Talent Acquisition – New approaches to attracting key talent

As recent surveys have shown – though probably not to anyone’s surprise – the war for talent shows no signs of abating and is actually hotting up. Mercer’s 2016 Talent Trends, for example, notes that 90 percent of talent acquisition specialists thought the squeeze would worsen in the coming year, and more than a third believed this would be “significantly.”

In an SHRM survey published in June of this year — The New Talent Landscapereasons given for the above range from a lack of technical and “soft” skills among job seekers to a lack of basic competencies like writing and math. Competition from other employers, as well as dissatisfaction or little interest in the job being offered, were also cited.

So what’s a company to do? More than they’ve done in the past if they want to beat the odds, which includes taking some novel approaches. To attract and retain top talent, not only must they pay as much or more than competitors and proactively build and promote their brands, they’ve also got to be more flexible when it comes to working arrangements and better incent employees to provide referrals. A simpler and more mobile-friendly application process can also make a difference, as can rethinking traditional hiring requirements.

For example, does the job really require a bachelor’s degree? Some companies, like Ernst & Young, are now saying no, and opting instead for a “strengths-based” approach. In these instances, skills, traits, and experience carry more weight than a degree, at least for some positions.

Companies are also looking to candidates they might have previously overlooked, such as retirees, workers with autism, or those who have been convicted of crimes. (In the U.S., it should be noted, organizations that refuse to hire individuals in this last category can be charged with discrimination in certain circumstances.) Beyond this, companies are also giving greater consideration to those wishing to completely change careers, as people in this group, according to a 2015 LinkedIn survey, account for a significant percentage of job seekers.

For further details on the above, please see our white paper, Talent Acquisition – New Strategies for Success, by msi’s CEO Timm Runnion, created in conjunction with Bloomberg BNA’s International HR Decision Support Network.