4 Incentives That Could Win Over Top Candidates

“We’ll give you a $37,000,000 signing bonus.”

Wouldn’t you love to be able to offer a sky-high incentive like this to land a superstar?

It’s what the New Orleans Saints offered Drew Brees in 2012. But unless your organization’s pockets are as deep as the NFL’s, you’ll need to find a more (ahem) cost-effective way to win over top candidates.

Which brings us to the point of today’s post. What incentives work best to hire – and retain – talented professionals? Here are four things you can offer to tip the scales in your favor:

Competitive salary and bonuses.

Not surprisingly, this Harvard Business Review post shows that competitive compensation, coupled with other bonuses and merit-based rewards, are the things high-performing employees say they value most at work. And it makes sense:  top professionals understand their worth, and they know that performance-based incentives pay off for them.

Do your homework in advance of the interview. Make sure you have a line on what your competitors are paying, so you can design a competitive compensation plan that attracts high performers, and rewards them financially for achieving their goals.

Growth opportunities.

High performers evaluate potential job changes strategically, so one of the best ways to incent a promising candidate to join your team is by creating an “opportunity gap” (i.e., a significant difference between the individual’s current role and your available position). Don’t merely present a list of job responsibilities; sell the career move. By appealing to a prospect’s need for growth and advancement, you have a much better chance of winning him over.

During the interview, explain how you will help the candidate chart a future with your organization. Discuss career planning, mentoring, “stretch” assignments, training, education and advancement opportunities that will be available if they join your team. Make it easy for a high performer to visualize their growth within your organization.


As a rule, high performers are responsible, self motivated and self directed. In other words, they don’t need (or enjoy) micromanagement. Furthermore, they typically work harder and longer than average employees.

High professional standards and busy schedules make it challenging for talented professionals to achieve a healthy work-life mix. So to win over top candidates, sell your culture of flexibility. Detail your flex work offerings; highlight the control candidates will have over how they accomplish work; and explain the safeguards you have in place to guard against overwork and burnout.

Adequate support.

High performers want to work for organizations that allow them to focus their time, attention and resources on their most important priorities. Explain how you will provide the support they need to do their jobs well (and rely on Corps Team to deliver that flexible support!).

As a leader in flexible professional staffing and search, our services deliver:

  • Experienced professionals (fractional, project-based and interim) to afford your direct employees greater flexibility – and deliver the support they need.
  • High performers to grow your core team.

Contact your local Corps Team office to learn more.

CorpsTeam-Want more information


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *