Why is talent attraction important in this climate?

Written by
Changeboard Team

26 Oct 2010

26 Oct 2010 • by Changeboard Team

Recruitment landscape has changed post-recession

There’s nothing as certain as uncertainty. This time last year, many in the wider business community might have concurred with that statement. It certainly seemed that recruitment especially was very finely balanced; we were operating on a knife edge and we were all pretty much feeling our way and managing day to day. Many firms scaled back and all were studying their cost:income ratios daily.

And yet here we are. One year on and, from a recruitment perspective at least, the business world would appear to be in a very different place. While there is still a cautiousness - mainly as a result of the pressures put on the public sector and the media - in some ways, the recruitment industry, which sits at the coalface of the services sector, is defying any rumours of uncertainty.

Employer brand back on the agenda

Some 13 years after Mckinsey first coined the term, the ‘war for talent’ is very much back on the agenda and candidates are beginning to have more bargaining power rejecting offers from reputable firms who are seemingly offering a great career and a great place to work. Employers are being left wondering why - and especially so soon after the boot was very much on the other foot.
Now even the best places to work are having to revive and refresh their employee value proposition and focus very much on the total reward offering for their staff. The power of the employer brand (its perception and its reality - which need to be closely aligned) is back on centre stage as well as the relationship-led recruitment lifecycle. Both need to be in good shape in order to attract and onboard the best candidates quickly and efficiently without losing out to the competition. And, of course, a strong focus on these areas will also have a positive influence on retaining a firm's best talent.

Competition for top talent is increasing

In the last few years, many of our corporate clients - some of whom we have worked with for over 20 years - have often, crudely speaking, morphed into becoming competitors. They have either outsourced recruitment to an RPO, or established well-oiled internal resourcing teams of their own, whose main focus is to onboard talent from direct channels.

Recently, however, many of these clients have been reaching out to us as recruitment consultants for help, in order to cope with increasing demand that the existing structure is unable to handle. Recruiting recruiters for these types of business was almost unheard of over the past three years, but the demand for recruiters (both in-house and onsite) is the highest it has been for some time now. We are even struggling to find top talent for ourselves.

Many employers are having to work harder to attract good candidates. It's difficult to reach out to the passive candidate and the one that doesn't necessarily have the right ‘labels’ or ‘ticks in boxes’ to get through a formal, banal process - that has often been set up to reject rather than accept - but does have the attitude, values, EQ and personality to be a good match to their prospective employer.

Optimism in the private sector for further growth

Times have changed, and so much more quickly that we could have ever anticipated. Talent and engagement remain a key focus with employers’ attraction strategies becoming ever more critical.

We are cautiously optimistic and are certainly not currently feeling the threat of a double dip recession. In fact, along with the majority of clients and candidates in the private sector that we are liaising with daily, there is a very positive feeling; steady growth but possibly not at the rate we have experienced in the first half of 2010. 

Relationships: key to good recruitment in 2010

Employers need to work more on the relationship-led recruitment model and need to be increasingly flexible and open minded in order to attract the best.

A focus on competency led recruitment rather than a blind reliance on background which implies competency will help create the open minded approach that is increasingly required in order to attract, recruit and retain the very best HR professionals.