What are Rock Star Candidates Looking for in a New Company?

Companies are constantly screening applicants in the hopes of finding someone of rock star quality to walk through the door. But at the end of the day, most of them discover just one seeming reality: rock star candidates are hard to come by.

Who are Rock Stars?

When we say rock star candidates, we’re talking about the company’s crème of the crop; the top performers in any establishment. Motivated and talented, rock star candidates are always up to the task, can handle any given assignment, and drive the company forward at a speedy rate.

They are the exact opposite of struggling employees in the sense that employers no longer need to check up on them to verify their efficiency and productivity. The hardest employees to let go, they also seem to be the rarest for companies to find.

But what most companies don’t realize is that the world is brimming with rock star candidates. The only thing is, they are also scouting for the right company themselves. So, if businesses are really yearning for high performers, they should put their best foot forward as well.

Rock Star Treatment

Over the years, we’ve seen a significant change in the recruitment process. Research shows that today’s job market is 90% candidate driven. This means that candidates now possess much more power in a job search.

In fact, it is now the job of companies to present themselves in such a way that candidates choose them. In order to accomplish this, companies must think up of ways to attract talent.

But what exactly are rock star candidates looking for? And what can companies do to successfully bring them on board?

We list down three main elements that companies need in order to attract potential top performers.

A Balance of Rewards and Benefits

As with most candidates, rock star employees would just as soon ask about the costs and rewards of working for the company. This is where a company should emphasize its Employee Value Proposition or the complete package that it can offer an employee in exchange for their services.

Unique Compensation Package

For rock star candidates, it’s important to be part of a company that is distinct from others. Since they are willing to go the extra mile to help a company move forward, they’re interested to be part of an enterprise that packs more punch than the competitor.

Companies should be prepared to provide them details on the office culture, benefit and reward packages, challenges that employees face, and even work-life balance initiatives.

Rock star candidates have most likely done their research on these elements, so we would like to warn companies against fluff. Potential high performers would just as soon accept solid and direct to the point compensations.

Competitive Salary

Moreover, rock star candidates know their worth and are sure to deliver. As such, companies should be prepared to commit when a potential top performer names their price.

Of course, we don’t want companies to say yes to an employee that they can’t afford. So, to be safe, employers should expect to negotiate or at least prepare to counter a rock star’s counteroffer.

Think of a rock star candidate as an investment. Companies would be getting as much as what they’re shelving out, sometimes even more.

Career Development

More than the pay, the deciding factor for most rock star candidates is career development. Would the company enrich their future value by broadening their knowledge, experience, and expertise?

Companies should be able to set time frames for rock star candidates. That is, there should be clear guidelines and elements for promotion and increase in compensation.

Rock star candidates are constantly looking at the bigger picture and thinking in the long-term, so it’s best for companies to direct the sights of potential recruits to a future that the company may be able to offer.

Professional Growth

In relation to career development, rock star candidates also consider their potential growth before stepping into a company.

Rock stars thrive on challenges and expect nothing less from their employers. Ambitious and critical, these potential top performers like being engaged in their work and finding solutions to the company’s problems.

Without anything on their plate, rock star candidates would likely stagnate and consequently look for other options that would help them flourish. With that said, companies should provide opportunities for rock star candidates to thrive and allow them to showcase their talent.

Value and Passion Alignment

Some companies may have the right compensation packages for a rock star candidate but not the right principles.

A Clear Advocacy

Rock star candidates are all for giving their 100% for the perfect match, and that means looking for a company that they could believe in. A company should be able to present the values that built the company and be prepared to discuss its advocacies.

For example, a company in the customer service industry should present its passion for serving others. Likewise, a potential candidate would be interested to learn about the social innovation that a social enterprise is gearing for.

Tackling such principles would allow a company to establish its leadership style and creativity, which helps potential top performers gauge whether their values align with the company’s.

Passion for the Field

But more than that, talking about their principles also allows a company to showcase its passion in its field. Rock star candidates like investing their talents in big and exciting ventures, so it’s important for them to discover a company’s passion and believe in it.

Overall, discussing a company’s values and passions would help both parties gauge their like-mindedness, increasing the probability of finding the perfect match.

Employer Branding and Reputation

Most start-up companies would be resigned to the idea that rock star candidates would rather make a beeline for big brands. But that’s not altogether true. After all, rock star candidates aren’t looking to be part of a logo; they want a company that can make good use of their talent.

So how can start-ups direct them to the right place?

It’s all in the company branding. That is, how a company presents itself during the first meeting is a crucial step in enticing potential top performers.

Attractive Office Culture

We talked about tackling the company’s values and passions, but it’s also important to show these through the office culture.

For example, rock star candidates appreciate a company that presents personal video messages that highlight its team members. Of course, this also serves as an opportunity for candidates to meet their potential new team.

Emphasis on Employees

Rock star candidates want to peek behind the scenes to find out how a company places importance on its employees.

For start-ups, it would then be ideal to share company photos, fun perks, and employee soundbites. As such, any stat that would help rock star candidates learn about the company’s employee engagement would be essential during the first interview.

Valuable Reviews

Because a start-up is not yet as established in its field, we would recommend that they encourage their current employees to post positive reviews on job hunting platforms.

If rock stars are clueless about a company’s reputation, they would certainly appreciate learning about it through feedback from current employees.