A Talent War Is Raging: Are You Ready?

February 8, 2018

Staffing experts agree that unemployment levels are not reflective of the talent war raging today. Organizations are constantly having to change to attract the best talent and bolster the loyalty of their most productive employees.  

In key sectors, such as IT, telecommunications, energy, environment and provisioning, demand for employees is growing as quickly as the pool of candidates is shrinking.

In a market where candidates with key skills have more choices than ever, even the most prestigious companies are having to outdo one another to have a hope of competing in an all out talent war.

So how does one go about winning this talent war? How are you going to be the firm that a candidate selects?

Tip 1: Agility and Flexibility

Do your organization’s hiring processes tend to drag on? If so, it’s a factor that can work against you.

Today, the agilest organizations have the best chance of snaring talented candidates by being able to quickly make them an offer. It’s important not to confuse haste for agility: the goal here is to review your hiring cycle, remove needless delays and streamline the process.

Tip 2: Strategic Talent Acquisition vs Recruiting

It’s important to realign your HR department from traditional ‘recruiting’ to ‘strategic talent acquisition’.   

Analysis conducted by Phil Exec Search Solution in June 2017 demonstrated the differences between recruitment and strategic acquisition. Looking at it simply, recruitment focusses on hiring someone to fill an immediate need, whereas with strategic talent acquisition you’re focussing on the future.

Strategic talent acquisition puts emphasis on medium & long term acquisition strategies based on using candidates skills and talents more than just industry experience and education.

Talent Acquisition encompasses 6 fundamental steps for acquiring the best talents: recruiting, workforce segmentation, employment branding, candidate relationship management, metrics & analytics and talent acquisition planning & strategy.’

Recruiting is only part of the process.  This new strategic mode looks far beyond a CV and focusing on talents that candidates have.

Some companies have put together their top sourcers under a unique Talent Acquisition Team whose goal is to set the organization’s entire attraction strategy based on its core values, skills and core competencies.  

Soucy International HR Executive Director, Annie Ducharme, set up a department with the obligation to ‘develop attraction strategies by identifying the best talent requirements in line with the corporate culture’.  

“We have identified key senior talent acquisition experts to build this new department.  Our goal is to map our ideal candidates and the  talents we require to meet our growth objectives in medium and long term.  We have also decided to sign corporate agreements with two major executive talent acquisition search firms to partner into the setup of this new department.’’

Tip 3: Make use of IT , finance , and marketing department tools

The third key factor in enticing talented candidates is the quality and attractiveness of your offer. In addition to the basic conditions – salary and benefits  – what do you have to offer potential employees that are distinctive and will help you win the talent war?

It could be personalized development plans paired with a stimulating career path or the opportunity to take part in the ownership of the company.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.  Do you use the available communication technologies or search engines to maximize your chances in reaching those talents?  

Premier Tech (a major horticulture Tier 1 organization) have made it a policy.  The CEO, Jean Bélanger says there are no compromise to fit.  

“Fit with corporate values surpasses education & experience.’’

They have built a talent acquisition team and rigourous talent acquisition processes to ensure that candidates talents and potential have been clearly identified and discussed.  

All middle to upper managers are also met at the end by the CEO.  We are talking about a CEO responsible for 3600 employees with a Billion dollar business in 23 countries around the world.

Their branding as a unique entrepreneurial multinational organization is a key to their successes in attracting talents. The marketing communication departments have contributed in wording the right message for talent target audiences.

Johnson & Johnson have also spent great deals on establishing talent acquisition strategies and invested in employer branding.  They have developed algorithms that assess & measure keywords that are use by target audiences who respond to their ads.

In their article “3 ways Johnson & Johnson is Taking Talent Acquisition to the Next Level’’ J&J point out the importance of job descriptions in talent acquisition.

Johnson & Johnson is using Textio, a writing platform that reviews job descriptions for phrases that could turn off potential applicants. This approach has contributed to differentiate Johnson & Johnson from other companies in the way they promote their job offerings.   They focused on more than just a job title approach and have removed ‘’corporate cliché’’ adjusted tone and made the whole process more human.

Tip 4 –  Top 4 trends for talent attraction and assessment

Most successful organisations have invested in upgrading their skills in assessing key core competencies and talent requirements.  

These HR executives have trained their managers to identify the requirements during the interview process so that the talent assessments changes from gut feelings to a fact base process.  

This is the number one trend to a series of 4 to a better hire that we have chosen inspired by an article written by Rosemary Haefner and Eric Presley (December 2016).  How are you using the technology in sourcing? How do your organization communicate your difference and value added proposition to attract people? Are you using some psychometric tools in your assessment?

We have selected the top 4:  

  • Hiring manager training: Facts vs guts
  • Technology sourcing systems: Make sure you have the best sourcing software
  • Social media communication strategy
  • Testing

 We invite you to rank your organization based on these 4 trends in order to be better at your talent acquisition.  

There is no magic formula to win the talent war but by looking at the examples of some of the companies we have cited above, you may be able to identify ways that your organization can take steps to win this war of acquiring the best talents.

About Glasford International

Glasford International is a global (retained) executive search firm with offices throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North and South Americas. Established in 1998, we support clients in executive search and selection, leadership and personality assessments at an international, cross-border and local level.

Functional Specializations

Board and C-level positions

Executives & Senior Management

Senior Commercial positions

Finance & Procurement

IT & Telecommunication

Staff Management