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Tackling a post-pandemic talent shortage

By Chatter, on 17th November 2021

According to Glassdoor, organisations that invest in employer branding are three times more likely to make a quality hire. A quality hire means finding the right person for the job, and the right person for the company, making them more likely to thrive and be successful, and less likely to disengage and leave. I think we can all agree that’s a win.

Coming out of covid, nothing is as predictable as it used to be. The market is changing all the time. People don’t know what they’re going to do now, how they’re going to act in certain situations, or whether more restrictions are on the horizon - and trying to plan for all this is difficult.

However, this has left a challenging but equally exciting market.

The challenge comes with the volume of recruitment and the supply of talent. Demand is currently outstripping supply across the board. We’re all competing to recruit for the same roles, from a much smaller pool of people. People now have a new set of priorities and expectations because of the last 18 months.

The opportunity is where it gets exciting.

How can you think differently about the way you attract talent to your business, and leverage the elements of your employer brand that will appeal to them the most?

Once they’re in the door how can you engage and connect with them to keep them in the business to reduce attrition?

We’ve put together a list of key focuses that can help talent attraction teams navigate the coming months.

 

Sell your brand

Your EVP is your sales pitch, your toolkit to pull on when you’re speaking to candidates or advertising a role, so you’re able to tell them why they should apply and what they can expect by joining your business. It’s also your opportunity to set out your stall and tell them what you’re looking for.

Tailoring that message according to who you are speaking to, and when you’re speaking to them, will help you reach the right people. Be clear about who you are and what you offer. Getting fewer applications from the right candidates is more efficient than churning through big numbers of applications that don’t meet your criteria.

Keeping your external channels and content up to date with your most recent news, showing the best side of your business, as well as everything your EVP has got to offer, are the things that will differentiate you from the next job listing. People have been through a lot both personally and professionally over the last 18 months, so you should be clear about the support on offer to your people - thinking about health and well-being, the working environment, flexibility, mental health support, financial wellbeing. These should all be well articulated within your job adverts, clearly detailed on your career’s websites, and readily available internally to your people as they’re your biggest advocates and should be encouraged to take advantage of them.

 

Surfacing your ED&I approach

According to Glassdoor, 76% of employees say they consider ED&I (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) a top priority when evaluating potential employers.

Surfacing your approach to ED&I as part of your employer brand, talking about it to candidates, and ensuring it’s accessible on your external channels means you’re more likely to stand out from your competitors and attract the best talent to your business.

Taking a more flexible approach to recruiting talent and keeping an open mind about the traits that you’re looking for will enable access to a wider talent pool. Embracing diversity across a range of areas such as background, experience, and ethnicity will mean you might encourage applications and progress candidates that would previously have been ruled out or overlooked, in turn broadening the pool of talent you’re fishing from.

 

Focus on the journey

From the first ad, a candidate reads they are forming an opinion of a business as their potential employer. Does it sound like the sort of place they’d like to work? How much information is available? What are their interactions like with the people that work there?

Attraction and recruitment form a huge part of the employee journey and offer the opportunity to make a great first impression and start to build a relationship from the get-go. It’s the candidate’s chance to get a glimpse of what it might be like working at this business. Their interactions with you could be the make or break, the reason they take the plunge to apply or choose to accept a role with you and not with your competitor down the road.

Candidates are a rich source of information. Getting feedback from them to understand as much as possible about what appealed to them about the role and employer, and things such as what’s important to them, what they saw and liked elsewhere, and what made them choose this job, could give you the edge in attracting and retaining future talent.

 

Help your hiring managers

Keeping hold of your people has never been more important. It takes time and money to attract and recruit people into the business, so it’s worth the effort to make sure they feel welcomed, valued, and useful once they join.

Working together with your hiring managers to understand the challenges they face, as well as help them understand the challenges you are facing, could help to alleviate the inevitable pressure of dealing with high volumes of recruitment or difficult to fill roles. Knowing the deal breakers, or where there might be some flexibility to think differently about the role, or the person you are looking for, could help. As can talking about the timeline you’d both like to work towards, so you can manage communication with the candidates, to keep them warm, and avoid losing out to someone else who gets their offer in more quickly.

Finally, partnering with hiring managers to help them think differently about their teams, and succession planning, which could all help to identify and target a previously untapped talent pool, as well as work towards creating a fair and equitable working environment.

 

Your employer brand can be the key to differentiation in this competitive market. It could be the reason a candidate chooses you over someone else. So, make sure you spend time mastering your employer brand by broadening your talent pool, selling your brand, leveraging existing audiences, focusing on the candidate experience, and helping your hiring managers.

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