While many organisations are experiencing hiring freezes or cuts, others are preparing for recovery and growth. Ensuring you have high-performing specialists on your team is a key part of this. It might look like an employer’s market, but while there are many available candidates, the skilled professionals your business requires may not be among them.
As business conditions continue to evolve, professionals with the skills to help businesses thrive in an uncertain and rapidly digitalising world are in great demand. HR leaders say that in areas such as technology, marketing and finance, top talent is scarce. Many of these professionals are currently employed and today’s economic conditions have made them risk-averse. They are likely to stay with an employer they are used to working with. If you want talented individuals from this passive pool of workers, you’ll have to work for it. This goes beyond offering more generous remuneration packages.
A FOCUS ON SAFETY, FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCE
Having an attractive employer brand has always been vital in attracting top talent. What has changed however, are the elements that constitute a robust employer brand in today’s context.
Factors that were relevant in the pre-Covid era, remain so. For example, candidates still care about how the typical workday is structured – do you have many meetings and collaborative interactions, or does work constitute long hours of working independently?
In addition, the key elements candidates are considering today are centred on safety, flexibility and balance.
How are you keeping your employees safe during this pandemic? Are you carefully implementing and observing safety measures for employees working in the office? Do you allow flexibility in terms of working arrangements (remote working or a blended approach)? How are you managing your remote employees? Do you have work-life balance initiatives in an era where the lines between work and leisure have been exponentially blurred? Do you have programmes in place to address employee mental health?
All of this should be clearly communicated during the interview process. Candidates are likely to ask for details, so be prepared.
EVERY TOUCHPOINT MATTERS; COMMUNICATE TO INSPIRE CONFIDENCE
Every touchpoint sends a signal about the kind of employer you are. For instance, when scheduling the job interview, you should exercise some flexibility considering Covid-19 has upended most people’s routines. Ask the candidate what a good time for them would be, especially bearing in mind that their home environment may not always be conducive to a job interview.
During job interviews, candidates are required to sell themselves, but employers must do so as well. This is the time to talk about the changes you’ve made to your business during this crisis, your recovery and growth plans, and your values and vision. Describe the role you’d like the candidate to play in achieving business goals and how this will enable them to achieve their own career goals as well.
It is also crucial to provide details that will help the candidate envision a career with your company. How will she/he be onboarded during these unusual times? How do you ensure that new joiners are supported and feel a sense of belonging? Who will the candidate be working with and reporting to? What tools will you equip them with to enable them to work remotely? Talk about these things during the interview process to help her/him feel more secure about joining your company.
Be truthful at all times. Misrepresenting or exaggerating your efforts will not serve you as candidates are likely to do their own research on your company and they’ll notice the discrepancies.
To acquire top talent during this period, you need to inspire confidence, show that you have adapted well to the changes brought on by Covid-19 and are continually adapting to not just meet your business goals, but to take care of your employees’ welfare. Showing you sincerely care about your employees, both existing and new, and are doing your best to provide them with a sense of security in an uncertain world will help you stand out as an employer of choice.
For more advice on attracting top talent, contact us.