How to Attract Talent During a Skills Shortage

How to Attract Talent During a Skills Shortage

How to Attract Talent During a Skills Shortage

As the War on Talent ramps up, vacancies remain unfilled, and the skills shortage worsens, how can you attract talent?  Here are 12 Tips:

  1. Protect your Brand

Nowadays the majority of candidates are not only tech-savvy, they are also consumer-savvy; in particular the Millennials are choosy about the brands they work for.  At the start of the pandemic and the introduction of the furlough scheme, we saw the reputation of a succession of traditional household names disintegrate within hours.  Now more than ever it’s time to really demonstrate that you value your talent. 

2. Structure Your Approach to Talent Management

In an increasingly complex employment marketplace, for a company to attract top talent you need to be agile, authentic and current.  You should demonstrate up to date technology, visible plans to scale, and offer customer excellence.  Your approach to Talent Management and Succession Planning should be structured in order to provide opportunities for upskilling and promotion.

3. Highlight Your Company Culture

In some surveys almost 90% of office workers want to continue to work from home at least some of the time as organizations continue to debate whether they will provide the opportunity for Hybrid Working.  Companies with high attrition tend to be those who are trying to enforce a return to full-time office working. Not only do candidates, who have the pick of organizations, want to be able to work remotely when they choose, but they also want to work flexible hours and days.  Consideration of location has become less important than salary.  If it’s a choice for a highly qualified engineer to work in a company with a more enticing culture, then they may choose that over the highest wage.  This makes it important for employers to highlight their USPs, UVPs, and key differentiators, as well as portraying good remote team working to potential employees, not only on their website, but also in their recruitment posts. 

4. Use Social Media and Referrals

For recruitment to be successful, organizations should no longer rely on placing recruitment ads and conducting one interview, which is still happening in many sectors.  In the UK over 80% of roles are reportedly now filled via social media, whether it be LinkedIn, Twitter or even Facebook.  Internal company champions will often highlight friends whom they identify as a good fit for a certain role, so referrals are also working well.

5. Ensure the Application Process is easy

Many candidates will still self-deselect if the application process is too arduous or clunky, especially as around three out of four applicants will be applying for jobs on their Smartphone or tablet.

6. Conduct Face to Face/Video Interviews

Many companies still recruit after only one interview because the interviewer ‘liked’ the candidate and felt that they were similar personalities.  Even with a plethora of applicants, it is still key to ensure that the right person is selected for a role to avoid wasting time and money on the wrong hires, which can also damage your brand.  If your company is serious about your recruitment strategy, you should be selecting candidates for interview by conducting at least an initial telephone interview, but then face to face if possible, or via video.

7. Use Talent Assessment Tools

To significantly increase retention rates, assess candidates with occupational tests and personality questionnaires, in order to identify preferred working styles. There is strong evidence that tests can provide information which is reliable in predicting job success. Personality Questionnaires give a comprehensive picture of how you are likely to behave at work, how you relate to others, the way you solve problems and approach conflict.

8. Use Competency and Behavioural Based Interviews

The most successful interview techniques involve competency/behaviour or values-based questions to understand how the candidate has behaved in certain scenarios in the past and how they are likely to deal with challenging situations in the future.  Any candidate can pull off lists of interview questions and answers from the web; many are adept at shining at interviews, especially in Sales roles, so ensure that at least two managers conduct at least two interviews and ask some very specific targeted questions.

9. Assess and review the Recruitment Process

At the conclusion of the recruitment process survey candidates online to learn how to improve the process.

10. Benchmark your Benefits Package

In order to attract the best talent you should ensure that your benefits package is competitive and aimed at increasing employee satisfaction and engagement.  Baskets of free fruit, parking permits and gym memberships became irrelevant and obsolete overnight in March 2020, so organizations have had to become very creative in providing new incentives, from an allowance for duvet days to PETernity leave, and the most popular reward now being access to free Counselling sessions.

11. Enlist the Support of HR at all stages

Mistakes will always be made in recruitment and candidates will sometimes withdraw from the process due to another offer or for personal reasons; however, in order to be competitive and successful in the current and future employment market companies should enlist the support of HR to discuss Probation and Performance Management procedures early on.

12. Offer ongoing TrainingCoaching, and Mentoring

Increasingly workers are looking for employers who will invest in their learning and development.  It's important that line managers conduct regular career conversations, as opposed to an annual appraisal, and emphasise real Succession Planning opportunities.

‘Thank you for assisting us in our Executive Selection process.  With such a high number of applicants, it was very valuable to have an objective expert view on the short-listed candidates.  The assessments were on point, as was the scoring of the competency interviews.  With your help we are confident we have the right person at the helm!'  HR Director


About Jill Maidment

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