Fighting for top talent has never been harder. We are hearing this across multiple industries and across multiple disciplines. We are working with clients today who are trying to find top talent in Finance, Supply Chain, Technology and Engineering just to name a few. I read a recent article in HBR – Recruiting Strategies for a Tight Talent Market where the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM – I’m sure we’ve all seen their commercials) note that 2015 was the most difficult hiring period in four years. One of the biggest issues in recruiting is that companies are going to “the usual places and doing the usual things” and it simply is not working. If we are all going to the same sources – social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, then we are automatically wooing the same resources as our competitors.
So what can we do differently?
First, we can no longer assume that “if we post it, they will come”. Companies need to “treat talent as they would customers: Understand their behavior and design recruiting strategies that meet them where they are”. The article suggests finding non-traditional on-line platforms where like-minded people gather to share knowledge. Regardless of how you connect, you need to create some sizzle around the opportunity. In other words you need to “sell” your organization and the job just as if you were attracting a new customer. If you have recently had a less than sizzling reputation in the market place, own it and try to reposition your organization. For example, look at the recent ads put out by GE. They recognized that their reputation as a manufacturer was not attractive to Millennials. They took that image problem and reversed it through a number of funny ads. Those ads also emphasized “purpose over paycheck” which is very important to our younger workforce as well.
Next, nurture your own talent channels. This is one strategy that I have seen be very successful. If you are a firm that will be taking on numerous new hires a year then start recruiting EARLY – market to college and even high school students. We have several clients that are working with top supply chain schools and industry associations to identify top talent before they formally enter the professional workforce. I have seen a similar approach for accountants (and CPAs) and it has proved to be VERY successful. In addition, offering mentoring programs to students while they are still in school can give you a leg up when they graduate.
Last but not least, leverage (we know all about that 🙂 ) your personal and professional network including your employees, friends and suppliers. Employees in particular can point you to non-traditional sites they like to visit which may lead you to new recruiting avenues. Consider offering your contacts a bonus if they can help you find qualified individuals.
The war for talent is REAL and it starts with recruiting. Regardless of your “sourcing” strategy for identifying top talent, you also need to focus on your messaging. What story do you want to tell? What can you offer top recruits that is unique from your competitors? If you can’t think of anything then get to work because the only way you are going to attract and hire top talent is by offering them some sizzle!
Join the conversation and let us know what you think . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..