By Ben & Alex

How to compete in 2024; retain top performers and attract best-in-class candidates.

How to compete in 2024; retain top performers and attract best-in-class candidates. 

Firms are putting together operational plans for 2024 right now and a critical component of these plans for the best companies includes planning for executive hires. We have outlined 3 key areas in the post below that will ensure your success in the new year.  

Creating a talent magnet, organization and intentionality wins.   

Research has shown that in 2023, new positions took an average of 42 days to fill with some industries taking as long as 62 days. Identifying, engaging, and converting candidates to hire within these timelines is critical if you want to attract top candidates to your organization.  

The most successful companies deploy a recruitment program that emphasizes these four key elements to attract the top 5% of candidates in their respective industries:  

  • Internal Communication: The hiring team is aligned and on-point — interview steps and timeline clearly outlined, hiring team has clear instructions and committed to interview steps and sequencing, job description thoughtfully constructed, role, requirements and qualifications clearly outlined. 
  • Interview Plan: Sequencing interview steps and where each company stakeholder will participate, agenda of each interview, messaging to applicant to set expectations for potential next steps.   
  • Brand Reputation: Consistent messaging to applicants advancing in the interview process or eliminated from consideration – interview processes and recruitment programs provide a great opportunity to increase your company’s reputation score – it also provides an opportunity to damage your firm’s reputation if not executed properly. 
  • Communication: Time kills all deals, maintaining positive, forward momentum on the interview journey is often the difference between a successful hire and an elongated, unsuccessful search. Ensuring each interview stakeholder is accountable to the process and providing timely feedback, communicating clearly to candidates’ feedback, expectations for next steps – this is easier said than done.  

Execute these steps at a high level and you will create a talent magnet for your organization. 

Define opportunity  

Another key focus of your operational plan lies in designing comprehensive opportunity roadmaps for all employees. By mapping out clear paths with defined roles, clear expectations, & rewards for top performers for both current employees and new hires, your company cultivates a culture of continuous growth and development.  

We know that every company that gives room for employee growth both nurtures existing talent and attracts great ones. 

These opportunities for career growth must then be emphasized during interviews to maintain a great brand reputation as touched on in the framework above. Your recruitment plan, interview schedules, and interview stakeholders should be thoughtfully tailored to this end as well.  

Identify motivating factors   

The most successful companies have a good pulse on their team(s)/employees, that is, they know where the bottlenecks are, the challenges, and the motivating factors that inspire loyalty and performance.  

When you interview for new hires, it represents a perfect opportunity to investigate motivating factors. This, just like annual reviews, potentially provides a window into the mindset, motivations, and aspirations of your employees as well. 

Madison Wells periodically releases snap polls to our LinkedIn network because we recognize the importance of checking the pulse of your employees; a recent poll revealed compensation to be the strongest motivating factor in 2023 (work/life balance was the strongest motivating factor during the pandemic). Other motivating factors for employees in 2023 include company culture and career growth opportunities.  


Ensure your organization has a structured recruitment program and use the interview process to internally reinforce your culture. Have employees share stories that reflect your values to potential hires. Extract insights about interviewees’ motivating factors, and clearly define short and long-term opportunities. This not only instills confidence in new hires but also fosters loyalty among top-performing employees, setting the stage for success in 2024.