Some of the roles and skills you need in your organisation can’t be filled by training alone. How can you get the people you need in a competitive market?
Target the skills you need precisely
Start by knowing exactly what you’re looking for. Once you’ve agreed on a skills vocabulary and have mapped out your role requirements, get sharp about your job descriptions. Clearly defined roles with industry-standard terminology (instead of company-specific jargon) will make it easy for recruiters and talent to understand what skills you’re looking for, and at what level. Keyword-stuffing your job descriptions will just inflate salary expectations. If you’re struggling to hire for a particular job description, look at how you might split up that role’s responsibilities into multiple lower-grade recruits, or even combine roles (and salary budget) to reach top talent.
And remember: not everyone wants a full-time permanent job, either. Contractors, part-timers, freelancers, fixed-term hires and “gig economy” workers all have something to offer. Don’t rule them out automatically just because you assume you need an on-site full-time employee (FTE).
Research from Capgemini found that 59% of businesses were opening branch offices in areas with the best supply of digital talent7.
In order to attract and develop the best talent, banks must not be shy about communicating their digital transformation both internally and externally and must do so with strong leadership support. Doing so will make sure that they can face down the threat posed to their talent pipeline by less well-known brands.
David Maireles, Country Head Spain, RaisinGmbH
When you’re looking for the best, and paying top-dollar, it’s natural that you want to minimize your risk and be absolutely certain about who you extend an offer to. But in a fast-paced talent market, you will lose the best candidates to more decisive competitors. If you require every IT recruit to go through a multi-week cycle of interviews and tests you will weed out not just the weak talent, but the best. You’ll also delay the start date of a potentially critical hire.
Streamline the process
Some organisations have experienced success with faster recruitment but more active onboarding and performance management to minimise risk to the organisation. In addition to the standard interviews and tests, you can quickly identify top talent by posting online challenges or hosting group events like hackathons. Start adopting the mindset of a sports team’s talent scout.
According to Glassdoor, the average length of the interview process in France is 39 days and 27.5 in the UK, compared to just 16 days in India8
Contribute to the flow of talent
As a business, you’re ultimately dependent on graduates emerging from university with the right skills that the job market needs. You’re in a position to form relationships with your local educational establishments, to be represented in the syllabuses they’re teaching, and to lobby government to make them aware of the kinds of skills you’re looking for. The more you can contribute to educational institutions — in terms of work experience schemes, for example — the greater your awareness will be with their student base and the more successful your intake when the annual careers fair rolls around.
A recruitment strategy to bridge the technology skills gap
Talent is no longer a commodity that you can acquire readily and easily but there is a wealth of unskilled resources waiting to be tapped. Businesses and CIOs especially need to have a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy that includes most if not all of the following:
- Trusted and strategic talent acquisition partners in the key niche recruitment sectors they operate in, with good market intelligence to source mission critical skill sets.
- Flexible working policies to attract a diverse workforce.
- Understanding of the key competencies that new recruits and employees must possess plus proactive alignment of individual’s values set to the core values of the business.
- Strong relationships with educational establishments to attract the top talent locally and tap into the 44% low skilled population.
- Comprehensive retraining and reskilling programmes to ensure existing employees are constantly up-skilling themselves.
- A culture of continuous learning.
Rapid technological change shortens the shelf-life of hard skills. This means that soft skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, abstract concepts, original thoughts, persuasion and the ability to rationalise conflicting concepts will all become more important.
Ian Knowlson, Recruitment expert and founder of Global Recruitment Thought Leaders