How to Attract and Retain the best Candidates?

By l'équipe de Novea
Consulting Services for Employers

How to Attract and Retain the best Candidates?

In Quebec in 2022, the job market is in turmoil in all industries. Needs are pressing, resources are becoming increasingly scarce, and the battles between employers to attract and retain candidates are fiercer than ever. This extraordinary situation is forcing employers to review their recruitment methods, but also to be creative and ingenious to retain the best talent.

With its expertise, Novea gives you some tips to help you stand out from other employers in the market.

Plan Ahead 

Constantly finding yourself in a rush to find resources “for yesterday” is very stressful for talent acquisition professionals. When an “urgent” process is underway, the risks are such that you are likely to end up hiring someone who is available quickly, but does not have the skills for the role.

Finding the perfect employee is a time-consuming and energy-consuming task. To avoid having to rush your search and your decision making, it is best to assess your needs beforehand, in particular by completing a human resources management plan. By conducting a strategic reflection, an inventory of your resources, calculating retirements and gaps, and anticipating departures due to maternity leave as well as spontaneous departures, it is possible to set up an action plan that will make it possible to anticipate, to a certain extent, recruitment needs over the coming years.

Knowing what is coming will allow you to orient your actions and recruit with a mindset of quality versus quantity/rapidity. By filling your needs in advance, you will also avoid that too much work falls on the employees still in place, a mechanism sometimes responsible for a more massive departure within the same team.

The Candidate Experience 

The candidate experience is an element that has often been ignored by companies. There was a time, not so long ago, when candidates interested in a position were asked to submit their application via an online portal that sent an automated email that said “we have received your application, please note that only successful candidates will be contacted”. There may be dozens of candidates interested in joining your company who never received a call back after sending their resume to you. To find this situation normal is to neglect the importance of a personalized contact with people. If you think about it, the candidate takes time to prepare his or her CV, write a letter, research the position and the company, all this to send his or her application file, a file for which he or she may never get a follow-up. It is not surprising that in today’s environment and the lack of interaction with colleagues or management, candidates feel less and less loyalty or belonging to their employers.

When interacting with a candidate, whether it is to tell them that they are not being considered for further consideration, for an initial phone interview or for an interview, remember that it is first and foremost a mutual exchange between two human beings.

The candidate’s experience and interaction with your company may be reflected in conversations with family, friends, future colleagues, on the Internet, on your company page, etc. A candidate’s first impression of your organization is just as important as your first impression of them.

Review your Criteria, your Tasks and your Conditions 

Gone are the days when an employer could require ten (10) years of solid experience and still offer minimal salary conditions. Nowadays, finding an experienced person is a real challenge. However, it is possible, with the help of a well-established in-house training program, to consider what we call atypical candidates to fill a role. Instead of relying strictly on experience, we encourage organizations to focus their candidate assessment efforts on the candidate’s transferable skills.

You ask for perfect bilingualism, but only 30% of the tasks are in English? Perhaps it is possible to redesign the tasks internally to assign that portion of the work to an English-speaking or bilingual person?

Are all your employees leaving one by one to join the company across the street from yours? Doing some in-depth strategic thinking to understand the problem and find solutions can be a win-win. Increase the payroll, create team events, survey your employees to find out their dissatisfaction, train your managers so that they are better equipped to deal with the human issues related to team management, etc.

Act Quickly 

You have just finished a conclusive meeting with an interesting candidate, and you think he or she would be a great addition to the team? Act quickly and make an offer! In the past, it was not uncommon to see an interview process spread out over several weeks, with a reflection period for the employer that could also take a few days. Today, a good candidate may be approached several times and have several interviews per week. If you wait too long to show interest, you risk losing the candidate and having to start your process from scratch.


Flexibility is the word of the hour and has been since before the pandemic hit in March 2020. Many candidates were already trying to get a few days of telecommuting per week from their employers to no avail. Then, with containment and restrictions, telework became the norm.

However, schedule flexibility and the possibility of post-pandemic telecommuting are still very important to applicants today. Beyond the possibility of avoiding transportation and saving time every morning and evening, a teleworking employee feels that his or her employer trusts him or her and that he or she works for an organization that truly cares about work-life balance.

To conclude

To deal with the employee shortage that is taking its toll on all fields, employers need to be flexible, creative and nimble in order to attract and retain the best talent. Financial elements, such as salary increases, annual bonuses, pension plan participation, vacation time and group insurance, combine with psychological elements such as flexibility, a sense of belonging and opportunities for advancement to create a total package that will make your company attractive to job seekers.