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Tips to help win the war for talent

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The war for top talent, across industries, is fiercer than ever before and – with access to company information and reviews available online – candidates who are the best-of-the-best in their field can easily eliminate a business from their list of potential employers for reasons which may not be on your radar.
This is according to KC Makhubele, president of the Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations (APSO), who notes that this ‘war’ makes the already daunting recruitment process even more competitive for recruiters and business leaders.
He says: “While organisations compete with each other for new business, there is an increasingly notable focus on hiring and maintaining top talent. This resource – your staff – is vital in optimising a company’s quality of service, workplace morale, productivity and revenue.
“Employers must not only ask themselves if they are applying the correct methodologies to find the right person for the right job, such as incorporating online platforms for job postings, but should also review their culture, flexibility, benefits and pay-scale to determine whether they are an attractive option for in-demand talent. Ask, ‘What is my competition doing that I am not doing? What do they offer their employees that I don’t? Why would I want to work there?'” he says.
Makhubele highlights the top factors which may be hindering your acquisition of top talent:
* Company reputation and culture – Your reputation matters to job seekers, people read reviews and engage with the others. Ensure that your perception as the “Employer of Choice” or “Best Employer”, coincides with what people think and say about your company. Otherwise, candidates may see you as just another employer in the pool. The most important influencers in this regard are your existing staff. Because people with similar interests tend to join the same forums and attend the same networking events, what your staff say to potential employees is vital. Creating a productive and enjoyable environment for staff will make them your best marketing resource.
* You don’t keep abreast with job-seeker trends – As an employer, you know who your ideal employee would be – someone enthusiastic, productive, experienced, talented, honest and up-to-date with industry news, trends and innovation. With this in mind, you need to direct your hiring efforts to reach these types of individuals. Be open to the fact that you may find your next ’employee of the month’ through mobile technology, social platforms or established professional staffing organisations.
* You don’t have accurate job descriptions – It is imperative to have a detailed job description for vacancies. These job descriptions will assist you in identifying the exact skills, qualifications and experience you require in candidates.
* You aren’t millennial friendly – Top talent from the younger generations, such as millennials, require more from their employer than just a place to be from nine to five. Ambitious, young talent require flexibility and a working environment that is conducive to career growth, creativity and balance.
* Your company web site is not current – Most candidates do some research about a company before putting through their job application, in this case your web site is always their first point of contact. Your web site is a reflection of your company and it is therefore essential to ensure that it is always up-to-date – including the careers page, client list, projects and company culture sections
* Your communication channels are blocked – When interested in a post, candidates will email enquiries to the person handling job applications or leave messages on the website contact centre. Making the candidate experience as uncomplicated and seamless as possible, helps build your brand as approachable and great to work with from the very start. Ensure that no messages go unanswered and set a maximum response time so that candidates know when they can expect a response from you. Leaving the conversation hanging can easily give your competition the upper hand.