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Win the war of talent attraction

12.03.2014

Win the war of talent attraction

Five top tips that will make sure you beat the competition in attracting the best people to join your business.

With a resurgent economy and widening skills gap, attracting and retaining the brightest talent should be high on the agenda of any ambitious company.

We all want high-flying employees who create a positive impact and drive our business forward. With more vacancies in the UK than at any time since the recession began in 2008 (580,000 according to the ONS), talent is a scarce commodity and identifying and recruiting the top performers is no mean feat.

Manage your brand

The most desired employer in your industry is more than likely the most well-known. This means to compete for the best you need to manage your reputation effectively.

If you want to encourage people to think of you as a business they’d love to work for, you need to first understand the perceptions they have of you as an employer.

Once you know where you stand, you can make sure you’re consistently sending out the right messages to combat any negative opinion that might be holding you back.

Know what you want

Clearly defined roles, responsibilities, requirements and career paths will make you a more desirable employer.

To create a persuasive recruitment campaign you need to let potential employees know not only what you want from them, but what it is you’re offering in return and what makes you different from the rest.

Be clear on skills and competencies. Try taking a closer look at all the successful people that have worked in your organisation (past and present). If you can recognise the traits they have in common, you’ll be much better equipped to pick out who your most successful employees are likely to be.

Create effective teams

It’s often said people leave their bosses and not their companies, so consider carefully who you promote to positions of management.

In reality, a lack of opportunity for personal development is the number one reason people decide to move on, but make sure you remain resolute when promoting people in to leadership roles. Try to ensure this is earmarked only for those who actively enjoy investing time in others, helping them succeed and grow.

Be flexible

Don’t be afraid to consider more experienced applicants or people re-entering the work place. If you’re open-minded you might be surprised at the number of great people out there.

It’s rare to discover what’s special about a person from their CV; it’s often the connection you make that tells the true story because you can train for skills, but not a positive attitude.

Whilst technical skills vary between industries, there are certain attributes to look out for in any recruit: general intellect; strong work ethic; initiative; personal values aligned to the business; desire to learn; sense of responsibility; accountability; and being a team player.

Employees who are talented and fit culturally can be hard to find, so if you recruit someone who turns out to be aligned to your company but doesn’t work out in the position you employed them for, try moving them to another role that makes better use of their strengths.

Keep it simple

If you treat potential employees like they’re your customers you will never go far wrong. Even if you don’t employ them, you want them to leave as advocates who would work for you in the future.

If you know what you’re looking for, be quick and act fast. Don’t give the competition any chance to beat you to best people. Advertise, interview, offer and provide feedback… and once you’ve found the right people, don’t be afraid to fight for them! 

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