professionalAttracting the best senior level talent is always going to be an up-hill struggle for HR professionals as these individuals are likely to be in demand. And it’s fair to say that this challenge is even more difficult in money led sectors such as IT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). But as organisations look to increase their competitive offering in a more positive economic climate, HR Professionals are increasingly challenged with sourcing senior talent without the large financial commitments. So just how can HR convince these individuals that they can offer them the best career choice?

• Consider the traits of a senior leader: The majority of individuals at executive level are likely to be motivated people driven to succeed and make their mark in an organisation. Focus on the opportunity a leader has working at your company; will there be the chance to implement new initiatives? Are you looking for someone to take the company in a new direction? These opportunities will appeal to senior talent looking to add to their successful career, so make sure you get this message out there.

• Identify reward opportunities: We all like to feel rewarded, regardless of our seniority. Look at any opportunities to offer reward schemes relevant to senior talent and sell this angle in to them. Make individuals aware of the whole remuneration package available to them – from de childcare schemes and benefits voucher to pensions and sabbaticals. Re-evaluating these reward opportunities will not only attract new talent at all levels, but will also go a long way in the retention of key skills internally.

• Be confident in your brand: A company’s reputation is often its selling point. Consider what your brand has to offer an individual – are you a leading, global expert whose name would look good on the CV of a CIO, for example? Or perhaps, you offer a name which is recognised for its growth strategy which any senior executive would benefit from being a part of? If so, tell them! Remember, your top talent need to buy into your company, so be up front regarding what is on offer through your brand.

• Offer a flexible environment: Work-life balance is an increasingly important selling point when attracting and retaining talent. In an age of mobile working and cloud CRM systems, it’s now easier for people to work away from the office. While on the down-side this does mean many of our senior talent are available for work 24/7, it has also created an environment which is conducive to flexible working. If you don’t offer this option, ask yourself if it’s a possibility as it’s likely to stand you in good stead with senior level candidates.

• And finally, be realistic: While there may be speculation that top talent are seeking higher pay packets, it doesn’t necessarily mean this is true. In my day to day dealings with senior level candidates I often come across individuals stating they will take a cut in rate if the challenge, scale of complexity and accountability is right. So before you make the assumption that salary is a priority, look at what your target talent are really after – you may find the opposite is in fact true.

Remember, in an apparently money-led market, there are individuals who will be drawn by the larger salaries on offer from your competitors. But that doesn’t mean you need to fall into this trap yourself. Yes you should pay the right amount for top talent, but consider whether you really want someone who is motivated by money alone. With cultural fit becoming increasingly important in the development of teams, HR professionals need to review what they have on offer and ensure they are not paying over the odds for talent which might not fit with the organisation as a whole.

About Mark Geraghty