. Once you have defined these elements, it’s time to use them as a guide when recruiting new talent to your organization. 

When recruiting new employees, it’s important to evaluate their alignment with your company’s values during the interview process. This is a great time to ask questions that help you understand their values as well as ask examples of how they have demonstrated those in previous work experiences. 

Compliment your culture

One of the best ways to attract and retain great talent is by focusing on your company’s culture. Companies that have a strong culture that aligns with the values of their employees are more likely to attract and retain top talent. 

Another way to ensure you are hiring candidates who match your company’s values and culture is to involve current employees in the interview process. Keep in mind that it is imperative you have supported your employees in developing strong interview skills and educated them on legal questions that may be asked and topics to avoid. 

Implement a referral bonus

Another great way to attract great talent is by implementing a referral bonus program. When you offer a bonus to employees who refer candidates that are ultimately hired by your organization, you are not only incentivizing your employees to refer great talent, but you are also getting an introduction to their network. Your employees are the best advocates and can help you attract talent to your company that they would be proud to work alongside. 

Employer Brand

Another important factor in attracting talent is your employer brand. Your employer brand is the image and reputation of your company as an employer. It is a reflection of your company’s values and mission and can be demonstrated on your website, social posts, and what your employees are publicly stating about your organization. 

When you invest in your employer brand, you are saying to your future candidates that you value your employees and are committed to creating an organization they are proud to work for. In fact, according to Top Workplaces, “Companies that invest in employer branding are 3x more likely to hire quality talent.”(1)

Focusing on recruiting great talent is essential for any organization, especially for those who desire to become an award-winning workplace.  By hiring for matching values, complimenting your culture, implementing a referral bonus, and investing in your employer brand, you are one step closer to attracting the best talent in your industry.  If done well, you are not only benefiting your company’s bottom line but also creating an environment that makes future hiring a lot easier. 

  1. How to Build Your Employer Brand with Top Workplaces


If your organization is looking for an advisor to help with your employee engagement survey, is looking to become an award-winning workplace or simply wants to improve your workplace culture, let’s talk about how I can help you.  Schedule a time to chat here

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Hello, I’m Angie

I help business leaders and HR professionals improve their workplace culture and increase employee engagement so that they can focus on running their organization.

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