The battle for talent; how to win

The battle for talent; how to win

Some say the war for talent is over, while others categorically argue that it still continues to roar, and companies need to take every tactical advantage they can muster.

An article from Fast Company references a study from the Wharton School of Business, which states that companies fill less than one-third of open positions with internal candidates. This leaves a huge majority of vacancies to fill from an ever-shrinking pool of external applicants.

How can your business compete in the market against such fierce competition?

Change your method of search

It’s no longer enough to simply place a job ad and hope that the best candidates will flock to you; unless your business is a household brand with a queue of graduates lining up straight from university. Even then, you may not always attract the right people for the job.

Build a candidate avatar

The smartest companies are scoping out their ideal candidates and building candidate avatars before going to market. They’re identifying the type of person that they’d like to work for the company, what skills they have, what makes them tick, and what would motivate them to join the team while maintaining a fair and unbiased hiring process. By building a candidate avatar, you’ll know who you’re looking for before the search begins.

Look internally and good use of specialist recruitment firms

In a 2017 recruitment trends report by insights company GetApp Lab suggested that recruiters need to diversify their talent generation channels if they are to address the shortage in talent.

The same report suggested that employee referrals provided the shortest time to hire and the highest quality candidates, compared to using paid job boards, which came out among the lowest percentage of time to hire and quality. Therefore, it makes sense for employers to beef up their internal hiring and referral policies and offer greater rewards to existing employees for referring key talent.

Recruitment agencies also came out well on time to hire and quality of applications. Choosing to use a specialist recruitment firm that knows your business and its culture, could be a significant resource in the battle for talent.

Show what it’s like to work for your company

Candidates want to understand what they’d gain by joining you, aside from the salary and benefits package. Therefore, it’s important to get your house in order and make sure there is content available to show prospective applicants what it’s really like to work for your business.

For example:

  • Add videos to YouTube, your website and social media channels to show off your working environment. Interview employees on camera who will provide an honest and positive voice
  • Check for and minimise any negative reviews on review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed
  • Be sure your company’s communication style is respectful and aligned with your core values

Beef up your candidate experience

We’ve mentioned this in another article, but candidate experience from the very start is absolutely crucial to your success.

Your candidates need to feel loved from the moment they start the application process. The candidate experience, good or bad, will influence the way the candidate feels about your business. And, those with a good experience, will be less likely to walk away from a job offer.

A few ways to provide a great candidate experience includes:

  • Making sure you’re hiring for real need, and not just storing candidates for the sake of it. Candidates need to get a sense of purpose from their future roles and an understanding of why the vacancy exists
  • Write clean and clear job descriptions that don’t alienate candidates. Don’t forget that some of your best candidates will come from out of the industry, so ditch the jargon and write in a way that everyone can understand. Be clear on what the job might entail and what they can expect from your company culture
  • Give every candidate your full attention. There is nothing worse for a candidate than to spend hours applying for a role, just to be ghosted by an employer or recruiter. Every candidate deserves your attention

Think beyond the salary

Lack of management recognition, lack of meaningful contribution, being bored and unchallenged, and relationships with co-workers are among the top reasons why employees quit their jobs, according to The Balance Careers. Salary is of course on the list, but it’s no longer the driving force.

To win the battle for talent, employers to need to think beyond the salary and focus on the things that matter most to the workforce of today.

Candidates need to be aware of the perks of joining your business. And, we’re not talking about fat pay cheques and company cars. Things like learning opportunities, a great culture, employee recognition, autonomy, trust, diversity, flexibility, and working for socially conscious business.

Think beyond the salary and make sure your candidates are aware of what they’ll gain by choosing you above your competition.

Prepare for the future, today

According to the Mercer global talent trends report for 2019, the transformations that will help organisations swiftly and confidently embrace the future, involve plotting a path to what customers will value tomorrow.

What does this mean in the battle for talent?

It means creating an integrated people strategy that pays attention to today’s needs while tipping the balance in favour of tomorrow.

By recruiting for roles that may not even potentially exist yet, companies will be offering talent exciting and unprecedented opportunities for career progression that far outstrips that of the competition.

How will you ensure that 2020 is the year that your business ups your game in the battle for talent? We’d love to hear your comments.

Are You Winning The Battle?


Call Kelly Chandler on 0333 3445577 to explore how we can help