The 6 most effective ways to win the war on high-quality talent

The market is starting to get competitive again. The transformation that 2020 forced us to experience has given us a new perspective on business. We learnt how to pivot quickly to survive.  It may sound dramatic but for many 2020 was a remarkable year.

We speak to many employers and business owners finding their way through the new landscape that the pandemic has forced upon us. There were no like for like case studies to learn from or guide us through 2020. It was unprecedented.

The clear message from all employers and business owners we spoke to was that the success or failure of the business hinged on the employees.

2020 put the spotlight firmly on employees. All the noise surrounding a business fell away and you could clearly see your employees, the people making things happen.

For the first time in a long time employers and business owners could clearly see the employees that were hired and were not right for their business, the wrong people employed in the wrong jobs, the leaders that were managing but not leading, the disengaged employees creating negativity, the standout employees continuously working hard, and the extraordinary leaders leading successfully.

Now, more than ever, employers and business owners can see that for a business to survive the number one priority is to attract, hire and retain the best talent for their business.

Now, more than ever, employers and business owners can see that for a business to survive the number one priority is to attract, hire, and retain the best talent for their business.

For a business to thrive they need to attract high-quality talent; hire the right person for the right job; and keep that talent for the long term to create a competitive workforce.

It sounds easy, but it is not. Every business is pivoting and realising the potential of their workforce. The demand for high-quality talent is at an all-time high. Employers and business owners want the best talent to help them outperform in their market.

It is this demand that has created a new war on talent.

The highest quality talent has the most choices available to them and are in high demand from multiple companies looking to build their own enviable workforce and improve their competitive advantage.

So, how exactly do you win the war for high-quality talent?

1. Define what high-quality talent means to you

You need to be able to define what high-quality talent means specifically for you. Every business is unique, and your needs are different to others.

If you cannot define what high-quality talent means to you, you will hire the wrong person for your business.

Clarifying what high-quality talent means for you and understanding why these are the chosen attributes gives you the specific information and the confidence to attract, hire, and retain the high-quality talent that is important to your business.

2. Create a plan

To help use workforce planning strategies to understand your workforce needs based on your strategic goal. Write detailed job descriptions considering the specific methodology and expectations of the role and how that job contributes to the company goal. Consider what experience, capabilities, and character traits are needed to make that job position successful.

What has been successful before does not mean it will be successful in the future. Now is the time to review your historic job descriptions and employee profiles based on your company goal. What skills, characteristics, personality traits, and values enhance your company now, in 2021, and what will help you achieve your company goal?

3. Unify your leaders

How you behave as a business, particularly through your leaders, will attract or deter talent. The actions and communication your leaders share need to be in line with your company values. If they do not complement each other your future talent will see a misalignment and deter them from your business.

Your leaders are the voice of your business. They set the standard and culture and are a key deciding factor in talent choosing your business over your competitors.

4. attract the high-quality talent

Attracting high-quality talent is multi-dimensional. It is not about placing an advert in a publication and hoping for the best. You need to create a compelling attraction strategy that you communicate and review continuously, not just when you have a vacancy.

Attracting talent is about your employer brand, your business culture, your company offering, how you behave and how you engage. Your attraction strategies should not be put into place when you have a job vacancy, they should be in place for the entirety of your business lifecycle.

To win the war on talent you need to be able to stand out as an attractive employer.

To be an attractive employer firstly review your employer brand, employer value proposition, and the investment you have in your employees’ careers. High-quality talent will be attracted to companies with a strong purpose, a positive working environment, competitive financial and non-financial benefits, and the opportunities to accelerate their careers.

Once you have a compelling offering you need to let everyone know about it. If you are not visible, talent will not know that you are an option to accelerate their careers. Consider how you engage and communicate on your website, on your social media channels, at events, and throughout your recruitment process.

How you engage tells your potential future employees a story about you. It is this story that engages people and catches their attention. It is through the consistency of your communication that talent can realise your offering, values, and purpose. With this information easily available to them they can confidently choose the company that complements their own values and purpose.  

5. hiring high-quality talent

The recruitment process does not start with a job vacancy. Your recruitment process is evergreen. Every interaction you have impacts your ability to hire talent. When your mindset changes to focus on this, your recruitment process in the future will not only be quicker, but it will also be more effective in finding the best talent on the market.

Having a meticulous recruitment process with an in-depth understanding of the job you are looking to fill is critical. Using facts, not assumptions, will help you choose the right person for the right job. From the job description you can create your key selection criteria, which provides you with your specific interview questions that will unearth all the information you need to make the right decision.

Your recruitment process is the pinnacle of a person making the choice between you and another company. Remembering that high-quality talent has a choice keeps you mindful of how you and your leaders behave during the recruitment process.

6. retain high-quality talent

The war for talent does not end once you have hired them. That is just the battle. The war continues for the length of time they are employed by you.

High-quality talent will be headhunted continuously. With the rise of social media platforms such as LinkedIn and the increase in the competitive landscape, head-hunting is at an all-time high.

You will need to work hard to stop them from being interested in other opportunities and stay with you. How you treat your employees is critical to winning this war. The more you invest in your employees, the greater the return.

When you attract well you find and capture the highest-quality talent. When you treat people well you retain that talent for the long-term giving your business a competitive advantage. When you hire the right person for the right job you not only create a better business culture, but you also guarantee improved business performance and results. As we go boldly into 2021 employers and business owners are focusing on ensuring their 2020 pivot succeeds. Use this year to attract, hire, and retain the highest-quality talent so you too can thrive.

Hunton Executive can help you understand what skills are important for your business and how to attract and hire new skills into your business. 

For a comprehensive guide to attracting, recruiting, and retaining your talent contact Hunton Executive.


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