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How to up your game in the battle for talent

If you were to ask any business out there today what their biggest challenge is for the year ahead, you’re likely to get the same answer: finding good people. In fact, a recent survey by Glassdoor revealed that 76% of hiring decision makers said that attracting quality candidates was their number one challenge.

After years of job seekers battling to boost skills, updating CVs, improving LinkedIn profiles, the tables are now turning. The economy has been growing. Unemployment rates are at an all-time low. For the first time in over a decade, there are more jobs available than there are candidates looking for new opportunities.

Gone are the days of simply posting a job advert and waiting for the right candidate to find you, or if you do find the right candidate, that you are the only company they are considering. The competition is fierce, and expectations are high.

So, what does this mean for would-be employers and how can businesses ensure they are standing out in this ever-intensifying battle for talent?

Well, the answer is simple – you need to up your game.

Here are our top five tips on how to do it…

Tip 1: Define your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

In order to make yourself an employer of choice and to ensure you are attracting and retaining the right candidates, you must be able to differentiate yourself from the competition. You can achieve this by defining and presenting your unique employee value proposition. This is the total value you will offer an employee in return for their work. It covers salary and compensation but also benefits which could mean supplementary compensation benefits but also values, mission and purpose as well as people and culture. It is the answer to the question “Why should I work for your company instead of somewhere else?”

Tip 2: Adopt the right recruitment strategy

The way candidates look for jobs has changed and consequently, finding and hiring the ideal candidate has become increasingly hard, expensive and time-consuming. If your recruitment strategy does not adapt to these changes, you will be at serious risk. The candidate is now ‘King’ (or Queen!) and hirers need to think more like marketers in the quest to attract the top talent.

Tip 3: Perfect your interviewing skills

The tables have well and truly turned here. The focus is no longer purely on the candidate to deliver a first-rate interview, the interviewer is now under just as much pressure to perform. Making the wrong hiring decisions, of course, is a costly exercise and the interview plays a major part in ensuring those wrong decisions are avoided. But more than that, delivering an effective interview as well as being the make or break of securing that dream candidate, can offer a multitude of benefits; It can help to promote a positive employer brand image leading to increased interest by other potential candidates; It can help to ensure processes are streamlined and consistent therefore saving time and money; It can offer valuable competitor insight and market information leading to overall business enhancement and improvement.

For more tips on how to perfect your interviewing skills, check out our Interviewers Guide to Effective Interviewing.

Tip 4: Keep an open mind

Quite simply, the more restrictive you are in determining what your ideal candidate must look like on paper, the more limited your candidate pool will become. Of course, it is understandable, that most businesses would prefer to hire a candidate who already has a proven background in a similar role. But it is also important to recognise that by placing too much emphasis on a bucket list of requirements, you will almost certainly overlook several high-potential candidates. Assessing a candidate’s soft skills like culture fit, motivation, passion and commitment, cannot be done solely from a CV and these skills should absolutely be viewed with just as much importance as experience.

Tip 5: Invest in your people

When it comes to attracting and retaining the best employees, investing in an employee development program is an absolute must for any business. This can never be truer in the world of Treasury where the importance of qualifications and continuous learning is vital. From a new hire perspective, employee development is seen as a real benefit which is something that often weighs in the “pros” column when job hunting. It increases your reputation as a good employer and one that cares about their people. It also helps to attract quality talent as those that are looking for a business that supports employee development, are generally those that are seeking to better themselves – and they’re the kind of people you want to hire. From a candidate retention perspective, it helps to build loyalty and loyal employees don’t tend to leave. It keeps employees engaged which generally leads to higher levels of productivity, and it helps to save (and earn) you money in the long term as a well-trained, confident and engaged employee will be more efficient and capable.

So, there you have it, our top five tips on how to up your game in the battle for talent.