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Are you missing out on top talent?

Once again, it’s all over the news. Shortage of this, not enough of that. Whereas in the past it was just the IT and technical sectors that were anxious to find qualified staff, now the whole of the Netherlands is on the lookout for new personnel. And not just any old staff; highly talented people is what companies want. In other words, quality of hire. But that is easier said than done. We are currently going through an economic upturn and the biggest challenge is to bring in top talent.

So how big a role does this play in your organisation? Where does your organisation stand in relation to this? Can you attract better talent than your competitors, or do you have to recruit second best? In this blog I try to answer the question: “Can my recruitment organization recruit top talent?”. Furthermore, I give you practical tools and insights and I help you on the way to recruiting and selecting top talent.

Recruiting top talent requires a lot of preparation

Before we take a look at the current situation, we need to look at the past. A couple of years ago, recruitment activities weren’t that common. We were dealing with a recession and in times like that, there’s a tendency to downscale recruitment, which is a shame. Because if you’re serious about attracting top talent, you need to use the recession period to build up your brand awarness.

Recruiting top talent is more than just writing a job description and reeling in the right candidate. Recruitment has become 100 % marketing, a continuous public relations process. You wouldn’t ignore your customers during a recession, would you? On the contrary, you pay extra attention to them.

Why is quality of hire essential to the company?

What makes the quality of hire so essential, and why do time-to-hire and cost-of-hire come in second place? There are many reasons. Here are just three that I have picked out:

  1. Rejuvenation. Many baby boomers will soon retire and must be replaced by new staff members. Meanwhile, we are dealing with wholescale digitization, changes in processes, user interfaces, and business models. This means there is not just a demand for new staff members but also new ideas and insights!
  1. Higher productivity. Take some time to read this article by McKinsey. The percentage difference in productivity between ‘average performers’ and ‘high performers’ is at least 50 %. And as work complexity increases, the gap between them also increases significantly.
  2. Stimulating creative and valuable innovations. According to our psychometric metadata on young graduates, top talent individuals have a higher analytical potential, better conceptual reasoning, and better at coming up with original solutions (see blog article). Therefore, employing these top young talents will speed up your company’s ability to find the opportunities it needs to compete successfully.

How do you profile your recruitment operation?

Recruitment ensures that an organisation stands out in the competitive job market. It is easier for a top organisation to attract top talent. That is the ideal situation, but what about your organisation? Can you structurally attract top talent? Can you compete with all those other employers, even those from a different branch? The table below will help in finding an answer to the first question. This table contains recruitment activities that have been structured as followed:

  1. Recruitment activities are treated as marketing processes. Your organisation can structurally attract top talent, particularly for key positions (in the sense of creating value, not key in the sense of hierarchy). Keep up the good work! Focus on competitive strength, analytics and technology.
  1. Recruitment activities are treated as professional HR processes. You are able to maintain the quality of the influx, but that’s about it. You can obviously improve existing processes somewhat, but your competitors are doing the same. You need to do your homework for this category. Your recruitment activities need to migrate to marketing activities. Look for help, demand more commitment from top management and create a migration plan. If you start now, then you should be able to harvest the first results by the end of the 3rd quarter of this year.
  2. Old school recruitment: recruiting if you have a vacancy. If you have no ambitions for growth and you think you will survive, then don’t change anything. Go for quantity of hire. If this isn’t the case, then you should panic – a lot! Your organisation will grow weaker each year. The quality of hire will decrease. Your organisation is suffering from a type of anorexia and in the end, you will go bankrupt or you’ll be taken over.
(not exhaustive)
Recruitment as marketing proces

Recruitment as a strategic activity

Job market vision and competitive strength as an employer are triggers for talent acquisition

Future scarcity and abundance as trigger for the talent acquisition process

Insight into strengths and weaknesses compared to competitors

Personas are fundamental to the acquisition

Content is tuned to the various stages of the candidate journey

Psychometric tooling is integrally woven into all parts of the acquisition and hiring process

Being able to structurally attract top talent (>5 % of all hires)

Organisation innovates faster, is more efficient at organising and increases profit by up to 20 %

The organisation increasingly attracts better members of staff

How do we determine if new techno-tools deliver valid results?

How do we compete with other relevant employers to get the best people on board?

Recruitment as independent and professional HR process

EVP (Employee Value Proposition) has been developed and is deployed during acquisition and branding

Based on frequent vacancies, target groups are mapped out and described

Dashboard to monitor own process

Staff planning and vacancies act as trigger for the recruitment process

Psychometric tooling based on the hiring process

Content is adjusted in advance to match brand recognition, vacancies and careers

Being able to occasionally hire top talent

Candidate experience is in order

Can fill almost all vacancies

Hire similarly skilled or qualified employees during scarcity compared to what we already have: overall quality does not increase.
Old school recruitment

Recruitment as part of the HRM process

Vacancy is the trigger for the recruitment process

Psychometric tooling is ad hoc and used in retrospect

Being able to quickly and cheaply hire a candidate during surplus

A dangerous amount of vacancies cannot be filled during scarcity

Hire less-skilled or less-qualified employees compared to what you already have: overall quality decreases

How can you determine the status of how you organise your recruitment?

Using this table, you can ask yourself the following 2 questions:

  1. How can I describe how our recruitment is organised?
  2. How can I describe how our competitors organise their recruitment?

For this you should also use the partial aspects from the 2nd column. Where is the competitor weaker or stronger in the organisation of recruitment? Stick to the items in the table. Don’t include working conditions, for instance. These are obviously important for competing as an employer, but for organisation of recruitment, their influence is limited, i.e. there’s nothing you can do about it in 2018.

By finding the reasoned answers to the questions above, you can find out how the organisation of your recruitment is in relation to that of your competitors. And if you don’t change anything about how you organise your recruitment in 2018, ask yourself this: are we better at hiring top talent in 2018 compared to our competitors? If the answer is ‘yes’: what do you need to do to maintain this situation? If the answer is ‘no’: what do you need to do in 2018 to reduce your disadvantage? I’m curious to find out how you are doing and what your actions will be. Good luck!

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