How Do You Attract Talent?

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase talent attraction? Money, promotion, stability, cool product? Why do we believe a candidate will leave a job, relocate and come to work for us? By definition, attraction is a quality or feature of something or someone that evokes interest, liking, or desire. Studies have shown that only a small percentage of talent is primarily motivated by monetary gains or an “awesome” brand. When you’ve been recruiting for nearly a third of your life, you don’t need a study to tell you that. Talent does.

The Problem

It’s all about you.

I’ve yet to read a job description that clearly and concisely tells talent what’s in it for them.

  • You’ve been in business for 17 years and your team is growing. That’s great news for you. They don’t care. That’s not necessarily a benefit to them.
  • You’ve got a two page job description of all the “work they’re responsible for”. They’re already doing the job you have available. So, why are you better, different? What do you have to offer that they really want?

The Solution

You must get into the mindset of your target candidate.

Ask yourself, what drives them? What motivates them? What do they stay up at night worrying about? How can you solve their problem?

This might sound counter-intuitive, since after all, you’re the one paying their salary! But that’s not how talent attraction works. If you’re looking for a warm body to fill a seat, post an ad. You’ll find one. If you’re looking for the right fit, you must dig deeper.

  • Forces that Motivate

While motivation varies from person to person, there are a few common themes. Creatives typically desire more creative freedom, innovation, focus on quality product. Operational talent values structure, organization, systems & processes.

  • Culture & Engagement

Some prefer a larger structure where they’re able to focus on one part of the process. Others are looking for a role with more fluidity and a larger impact on the organizational whole.

The Narrative

For me, talent attraction is about crafting a narrative that frames our client’s company, culture and opportunity in a way that will motivate a candidate to engage. Tapping into the psychology of a specific skill set, cultural preferences and engagement styles. Including key drivers does our client have to offer that will benefit the talent they seek.

My search narrative rarely contains more than 3 lines from a job description. Instead, we seek to solve our candidate’s problem. And in so doing, we’re solving our client’s problem of talent attraction.


Over the last 30 days, our response rate has risen from 66% to 75% for every search we’ve conducted. The industry average is 30%. This means that ¾ of all talent we contact, directly and personally for each search responds with wanting to learn more. Building a narrative that converts: passive talent, higher quality, more options.


Want to know how I craft a narrative that converts?

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