Four ways the most successful companies are attracting talent

Although the labour market has slowed since last year, the strongest candidates across sectors still can choose between multiple offers. What are the most successful strategies for attracting top talent? In this article, LHH FESCO provides four lessons drawn from across sectors and regions on making companies more attractive to potential employees.

1. Be flexible – especially about flexibility

The pandemic has led to a lasting change in how people view their work-life balance: the genie of flexibility will not go back in the bottle. For example, in the United Kingdom, flexibility is now considered to be the most important value proposition an organisation can offer by 57 per cent of employees in the legal sector and 62 per cent in the accounting and finance sector. In-demand candidates are very keen to know how rigid their prospective employer will be in terms of their expected working location and hours.

In the post-pandemic debate around work-life balance, the idea of the four-day work week is currently gaining traction. The jury is still out on whether this model makes sense – for example, in client-service sectors such as law that have long working hours, it is not yet seen as a realistic option.

In a labour market where candidates hold the balance of power, companies also need to be flexible about what they can potentially compromise on. Are they willing to train candidates in some skills needed for a role, for example, if the candidate demonstrates positive attributes—such as attitude—in areas that can’t be trained as easily?

2. Persuade the candidate that you have a business case for hiring them

With fear of an economic downturn making candidates more cautious, one key factor is the company’s ability to convince the candidate that they have thoroughly thought through the business case for creating the opening on offer. For example, among legal professionals, 40 per cent place a high importance on job security. As a result, candidates are pressing employment agencies for details on the financial position and prospects of the companies offering roles.

3. Communicate clearly about the hiring process – and stick to it

In the post-COVID hiring spree, candidates often expressed frustration when a hiring process took too long. The more hoops they were asked to jump through, and the longer they had to wait for a decision, the more likely they were to drop out of the process.

This has changed somewhat with the aforementioned growing sense of caution on the part of candidates, who now are more likely to appreciate a process that feels rigorous enough to reassure them that the opening is right for them. Companies need to strike a delicate balance between a process that is frustratingly slow and one that seems too quick to be sufficiently thorough. The key is to be transparent upfront about what the hiring process will involve – and to stick to the process and timelines. When additional steps are inserted into the process, or feedback and decisions take longer to arrive than the candidate is expecting, it risks giving the impression that the company culture is indecisive or that the candidate’ s time is not valued.

4. Sell the company culture

Candidates want to get a sense of what a company is really like, rather than simply reading its website. Do people talk about their children and seem to value a life outside the office? Is the company serious about its commitments on issues such as sustainability or equality, diversity and inclusion? Candidates may also want to know which products they will be working with every day – there is a ‘braggability factor’ in joining a company that puts them to work on trendsetting platforms.

Recruiters can help with selling the company culture when they build up a track record of placing people at a company: by staying in touch with them, they can pass on feedback to new candidates. However, companies can also help by making sure that the manager a candidate will be working with is actively engaged in the hiring process. Candidates want to get to know who will be mentoring them and feel confident that they will fit in.


In the current fluid labour market, attracting talent continues to be a major challenge for companies across sectors and locations. According to LHH FESCO research conducted among organisations searching for talent, 27 per cent say “attracting or connecting with diverse talent” is one of their top challenges, second only to “understanding current skills gaps”. Given how quickly the labour market is changing, up-to-date insights are critical. When asked what measures they are currently implementing or considering to address these challenges, organisations’ top answers were: “hire an external recruitment/talent acquisition provider” (28 per cent); and“ invest in data-driven insights” (25 per cent). It is now more important than ever for human resource departments to improve their hiring processes, adequately sell their company culture and and update their talent strategies.

Note: A Chinese version of this article, titled 成功企 业吸引顶尖人才的四大策略-专家洞见与趋势分析, is available on the LHH FESCO website.

LHH FESCO is a human resources (HR) management consulting joint venture founded in Beijing in 2021 by LHH, one of the global business units of The Adecco Group (TAG), the world’ s leading HR service provider, and FESCO, a pioneer and leading integrated HR solution provider in China. With local expertise and global infrastructure, LHH FESCO supports clients‘ needs throughout the talent journey, from recruitment to career transitions, leadership development and legal consulting. We empower organisations to expand their capabilities and workers to build brighter futures.