In today’s recruiting market, it’s becoming harder and harder to get and keep top talent. But if you’ve got what candidates want, they’ll not only come to work for you, they’ll stay.

A lot of research has been done on what employees are looking for in a job, career, and employer. And time and time again, there are a couple of key decision-making factors that keep rising to the top. Offer these two things and you’ll have talent filling your organization— and lining up outside your door.

1.) Company Culture

It seems you can’t go two seconds without seeing a headline about what millennials want at work and how you need to give it to them. But it’s not just millennials who want to be in forward-thinking organizations with amazing culture. It’s everyone.

Gone are the days when people kept their work and personal lives separate. With the rise of social media, constant accessibility, and the epidemic of busy-ness, it’s getting much harder to compartmentalize the various aspects of our lives. And today’s top talent doesn’t want to.

Job seekers are looking for positions within organizations that reflect the essence of who they are, not just as employees, but as individuals: their values, their ethics, their spirit. They know they’re going to be investing a lot of time and energy into what they do, and they want their respective worlds to be in alignment.

To be a successful business, you need to attract the kinds of candidates who can take you to the next level. Good employees have the right skill sets. Exceptional employees are excited about your organizational vision and dedicated to helping you achieve it.

The kind of company culture you create will dictate the kind of talent you attract and retain. Build a fantastic culture and you will naturally draw fantastic people in. Tolerate a toxic culture? Toxic employees will be the order of the day.

If your organizational culture needs some work, it’s worth your while to invest the time, money, and resources to re-build it. Once it’s where you want it, you can let your happy, engaged employees be your best advocates— and your secret recruiting weapon.

2.) Competitive Compensation

And just when you thought to invest in culture was enough!

It’s true that some employees will sacrifice salary for a positive work environment, career growth opportunities, or doing something they love. But at the end of the day, culture and passion won’t pay the rent. It’s not enough for your employees to merely survive. They need to be able to thrive. Do the research and make sure you’re compensating your team adequately.

·         What is the cost of living in your area?

·         Is affordable housing available nearby?

·         Are there other, more lucrative companies or cities you’re competing with?

You may not be taking these things into account, but your current and future employees are.

If salary budgets are fixed, think about what “extras” you can offer to lighten your team’s financial burden:

·         PTO

·         401(k) plans

·         Flexible schedules

·         Remote work options

·         Car/phone/technology allowance

·         Parental leave and childcare assistance

·         Medical/dental/vision/disability insurance

·         Wellness perks and discounts (gym memberships, etc.)

·         Recognition programs and performance-based bonuses

·         Tuition reimbursement/student loan repayment programs

When it comes to compensation, there’s no one right answer. Your business, industry, and market are all unique. The key is to make sure that your employees feel valued— and to make sure they can actually afford to stick around.

Attracting the best

Employers who think outside the lines when it comes to organizational culture and compensation packages will have an edge when it comes to employee recruitment and retention.

Why not be one of them?