Competition for talent these days is as fierce as ever, and many companies seem to be struggling to find suitable candidates to join their teams. On the other hand, we have organizations that have people queuing until new positions open up – they seem to attract talent without any additional effort, and positions fill in within a few days of opening. How do they manage to do it? What hides behind the seemingly effortless process? Let’s have a look.
The causes of the fierce talent competition
Korn Ferry, the international management consulting company, has recently performed research which estimates that, by the year 2030, the shortage of talent will reach as many as 85.2 million. Among the reasons for visible talent decrease are: a decline in birth rates (especially in Europe); a recovering economy; and a change in labour market dynamics. In the case of Lithuania, the shortage of talent is also caused by emigration, the high mortality rate of working-age people, and the general ageing of society.
How does an organization attract the best people to work for them?
According to Randstad Employer Brand Research 2021, an appealing salary and benefits remain the main factor when choosing an employer in Europe (67%). Then we see a pleasing work environment (64%), followed by the stability of the job (62%). Work and life balance ranks fourth (60%), and the opportunities to advance one’s career are in the 5th place (50%). But that isn’t enough because the best talents aren’t only looking for a good place to work – they also wish to feel like they’re doing a meaningful job. Research performed by Gartner in the last quarter of 2021 has shown that as many as 65% of the respondents said that the global pandemic made them rethink what place their job took up in their life. As a result, those who didn’t feel happy about their job felt encouraged to leave their work.
To make sure that employee and employer expectations match, I would first suggest the organizations review their public communication:
- Does the organization have a clear value proposition, and is it well communicated?
- Can the candidate find information about the company’s values?
- Does the organization make the impression it wishes to make on the online channels available to the candidate?
- Does the organization have an employer positioning statement which would quickly, clearly, and concisely tell the candidate what they can expect from the employer?
By answering all these questions and perhaps altering the communication accordingly, the organization and the candidate can form a match. Only when there’s conformity and synergy between the two parties can you expect good mental wellbeing, motivation, and pleasing results.
How does one find that very best employee?
There isn’t a simple answer to this question as looking for employees is a complex and, often, time-consuming process that depends on the demand and supply, market subtleties, demographic situation of the country, and many other factors. Recently, I’ve come across a phrase by Roger Camrass that really stuck with me: “Everything is changing. So everything needs to change”. The pandemic has brought a lot of chaos, and, as a result, the dynamics in the labour market changed – it has become more favourable for the employees. In my opinion, today, when companies are competing for talent, the most important element is revealing the company’s true brand to the outside world. A unique and highly effective way to achieve this is through employee advocacy and their authentic communication.
There are plenty of good employer branding campaign examples. Before the holiday season, Omniva, a parcel delivery company, launched a campaign where it suggested candidates “ship themselves off to work”. That way, the company aimed to make the application process significantly simpler and faster. Bankera – a FinTech startup – was looking for a programmer at the time when it was announced the pop diva Dua Lipa is about to visit Lithuania. Bankera bought a ticket and promised to give it to you if you recommend a person and they pass the probationary period. And the legendary ad by CityBee – a carsharing platform – which launched a billboard asking their CMO to stay after she announced she was leaving for another company. These campaigns show that, at the end of the day, it is all about the person – benefit(s) they might get, a process that‘s easier for them, or simply the importance of the person within the company’s internal culture. Such unique examples can perfectly reveal a company’s culture, which, in turn, is created by its employees.
However, today, a well thought-through, eye-catching PR campaign might not be enough. A strategic approach to managing employer branding will most likely bring more value in the long run. Companies that take care of their brand aim to authentically reveal the organizational culture, its values, and unique employer value proposition and thus attract suitable candidates.
What is the role of Persona Cognita in attracting talent?
Usually, we at Persona Cognita receive inquiries from those companies who aim to increase company visibility by supplementing the official communication with authentic employee communication on social media. MSLGroup research shows that a message on social media will reach 500% more people if employees are the ones sharing it. But usually, increasing visibility isn’t the only goal. Thanks to employee advocacy, companies can increase internal employee engagement and thus reveal the company’s internal culture, unique value propositions, and strengthen their competitive advantage in the eyes of the talent. Research also shows that 69% of candidates pay attention to whether the organization is working on its employer branding.
Our own experience tells us that authentic employee communication has attracted the attention of quite a few talents. Clients often tell us that once they start sharing their insights, company news, and other exciting and relevant content, they begin receiving attention both from clients and talents that contact them personally. Connections are made this way, and the candidate can instantly sense the organizational culture.
So, what does it take to win the talent competition?
Creating a winning employer brand is a complex process with many factors to weigh. But, based on practical examples, my experience with Persona Cognita clients, and scientific research, I can say with confidence that the best way to win the talent competition is to involve your current employees in the process.