How Your Competitors Lure Top Talent

Last Updated Apr 17, 2008 10:01 AM EDT

Even in a decelerating economy, competition for top young talent remains high. To attract these folks, you need to be creative. Your competitors certainly are.

Tammy Erickson blogs on Harvard Business some examples of what top companies are offering hot candidates. Here's a sample:

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car presents some new hires with the opportunity to go to MBA bootcamp and then run their own business.
  • More and more companies offer yearlings the opportunity to work in programs that help the surrounding community. "One major insurance company is offering new recruits the promise that, after 18 months, they will have an opportunity to spend a week in Nicaragua building houses with the CEO," writes Erickson.
  • With job applicants often concerned about the speed of promotion, companies such as Abbott Laboratories create mentoring, training, and evaluation programs that put new hires in direct contact with senior executives in the first months of starting their new position.
OK, so you aren't going to out-benefit the likes of Google, which provides, as we've all read, gourmet meals and back rubs to workers. But by listening to what your candidates are telling you about life as well as career goals, you may be able to design a custom job offer that foie gras in the cafeteria can't match.

How do you land your best candidates?

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.