The 6 Laws of Attraction when Building a Business

In a recent Vistage Confidence Index survey it is reckoned that despite the ambiguities prompted by Brexit that 70% of SME businesses remain confident about their future. However, of the 70% feeling confident, 47% of business leaders cited talent management – the ability to attract, recruit and retain – staff as their biggest challenge.  Industry data and basic demographics suggest that this will be a growing problem over the next six years as 14 million UK employees are expected to retire but just seven million people of working age will enter the market, leaving a seven million deficit.

Vistage economist, Roger Martin-Fagg, says, “When it comes to talent management this is about finding and retaining the right people to take your business to the next level. With employment levels at an all-time high I suspect business owners will have to offer new talent packages above current market levels to get new talent through the door, along with finding more innovative ways of targeting people that aren’t looking to move jobs. This is why UK SME leaders are citing this as a top concern, after all your business really is about the people that run it with you.”

So, what should business leaders be doing to give them the best chance of attracting talent? One of the key things I see in my work within the SME sector, is that organisations that are great places to work, naturally attract talent.

Is your organisation a great place to work?

According to the employer review website Glassdoor, in their 2017 ‘Great Places to Work’ survey, employees rated the following organisations as great places to work – and here’s why:


What else do you need to do to make your organisation a destination for great talent?

According to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of recruitment firm Indeed, several other factors come into play when people are looking for their next employer.

Simon Sinek’s “start with why” may top the charts of Ted Talks that have helped millions of people connect with themselves and discover their purpose but good pay and compensation – particularly for millennials – is still well ahead at the top of the list before factors such as location, flexible working, meaningful work (thank-you Simon!), the work environment, and the variety of benefits that all play a part in the choice of employer.

How does the job opportunity you offer stack up against this list:

How does talent know that your organisation is a great place to work?

Even if you area great place to work, how do people know that?  In today’s world, everyone has a lot of choice – the days of having to work at the local firm, or having to stick with a specific career are long gone.  We’re all now accustomed to doing (some) research before making our choices.  We live in a TripAdvisor age so it’s not surprising that organisations such as Glassdoor are a prime source of information for people considering changing their job.

So how do people know how great you are?  My own simple survey of client organisations that I work with, discovered that less than 20% had content on their website that actually described what it was like to work for them.  Some add vacancies to their website, but that’s not the point.  Do you actually describe what it’s like to work at your company?  Again, this is not just for large organisations.  Even the smallest company needs to display images and words that reflect who they are, and why people should work there – why stop at words and images – why not have videos of your staff showing what reality is?

The 6 Laws to help your organisation become a destination for talent

Whatever size your business, whatever sector you work in, I believe that the next 3 years will involve even more focus on getting the ‘right people on the bus’. Here’s my suggestion for the 6 Laws of Attraction that you should be doing to make your organisation a destination for great talent:

1.   Look at the way you work and the benefits you offer staff.  Again, you may think that flexible benefits, fun etc are just for the ‘big guys’ – if so you’d be making a mistake. Want an easy first step forward in this area?  Check out Perkbox:

2.   Add a permanent page on your website that describes what it’s like to work at your organisation. Make that page exciting, inspiring, fun, attractive – it’s your showcase, your shop window.  See examples (view the web pages and scroll down to see how they do it):





3.   Always be recruiting! Don’t wait until you have a vacancy before advertising that you’re open to talking to people. Great talent might be looking for an opportunity to move.  If they think that you have no vacancy they’ll look elsewhere – they may end up with your competitor.  Invite great talent to contact you – state clearly that you’re always looking for the best people.

4.   Checkout the reviews on Glassdoor – and embrace the concept!  Engage with the ‘crowd’ – they’re talking about you; why not join the conversation?

•      See the Vistage blog:

•      See Glassdoor:

5.   Implement a staff referral/incentive system.  If your existing staff love working with you, and know what great talent looks like, why not let them introduce new talent and reward them for doing so?  Check out these presentations given at a recent seminar on employee referral schemes – some great messages and techniques for in house and social media based campaigns:


Recent research from Oracle highlights employers are 5x more likely to hire a referral from an employee than any other recruitment channel.  It’s the power of the trusted introduction coupled to the improved insight and knowledge of what the role involves.  Moreover, referrals – much like customer referrals – are ranked as number 1 for:

•      Speed of hire

•      Quality of hire

•      Loyalty of hire

What is there not to like?  Especially when you consider the cost of alternative recruitment channels?

6.   “Hire Slowly – Fire Quickly” is a familiar mantra but it is misleading. As Vistage speaker Larry Roberts points out “good candidates are getting their first job offer within 14 days of making themselves available on the jobs market, so if you have an end to end process that lasts more than 2weeks, you’re already losing out to quicker more agile companies who have spotted the potential of this top candidate and have made things happen to hire them.  The mantra for today is; Hire Quickly, and do it Thoroughly”. Larry is not suggesting chopping any of the process out, rather what he is saying is make sure you get though it as quickly as possible. If you have a 3 stage process then get it done in 2 days. The more you ask candidates to come back and forth the more likely they will lose interest or get snapped up by another employer.

Don’t just look for talent when you have a job vacancy – be a destination for talent!