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Hiring Advice Attracting candidates How To Recruit Top Talent With Innovative Strategies
How To Recruit Top Talent With Innovative Strategies

How To Recruit Top Talent With Innovative Strategies


We know that the battle to secure top talent is difficult and quite competitive. With the current candidate pool expanding at a fast pace, you would think that attracting top talent wouldn’t be a problem. However, the truth is, top talent is actually still in short supply. In fact, the Ministry of Finance Economic Report from 2017/18 points out that the major challenges in boosting work productivity are skills shortage and mismatches in the workforce.

The report highlights the fact that employers face difficulty in finding talent, primarily due to a lack of required soft and interpersonal skills. It also highlights the fact that Malaysia is currently facing a mismatch between the supply and demand of graduates — where demand is greater than supply, especially within the ICT industry.

Even if you do find any top talent candidates, they are usually well-positioned in their current companies and have no desire to leave. However, if you do find top talent candidates who are willing to explore, then you should know that these candidates usually expect more than just an increase in salary. 

Your aim is to find a balance between what the candidate wants and what your organisation can provide, given its limitations and your talent management needs. You are both looking for common ground that is amenable and satisfactory. This is tricky to achieve– you need clever, out-of-the-box, and innovative strategies to succeed. So, to help you with your game of courtship, we have come up with a list of strategies that we think would help.

1. Know your talent fit 

Every company has unique talent needs. You need to know what your business stands for in order to target the top talent that would fit your company best. We are referring to your company’s core values and principles, vision and mission, employer brand and corporate culture. Each of these are critical considerations at the hiring stage, which are identifiable to you and define who you are. Tie them to your recruitment process to serve as guides, when sourcing for the best talent. Learn to recognise the type of top talent that you need in order to deliver on your business objectives.   

Microsoft's employer brand, for example, is to "be the one who empowers millions", a derivative of their company brand - "to empower every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more". Employees are encouraged to seek work they find most interesting and are intrigued about. A phrase within their company is, "come as you are, do what you like". 

Microsoft describes their business as dynamic, fast-forward and future-focused, and a varied and entrepreneurial business in a professional environment that embraces diversity. In Microsoft's recruitment strategy, their top talent fit will likely be those who possess qualities that resonate with their brand identity – people who are passionate, hard-working and want personal development. 

2. Tailor the perfect compensation and benefits package 

Although you may be convinced that money is the only motivation to lure top talent, it actually isn't always the case. There are many non-monetary benefits that motivate driven individuals. So, you should craft a compensation and benefits package that include tangible and intangible benefits. Tangible benefits are usually contractual items, such as paid time off (PTO), insurance costs, profit sharing, etc. Intangible benefits are centred around the candidate’s job satisfaction, bonuses, flexibility, etc. 

Find the perfect compensation versus benefits ratio for every potential hire by probing. Some candidates value career development and personal growth over salary that they are even willing to forego more money in lieu of training and career development. Other candidates value having a work-life balance and therefore would favour paid mobile data, lifestyle club memberships, gas mileage coverage, etc. Discern each individual's motivations accurately so you can craft a perfectly tailored compensation and benefits package.   

Top talent with specialised expertise are no different. Although you have to be willing to pay a high salary for this group, you still need to learn what it will really take for them to join your team. These candidates may want rent coverage for condos in specific neighbourhoods or paid tuition for their children in better schools. Again, for these group of candidates, you will need to carefully craft a personalised and tailor package. 


3. Be flexible 

One of the things you can do to become employer of choice or join the candidates’ employer finalists list is to offer flexible work arrangements. Flexi-timing and remote working options are game changers in the HR landscape and are also popular top talent choices. The growing demand for co-working spaces tells us that the way we work, how we work and where we work from are completely shifting. 

A recent survey by Randstad Malaysia showed that 90% of employees and jobseekers in Malaysia said they prefer “agile working” as it allows them to maintain a good work-life balance. 92% of those surveyed believe that having a flexible working arrangement could increase productivity and improve job satisfaction.

So, if you do own a traditionally-run business, then now is a good time to refresh your old operational patterns and understand the diverse ways of how people work today. Think about introducing or trying out a flexible work arrangement on a preliminary basis within your workplace. You can lean on mobile and cloud technology to keep in touch with your remote working, top talent. We all know your aim is to have a successful business that has a constant supply of fresh ideas, successful strategic planning and a quick turnaround on implementation. All of that is dependent on recruiting the best talent. 

4. Develop an optimum work environment 

Create a comfortable yet practical and effective workspace for your employees. They spend around 40 hours every week at the office, so their work environment is important to them. You can include creative interior design features like mobile work spaces, green elements, recreational facilities, or even creative corners where your employees can go whenever they feel creatively-challenged or just need a time-out.

This change in the workspace not only builds the productivity of your employees, but also draws in the best talent. Typically, the top talent you want are more selective and discerning about their work environment, which means you must step up and improve your workspace especially if you want them to call your company, home. 

A redesign in the workspace is not the only thing you need, to have an optimum work environment. Having the right people and a strong culture is just as important. Your employees are a critical factor in attracting top talent because these candidates are looking for people they can connect, thrive, succeed and learn with. Look into your talent management process, and see if there is anything you can fine tune to make sure you are creating an optimum work environment. 

5. Communicate your company’s purpose 

Keep in mind that people working towards a meaningful goal is far more empowering than profits alone as it gives them purpose. For millennials, this is key. Many have stated that the reason they jump between jobs is due to the company not providing a true purpose. 

So, be sure that your company is truly purpose-driven and that your management and employees believe in it. Top talent crave purpose and can easily tell when they are being tricked. Your purpose must be a part of how the company operates, its policies and its culture. 

To understand what we mean, you can look at IKEA and Google as they are two popular, purpose-driven companies. IKEA's vision is to make everyday life better for people. This purpose does not only resonate within their high quality and affordable products, it also echoes throughout their digital interactions and customer service. 

IKEA is constantly improving and asking its target audience about how the brand can be better and more effective. The company’s social media profiles are consistently praised in the media because of its sassiness. The company makes sure their purpose is a true reality and is a part of every interaction they make.

6. Invest in your employees  

Focusing on your employees’ development is key in building a successful business. Before you begin to actively recruit the best talent, you need to make sure your company is truly investing in its current workforce. Ask your managers to develop realistic career development and training plans for each of their team members. 

Top talent candidates are not the only ones who want to enhance their skills and grow their talent. You want to be able to engage and retain both your potential top talent and your current employees because they will be the driving force in how you achieve your business goals.  

Offer your top talent candidates the opportunity to work outside their comfort zones. Ambitious candidates and employees will jump at the chance of a challenge because they want to test their boundaries and push their limits. Remember to always be authentic in your talent management efforts to show that your employees are your main priority. Your authenticity will allow the top talent candidates to recognise that your company does in fact care about their future and focuses on building a culture of respect and consideration. 

7. Provide the right environment to develop leaders

Cultivate an environment where you are developing leaders by providing them with continual knowledge that will help them succeed and by exposing them to the right opportunities. You need to give them the freedom to create, innovate, and implement new ideas. 

Both independence and freedom are highly valued especially in the workplace. Show the potential top talent what you want, and your current employees, how to lead by example. Get your executives to show their commitment in leadership development, to show how each of them aim to achieve the company’s vision and goals, and to show each of their own paths to success. This internal, leadership transparency will further enforce the “leader environment” that you want your company to be known for and will be a key driver in your talent management strategy. 

8. Use a personal approach with your recruitment 

Your personal touch with the top talent candidates demonstrates that you value them, especially since the advent of technology has greatly dehumanised the recruitment process. This is why, for recruitment, while it is easier to use head hunters or agencies, a personalised approach is always better. This does not mean that by using the personal touch you will only cater to the whims of the candidate. 

You must uphold your company’s principles and standards and only give in if it is in the best interest of the company. As the recruiter, you play the part of a mediator, so you must negotiate well for both parties. Remember that top professionals want to associate themselves with companies that are honest, reputable and honourable. 


At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for recruitment, let alone, for successfully attracting top talent. Every company and every candidate is different, so remember to focus on creating the best employee value proposition for your candidate. Incorporate the elements we have just discussed and keep a lookout for what else you can do to engage the best talents. 

The key is to be creative, to know the current industry landscape so you can highlight your uniqueness. Be transparent about what your company can offer. Take the time to put yourself in the shoes of these top talent candidates so you can show them how they will be able to thrive at your company. 

With all these strategies in mind, head over to Jobstreet by SEEK - Asia’s Best Talent Sourcing Partner to look for your next top talent.

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