By Jessica Miller-Merrell 
Job seekers know what it takes to stand out among the many candidates that are vying for jobs. And while they typically could learn a thing or two from the companies they’re interested in, job seekers may have a bit of knowledge to pass along to employers as well. If your company isn’t taking big steps to stand out with candidates and even to your current workforce, there might be a few lessons for you to learn as well.
These days, it takes more than a plan and moderate effort to recruit and retain the best talent. What it takes is standing out in a sea of sameness that so many companies have fallen into. It’s easy to become part of the masses but companies that are ready to bring on and keep the best are realizing that in the talent race, you have to go for it.
Standing out starts early
Standing out from the sea of sameness starts long before a candidate ever makes the buying decision of applying to your company. In fact, standing out from the masses is what is going to catch the eye of the talent that every company wants. This means that you have to proactively reach out to potential candidates. Even excellent companies will have trouble bringing in the best talent if they don’t actively seek out these people out. It often occurs across many channels, with many touch points, courting and wooing the candidates that will someday make a big impact in your company.
Standing out is a like a long-term relationship
Just as important as stepping up and standing out early is the need to continue to stand out to your employees long after they join your company. We all know that the cost of recruiting an employee can be astronomical, so curb those costs and put your company in a position to grow and retain the best talent by continuing to stand out throughout their tenure. This occurs by having a company culture that shows employees they’re valued and appreciated. It’s certainly easier said than done but employees just want to feel that they are an important part of the team and are vital to its success. When they believe that’s is the case, you will stand out because for every company where an employee feels valued, there are a hundred more where employees feel invisible. When you see companies that are able to not only attract the best talent but also retain them beyond 18, 24 and even 36 months, chances are they’re doing something to make themselves stand out.
All on board
It’s excellent to be motivated to help your company stand out internally and externally, but in order to be successful, your leadership has to buy in as well. From your CEO down to front line managers, all must be behind the effort to elevate your culture and recruiting to stand out. Some companies attempt to polish their image, update graphics and messaging and do a lot of talking, but the companies that are recruiting, and especially retaining, the talent everyone wants are those that practice what they preach. When the effort to make potential candidates feel like they’re at home with your company and to impress upon current employees that they are part of your team becomes a priority outside of the HR and recruiting department, good things happen.
 From recruiting to their last day, and from the top to the bottom, how is your leadership standing united and rising above the sea of sameness to recruit, retain and hire employees for your company?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

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