Every architecture and interior design firm wants to attract star talent, but how do you attract them? What are the looking for? These stars need to be able to see that your firm has what they want. Here are some tips for better understanding high-quality candidates.
1. A Challenge
All-star candidates want a challenge. They are driven to improve themselves and they understand that they can’t learn unless they’re challenged. Top candidates are highly intelligent and need a stimulating environment to keep from becoming bored. Companies have to clearly articulate how they are going to challenge the candidate in the job, in the larger profession and during their long-term career. Tell them about what development and advancement opportunities are available. Outline it on the website, make it talking points in job descriptions and posting, and talk about it at length during the interview process. This is one of the best ways to appeal to smart, driven candidates.
Never discount the ego! Star candidates want recognition when they succeed in a challenging environment. Some employees are more overtly reward-driven, but even people who don’t seem like they need constant encouragement still want to be recognized for their hard work. It will be difficult to appeal to star candidates without some kind of employee recognition strategy. The more personal and specific the recognition is, the better. A few ideas are to reward them at monthly meetings or happy hours. A great way to show recognition is to have the employee participate, make them an active and key part of the firm’s functions and processes.
While star candidates want a challenge, they don’t stress! The are two different things. A challenging job will help the employee develop their skills while keeping them engaged. Stress will drive them out the door. When work becomes too hard, it’s a problem. The employee still needs to be able to do their job. There has to be a good balance. If the work is so challenging the employee can’t perform the job successfully, it is just going to create stress. When giving challenging new tasks, training needs to take place, or things can become overwhelming fast.
To overcome this, the manager has to understand, in great detail, the strength and the learning opportunities of the star talent. An 80%, 20% balance between the two (knowing and learning) is usually a successful way to keep the start talent doing reward worthy work while also providing and challenging work environment.
If you are not able to communicate the type of opportunity you have in your firm, you will never attract the start talent you seek. Once you have a clear understanding of what high performer want, start to develop an outreach strategy that appeal to them. You will need to clearly articulate these strategies and descriptions to candidates to win them over. You also want to give candidates clear examples of success, challenges, and any other important aspect of your strategy. Saying the work is rewarding and challenging is one thing, but actually illustrating how it is will be much more compelling.
The best way to appeal to star candidates is to understand what they want and design strategies that appeal specifically to them. A career that challenges them professionally is at the top of this list. The next step is communicating to candidates how the company will align with their individual goals.
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