How to Win the Talent Battle

January 16, 2022by Jennifer Murray

Everyone is talking about the battle for talent. Over the past 24 months, we have heard from small and large organizations across a wide range of industries. The story is the same. They can’t find candidates to apply for jobs, show up for interviews, accept jobs, arrive at the workplace on the start date, or return after the first few days. The scenario that sometimes follows is the “great resignation.” This is the headline news that floods my inbox. Let’s uncover the positive scenarios behind the stories that don’t make the headlines. Numerous organizations have thrived and grown during the past couple of years. They increased headcount to support their growth. Many recognize long-time employees for their service anniversaries and career milestones which indicates that they celebrate employee loyalty and have not crumbled under the “great resignation” trend.

 

Regardless of your recruiting and retention experiences, in 2022, we encourage you to inspect your organizational environment from both the inside and the outside. It may expose the need to make some enhancements to attract more potential candidates and retain current employees. Gathering data to determine how many applicants you need to yield one employee that stays for more than ninety days will provide some valuable insights.

 

As previously mentioned, some organizations have actually cracked the hiring code! They have grown their headcount and maintained desired turnover rates during the pandemic. They have beat the local competition for top talent. Some would assume that the top salary wins. While salary is a key decision-making factor for many candidates, our data shows several other factors play a significant role. Although there isn’t a single roadmap that will help every organization close the hiring gaps, there are several tools that can help to attract more candidates and bring them through the pre-hire to hiring process.

 

Since salary is important, let’s start with the total compensation package. It includes salary and benefits. A strong package will capture a candidate’s attention. Small organizations often ask us how they can compete with the larger engineering, technology, or fill-in-the-blank industry. From a financial perspective, it is often challenging to compete at the same salary level. Offering a wide array of benefits that are company-paid and voluntary is one way to combat the salary gap. Is it the pet insurance, break room pool table, free healthy snacks, or the hybrid work environment that will round out your total compensation package? What do your current employees value most? What have your job candidates requested? What do your competitors offer?

 

Next is the organizational culture. What is the value of your culture? This could be your strategic advantage! Your unique culture may be the best way to compete with other organizations that vie for the same job candidates. Nowadays, this cannot be your best-kept secret! Promoting your culture can make a significant difference in the number of job applications you receive.

 

In Q4 2021, three of our clients were seeking a bookkeeper. While the position had similar requirements among the three organizations, one Manager attracted hundreds of applicants within days. The other job advertisements attracted under 100 applicants. The key differentiator was the job description. The leading organization described the job requirements, environment, culture, and ideal candidate in plain terms. The advertisement exhibited the fun, inclusive culture. It would have been easier to cut and paste a standard job description, but the extra time and effort resulted in a series of interviews and a quick job placement. The other organizations had fewer applicants and one position is yet to be filled.

 

Consider our digital world. What can the candidate read online about the management team, the interviewers, and the work environment? Does your website portray a positive work environment and communicate an inclusive organization? Do you openly post your Vision, Mission, and Values? Are the Google Reviews generally positive? Is someone quickly responding to the online feedback? What other forms of social media are used to convey the culture? Are all of these digital messages conveying a consistent message? Culture fit has increased in importance for job candidates in all career stages.

 

Your online presence attracted the applicant. Let’s walk through the interview experience. From the lens of a job candidate coming on-site for the interview, is the space clean and welcoming? Walk the path from lobby or entry area to the interview room. Will the candidate see a clean environment? What will he/she hear and smell? Small cues can make a difference as the candidate forms an initial impression. Job candidates are coached on the speed in which they will make an impression on the Interviewer. In the current labor environment, the employer should evaluate the impression the job candidate formulates during his/her entry in the building and interview space.

 

Let’s look at your organization from another perspective. Focusing on your current team will help you market new opportunities to external candidates. For example, what did you learn from your employees when you administered a pulse survey? Are you conducting stay interviews? This data will help you capture themes that you can promote to job candidates.

 

If your hiring process includes a series of interviews, the candidate is likely to collect multiple perspectives on the culture from each interaction. Organizations that focus on earning a position on the “Best Places to Work” lists communicate their success through the individuals that make up the organization, in addition to the public marketing messages. When the internal messaging aligns with external reviews and employee feedback, potential candidates will gain a consistent perspective which will help him/her determine if there is a cultural fit. Combining job fit and cultural fit will increase the likelihood of hiring a long-term employee.

 

In our next blog, we will explore retention strategies.

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Headquarters
230 Hampton Woods Lane, Suite 101 Raleigh, NC 27607
Satellite Office
2929 Breezewood Ave. Suite 101, Fayetteville, NC. 28303
Where to find us
https://onboardwithus.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/img-footer-map1.jpg