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Need to attract the brightest talent to your company? Here's how...

The competition for top talent is red hot now – here’s how to make sure you get the candidates that will make your company succeed.

A FEW YEARS ago, when jobs were thin on the ground, employers held all the cards when it came to taking on new staff. In 2015, the employment market is back with a bang, candidates are in high demand – and if you are hiring, you need to be prepared to sell the merits of your company to any potential new employee.

A recent Hays survey of over 2,900 clients and candidates found that 76% of employers will be hiring in 2015 and three in five staff will be looking for a new job.

The competition for top talent is red hot now. Companies can’t just post a job specification with a list of duties on a job board and expect to find the best candidates. In order to attract the high achievers in an increasingly competitive jobs market, companies must focus on the strength of their recruitment ads.

If you, as an employer, are finding it tough to get good candidates from your job ads and recruitment strategy, don’t despair. Consider the following points and you’ll see a remarkable difference in the calibre of candidate you attract.


One thing that is important to employees across all jobs out there, from receptionists to CEOs (although arguably more towards to the lower end of the career scale) is salary. If it doesn’t cause internal issues, put the salary on the job ad and it will be far more likely to attract the right person.

It can be a challenge to hire someone without a competitive salary unless there is another very strong attraction to that particular job. You should look up salary guides from recruitment consultancies to get an idea of the going rate.


Different benefits appeal to different age groups and professions. Interestingly, the recent Hays salary survey found that ‘millennials’ value pensions and health insurance as much as more mature employees.

You should never underestimate the attraction of a benefit. Outside the typical (eg, pensions and share schemes), there are other benefits you should highlight if you offer them (gym membership, on-site restaurant, flexi hours, travel assistance, sports and social etc). If you have something of benefit to your employees, make it known.


This is a key attraction that is often overlooked. Lots of people are attracted by a central location as it is good for public transport and popping out to the shops or going for lunch.

People who drive to work, on the other hand, may like being outside of the city where they are going against the traffic and they have a car parking spot.

Your brand

Companies like Facebook, Accenture and Diageo only have to say they’re hiring and they will get a deluge of great CVs. That is down to the information the general public reads about how great these companies are to work for.

If you are a smaller company competing against the big boys, getting recognition from the likes of the Great Place to Work organisation can be a huge pull factor. If your brand is lesser known to the masses, but you are one of the leaders in your industry, let candidates know.

The team

One of the ‘make or break’ factors in the longevity of a job is the people your staff are working with or the team they have working underneath them. It’s perfectly fine to emphasise how great a team is and it is useful to give specifics like a ‘working in a team of four’ or ‘six departments will be reporting to you’.

The boss(es)

At junior level, it is unusual to highlight details about who employees report to. However, at the more senior level, this information is important, especially if the individual will be reporting into a board of directors or if they have more than one manager.

Promotional prospects

Most people are interested in having a progressive career and are actively seeking career development from their move. So if you can highlight a structured career path or fast track promotion for high achievers in your company, that is a definite plus in attracting talent.


To get the promotion, staff invariably need training and education. Companies that offer grants, support external qualifications, or have a reputation for the best internal training should shout it from the rooftops.

You can’t afford to be complacent in this current jobs market. The right person can transform your organisation. If you let them pass by, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.

Maureen Lynch is a director with Hays Ireland. 

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