Employer Brand

How to succeed in attracting the right talent

By 21st October 2019 No Comments
attracting talent

The battle for attracting the right talent is bound to get tougher in the coming year. As a result, more employers are systematically working with employer branding to succeed. New research reveals overall trends to consider, but one fact remains inevitable: employers need to know who they are, and what they have to offer. Do you know what it takes to attract the best talent in your industry?

What are the driving forces for those new to the labour market? There is not one single answer to this question, because people are obviously different; they may have different interests and various needs, depending on their current life situation.

Current trends do not give you the answer on how to position your company or organisation. But they do provide an insight into what you have to offer that is perceived as attractive. Furthermore, they can give you ideas on what needs to be changed within your company to fit the needs of those you wish to hire.

Richard Mosely is a global strategic leader at Swedish company Universum. I heard him present a university study based on answers from the world’s most attractive employers: Apple, IKEA, Volvo, Amazon. The study was based on more than a thousand respondents from 41 countries, most in leadership positions within employer branding.

Universum’s experience is that the most attractive companies are trendsetters. What they are interested in today is an indication of what will be important in the future.

Let’s look at a few of the most important trends and see what we can learn from them.

Concern is mounting: even among top executives

55 percent of top executives say they are worried that the lack of proper skills will hinder innovation. 44 percent further believe that they will not be able to grow as planned because the company does not acquire the right staff.

According to this year’s survey from Universum, 80 percent of those surveyed from the world’s most attractive companies believed that the fight for talent will be tougher in the coming year. Concerns are no longer isolated to an HR or talent management department. Indeed, the issue has now reached the top executives.

Several respondents say that it is becoming increasingly important to market their company or organisation to attract, retain and engage the right employees. In 2018, 84 percent of those surveyed stated that this was among their main priorities. In 2019, the figure was 89.

So, attracting the best talent is most likely already a top priority for your organisation. But how can you go about doing it?

Related: The seven steps to putting successful employer branding into practice.

Attracting talent with your content

The world’s most attractive workplaces usually have clearly formulated employer value propositions. When asked what best describes these propositions, ‘purpose’ comes out on on top. But there is one thing to talk about your values, and quite another to live by them, day in and day out.

Employees need to know why they go to work, what should we achieve together? Your content is an often overlooked way to breathe life into your purpose, and to show the impact you make in your employees’ and customers’ lives.

Other top factors for attracting the best talent is the freedom to innovate, and the company’s relationship to diversity and inclusion. Bringing in a number of different perspectives is proven to boost your business revenue while strengthening the brand.

Related: A guide to becoming an impact-driven company, with the help of great stories.

Finding the cultural match

It is expensive to hire the wrong people; in the end, it’s a loss for both employees and the company. A cultural match between a job seeker and your organisation is more important than a trendy employer value proposition.

According to another study Universum has done with Insead, HEAD Foundation, and MIT, the Generations X, Y and Z are all concerned about how their personality fits into the company they work for, and the overall mission.

Even big global companies are now more concerned about tailoring job offerings to their employees and less concerned about putting on a global uniform that feels like a straitjacket. Flexibility, autonomy and the opportunity to exchange ideas across disciplines are three key ingredients for the workplaces of the 21st century.

Related: What do the employees of the future want?

What do these trends mean to you?

The first tip, which surprisingly many companies forget about, is: Don’t talk about yourself all the time.

The second tip is about being the most honest version of yourself. Don’t try to resemble IKEA or Amazon, everyone knows that pretending to be someone else won’t work in the long-term.

The key for attracting the best talents’ attention, loyalty and commitment must come from your company, work culture and history. After all, you shouldn’t attract everyone, just the right ones. You can achieve this by making fun of your industry, or by creating a best in-class candidate experience.


Creating a long-term and effective employer branding strategy always starts with a good analysis, both from the outside world and from the strengths and weaknesses of your own company.

Using employer branding trends is just a small piece of a larger puzzle. It is good to be aware of them, but it may be advisable not to care too much about them. Focus on fostering a healthy work culture instead, and then make sure you find ways to talk about the impact you make for your customers, employees, and society at large.

But above all, don’t fake it. Potential candidates will see right through you.

Ready to attract the right talent for your company?

employer branding guideDownload The seven steps to putting successful employer branding into practice for more help on how to attract the best talent in your industry.

Or get in touch if you want to discuss your specific needs.