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5 Game-Changing Tips For Creating a Company That Attracts Top-Level Job Seekers In today's competitive job market, it is more important than ever that your company culture is attractive.

By Dr. Colleen Batchelder Edited by Maria Bailey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In today's competitive job market, it is more important than ever that your company culture is attractive. In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, culture is the number one conversion factor for 20% of job seekers when considering a new job. Sadly, this is usually easier said than done.

This is why it's imperative to step away, seek feedback from all levels within your company and figure out how to make some fundamental changes. Not only will this result in a happier and more productive workforce, but it will make your business stand out from the rest.

So, where do you start? Well, after years of consulting, coaching and working with businesses of all sizes, here are my five key tips that are game-changers for creating a company that attracts top-level job seekers:

Encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking

You've heard it said, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." Now, in most cases, this is good advice, but if you want to attract top talent, you might have to let go of the reigns a bit.

Think about it: Top-level job seekers want to utilize their skills, help shape your business and make a lasting impact. They don't just want to pose for the holiday photo. After all, this is why you want to attract them to your company. Right?

Well, if you want to get started. Here are some ways you can foster a culture of creativity:

  • Host yearly hackathons to challenge employees to come up with innovative ideas.
  • Create a culture of continuous improvement by rewarding failure as much as success.
  • Give your team permission to challenge your ideas and offer different perspectives.

You see, creating a company culture doesn't happen by accident. It's a purposeful endeavor. And it can only take place if you're willing to foster a workplace where it's safe to experiment, fail and succeed.

After all, it's like what the great leadership expert, Patrick Lencioni said, "If good people are staying at an organization and bringing other people in, that's a really good sign that the company is healthy." And a healthy company starts by encouraging creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

Related: Steve Jobs Systematically Cultivated His Creativity. You Can Too.

1. Treat your employees as people, not resources

Your employees are your most valuable asset. In fact, your entire business is built on their knowledge and skill. This is why, if your company culture doesn't prioritize their wellbeing, you'll lose more than just their loyalty –– you'll lose their trust. And it's hard to gain that back. Something Elon Musk knows all too well.

Once he emailed all the employees of Twitter, demanding that they commit to "long hours at high intensity" or leave –– it wasn't long until the majority of employees packed their bags and walked out.

Productivity is essential — but not at the cost of your employees. It doesn't matter if you're a start-up or a Fortune 500 company. If your employees don't feel valued, they're going to leave. And then your number one worry won't be finding new talent to fill their shoes –– it will be whether or not you'll have any talent left.

Now, there are plenty of ways to show your employees you value them, but here are three specific moves that have really made a difference for my past clients:

  • Schedule monthly coffee chats to check in with each employee and ask how you can better support them.
  • Celebrate your team's successes publicly, whether it's in your company newsletter or on social media.
  • Offer competitive benefits and fun perks that make employees feel appreciated (think: flexible hours, gym memberships, gluten-free snacks etc.).

The main takeaway here is that your team should never feel like just a number. They are people –– they have lives, families and dreams –– and they want to feel valued when they enter the office each day.

Related: How Appreciating Employees is Connected with Burgeoning Businesses

2. Encourage a healthy work-life balance

In today's 24/7 world, it's more important than ever that your employees have a healthy work-life balance. Otherwise, they're going to burn out.

And who wants to work for a company where everyone is always stressed out and exhausted? Let's just say not many younger job seekers.

In fact, 78% of millennials say they would be more loyal to an employer if they had flexible work options. And most Gen Z's want jobs to accommodate their lives outside of work. Both of these generations have a work-life balance at the top of their lists.

So, what can you do to meet their expectations? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Encourage employees to take their vacation days.
  • Don't expect employees to answer emails after hours or on weekends.
  • Make sure employees have the flexibility to create their schedules.

And most importantly, set an example yourself.

If you're always working 24/7, your employees will feel like they have to do the same. But if you encourage a healthy work-life balance, they'll be more likely to follow suit.

Related: 5 Secrets to Achieving and Maintaining Work-Life Balance

3. Encourage employees to give back

Having a company culture that's all about making money is not enough.

I understand — it's essential to increase your bottom line. And even more critical to hire the right talent to help you do that. But job seekers are looking for more than just a paycheck. They're also looking to make a difference.

One of the best ways to do that is by encouraging your employees to give back. This can be done in several ways, such as:

  • Allowing employees to take paid time off to volunteer.
  • Matching employee donations to charities.
  • Organizing company-wide days of service.

And the list goes on.

There are endless opportunities. It's just a matter of finding what works best for your company and what resonates with your employees.

Related: 10 Ways Small Businesses Can Give Back Without Breaking the Bank

4. Make hybrid and remote work options available

"Working 9 to 5" might have topped the charts in the '80s, but it doesn't have the same appeal today.

No one wants to eat, sleep and breathe their job anymore. And they shouldn't have to. The idea of being glued to your desk for 40 hours a week is enough to make anyone run for the hills. But that's not to say that people don't want to work. If anything, they want to work more than ever.

They just don't see the point of being inefficient and unproductive when they can be given the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. After all, technology has come a long way. So, why shouldn't the way we work follow suit?

Remember, productivity comes from getting things done, not from putting in face time.

If some of your team members work better from home, why not let them?

  1. It will save you money on office space.
  2. You will gain access to a larger pool of top talent.

So, there you have it. If you want to create a company culture that attracts top-level job seekers, emphasize work-life balance, giving back, and hybrid and remote work options. And most importantly, remember to lead by example.

Dr. Colleen Batchelder

Leadership Strategist and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant

Dr. Colleen Batchelder approaches generational dissonance through different lenses, including anthropology, theology, sociology and ethnography. She has worked with multiple business leaders to develop corporate environments that resonate and represent the millennial and Generation Z workforce.

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