How Do You Attract Talent When There Is a War for Talent Going On?
War for Talent refers to high competition among employees to attract and retain the highly skilled workforce. The shortage of skilled workers due to the demographic change and the decline in the birth rate exacerbated this competition. So, how do companies attract talent nowadays and what does the future look like?
What is the War for Talent?
The term War for Talents first appeared in 1997 in a study carried out by the McKinsey consulting company. More than two decades later, little has changed. Quite the opposite, the skill shortage got even worse. Talented and well-trained employees are more sought after in the labour market than ever before. The main reason for the shortage of skilled workers is due to demographic change and the following decline in the birth rate. As a result, more and more companies are vying to attract the best talents on the job market.
At the same time, companies are also less and less willing to provide initial training for employees and adapt their working conditions to the growing demands of the workforce. This leads to many positions remaining unfilled, particularly in engineering, IT and healthcare fields. A study by Ernst & Young from 2017 shows that companies lose more than 50 billion euros per year because of their inability to adapt.
How Do You Attract Talent Nowadays?
Over the past decades, many large and small companies have tried to win the war for talent in very different ways. The result of these efforts is sobering. For example, there is no single measure that guarantees success. Instead, recruiting talent is a complex and long process that influences the entire company culture.
For example, the generation of Millenials is looking for secure employment and a sense of purpose in their work. These young and well-educated professionals expect an excellent working atmosphere, flexible working hours and a good work-life balance. To attract this workforce, companies should abandon strict hierarchies and micromanagement. The same applies to the expectation of lifelong employment or rigid career advancement as they should fall by the wayside.
Which Recruitment Methods Should Companies Use?
At the heart of every successful HR management strategy is the creation of a heterogeneous talent pool. The more diverse the pool, the easier it is to limit employee turnover. Various options are available to fill the talent pool. For example, school and university students working in the company as part of an internship are the best options for finding future talent. For this junior staff, the internship, in turn, offers the chance to gain an insight into the world of work. After completing their training, the most promising candidates can be tied to the company in the long term via other trainee programs. Here, however, it is essential to establish a respectful relationship with the prospective employees. Unpaid or poorly paid internships often share their disappointments with fellow students, making the company unattractive as a future employer.
Social media plays another vital role. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, companies that fail to cultivate their social media image risk missing out on many talented candidates. Nowadays, it is perfectly fine to hire employees through social media. An employee referral program is a recruiting strategy that combines the two methods. Your current employees become brand ambassadors within a referral program by sharing job openings on their social networks. Thus, the HR department is able to reach the passive workforce and accordingly hire highly skilled workers for hard-to-fill roles.
What Makes a Company Attractive?
Current surveys show that almost 60% of all applicants abandon the application process because it takes too long. Additionally, more than 40% of all prospective employees do not receive further training at the company. Besides, more than 30% of employees do not feel sufficiently supported by their company when it comes to digital training. These statistics make it clear how important an efficient application process is. Companies that provide further training clearly stand out from their competitors.
However, to make the company attractive to the new talent, some further measures must be taken into account. In particular, companies should distinguish themselves through excellent leadership, a pleasant working atmosphere and attractive overall working conditions. In this context, highly talented prospective employees are in many cases much more willing to forgo a top salary if the company offers them enough flexibility in return so as to perfectly combine their professional and private lives. Of course, all of these factors must be reflected in the company culture and skillfully communicated via the company’s communication channels and social media networks.
How Does the Application Process Differ for Different Areas?
The TA himself often makes a difference in the applicant’s decision to accept or refuse the job offer. First-class recruiters are not only sensitive and competent in this matter but are also willing to develop their skills constantly. They also dare to try unconventional methods to convince applicants that the company is worthy of working for. However, depending on the industry and field, a company needs additional measures and strategies to attract the top talents.
Employer branding – the employer brand as a solution
The term “employer branding” combines all the measures and strategies companies implement to be perceived as an attractive employer by potential applicants. The aim here is to increase the company’s visibility and to stand out from the competitors.
The smartphone is our faithful companion, which means that almost no one can escape social media entirely. Therefore, for successful recruiting, it is necessary to adapt the company’s presence on social media both towards the target of prospective buyers and prospective employees. Linking job advertisements to the company site is one of the options to achieve this.
However, social media offers far more opportunities to promote your company’s brand. For example, the HR department can easily share posts about company events, interviews with workers and interns, and videos about the company’s everyday life on the company’s communication channels.
Building the so-called talent communities is another option for filling the company’s talent pool with suitable candidates. This can be done by cooperating and creating internship agreements with universities, or asking colleges with high technical formation to train people in the different fields. Companies should also maintain contact with former employees, interns and promising applicants who had been considered for a position but did not make it to the final step. The data can be collected in dedicated software systems and linked to resume databases or career networks. Maintaining contact with all the prospective employees creates a strong talent pool companies can turn to for filling vacancies.
What Is the Future of the War for Talent?
Experts believe that the war for talent will worsen in the future. It will grow in intensity due to two main factors: the constantly decreasing birth rate and globalization. There is already a lack of the workforce given by the graduates increasingly accepting attractive job offers from abroad. Moreover, they are putting more and more emphasis on filling their lifetime with meaningful jobs and unforgettable experiences. To follow the trend, TA managers will need to devote far more time, ideas and creativity to the application process in the future. However, the latest technological developments such as artificial intelligence can help TA managers make the recruiting process more effective and transparent, so they can find the employees they are looking for far more quickly.
To attract the sought-after talent, companies must streamline their recruitment process and provide their employees with support and assistance even after the hiring. Effortless onboarding, flat hierarchies, remote or flexible work, inclusiveness and open company culture, training programs help with talent mining and are just a few ways to convince a highly skilled workforce that your company is their best option. Despite the automation of the hiring process, personnel selection must never be one-dimensional. The TA managers who succeed in creating a broad talent pool and establish transparent and open communication via social media with their prospective applicants will be a step ahead in winning the war for talent.
The current infographic provides interesting facts on how to find, retain, and promote the best talent.