Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
15 Sep 2015

Competing for talent in a strengthening economy

15 Sep 2015 • by Changeboard Team

Strategic thinking

According to official figures, UK unemployment has fallen to its lowest rate of 5.6% since July 2008[1], reflecting employment is on the rise. In order to keep abreast of this wave, as the economy continues to strengthen, organisations must ensure they are streamlining their recruitment and talent management strategies to support their long-term business development goals. 

1. Use your brand to attract
With 56% of employers who recruited new employees in the last year reporting that a candidate rejected their job offer, organisations need to recognise the importance of a robust, engaging and inspiring employer brand. Organisations should be looking to perfect creative interview techniques and implement cutting-edge recruitment tools to entice high-impact talent, incorporating this into how they project their employer brand. Additionally, a poorly handled hiring experience can make or break an employer’s brand – particularly in today’s interconnected world where candidates turn to social media to gather greater insight into companies and access opinions from current and past employees. This can open up organisations to both stinging criticism and praise. Businesses must use social channels effectively promote the company’s culture and engage talent.

2. Invest in your internal recruitment team 
Businesses internal recruitment teams are renowned for being great multi-taskers with drive and passion, but they are not super human. Overloading them with open vacancies will cause both the candidate and hiring manager’s experience to suffer. Providing staff with the correct tools to create job profiles, which incorporate the individual traits and drivers correlated for success in that function and level, will allow the HR department to find a candidate who is an optimum fit. Creating such profiles is not only useful as the basis for recruitment and selection but also for building out or simplifying a job family, identify jobs with significant step changes, or identify potential career pathways.

3. Rewards beyond remuneration
Strategies for attracting candidates must be fully developed to make true impact and it is imperative businesses adapt these to address the different needs and desires of current and future employees. Demonstrating innovative practices can have a huge influence when recruiting new staff, emphasising that companies need to look at initiatives beyond financial incentives in order to attract the best. From flexible working schemes for a better work-life balance and increased holiday allowance to robust career development programmes and creative working environments, employers need to be bold and targeted in their rewards packages and communicate the benefits associated with their brand.  Progressive companies are even offering headphone allowances and office based bike tune-ups to attract and retain top talent.

4. Getting off to a great start
So you’ve managed to secure a great candidate but now you’ve got to keep them. New job, new company, new career – these events are high stakes for the organisation and the employee. Companies make a significant investment in hiring a new employee and they will be making judgements on their potential, while the new employee is judging the company. Research has identified the critical factors in successful transitions often missed in traditional on-boarding processes and so it is important to support new hires to help them make the best start in a new job and increase changes of retention. Resourcing and talent management must truly integrate in order to accurately evaluate, develop and engage their people whilst outperforming their competition.

5. Be tech savvy
The use of technology solutions has advanced rapidly in the recruitment space. Businesses must be prepared to fail when evaluating new technologies, budgeting for failure with success as the end goal. There are no silver bullets when considering HR technology and the ecosystem is rapidly evolving, with mobile being a stand-out – almost 50 % of job seekers globally now search and apply for jobs using a mobile device. Organisations must put mobile strategies first, equipping themselves with mobile-ready careers sites, sharing optimised content and facilitating video interviews on-the-go. Businesses can not only extend their talent pool but also enhance their employer brand by creating a functional and enjoyable candidate experience. 

With predictive analytics as the next big thing organisations are also truly learning from the technology and data that’s available to them today. With so much information on offer from outsourced activity such as apps, assessments and exit surveys, the HR department should be using the entire employee lifecycle to gather insight and align its talent strategy with business strategy, ultimately proving its strategic value to the C-suite.  

6. Look inside your organisation too
A clear path for career growth is one of the top criteria for candidates when selecting an employer. Internal talent communities with activities and content to engage employees can help them identify and focus on their next career move within the business. While such platforms are excellent for encouraging employees to explore job profiles and register their interest in specific opportunities, a recruiter portal enables the resourcing team to search the database and contact employees about possible opportunities whilst tracking their success.

As the economy continues to improve and businesses look to expand their workforce, employing and retaining outstanding talent is a top priority for many organisations wider business objectives. With an increase in available roles candidates can now afford to be more selective, making it more important than ever for organisations to equip themselves with comprehensive recruitment strategies to deliver this pipeline of top tier talent.