Attracting the right talent in a competitive market

December 30, 2016 Rebecca Porter

It is universally accepted that the having the right talent is vital for business success. A great idea is good, but without the right people to bring that idea to life, an idea is just an idea. But what does "right" mean to your business? And, how do you secure the best talent for your company when that talent is in high demand?

Many businesses struggle with finding the right talent, and this puts constant stress on existing employees and management. Even if the company can keep going with a lower headcount or without improving the efficiency of the supply chain, the team is likely to suffer, as is the bottom line. So if it’s accepted that companies need the right talent, why is making it happen so difficult?

Talent acquisition is a complicated process but at a macro-level there are three main areas; understanding the profile of the person you’re looking for, finding the right person, and getting that person interested in joining your company. And, of course, there are challenges with all three. 

Developing the candidate profile

Developing the profile of your ideal candidate is a vital part of kicking off the process. This is the recipe for the person you’re looking to hire. It should include both technical and soft skills. You also need to consider what the company will need in 6-months/a years’ time, as well as what it needs right now.

If your company has been doing the same thing for years and years, it’s relatively easy to know what the profile will look like, the near future will look very similar to the present. But if your company is growing rapidly, will the same profile accelerate that effectively? Or if you’re going through a transformation, can that person manage the implementation of change properly? If not then you might need a very different profile for this role than what exists in your current team. 

Understanding exactly what you need for the interim period or while the company is undergoing change is easier said than done. It is hard to resist the temptation to write a profile that matches what is already known by your company. Challenge yourself to think about where the real skill and expertise shortages are in your existing team and start to form your profile from that. Once you have that you can write a brief for the project or assignment that you will want that person to undertake, that process can help you to refine the specifics of the candidate you require.

It is also worth remembering that the candidate you need right now may not be the same as the candidate that you need in a year, or even in 6-months time. It is unlikely that you will find one person who is effective at both managing a change period and then governing a longer-term process that it is being actively executed. It makes more sense to have the right person focused on achieving a clear set of goals within a set timeframe. You can then line up the next person for them to pass the baton to, who can execute the ongoing program of activity.

Finding the right person

Recruiting any candidate is a risky business, mitigating that risk and ensuring your candidate will contribute meaningfully to your company is the ultimate goal of a hiring manager. This makes finding the right person imperative.

While networks and resume databases like LinkedIn and Indeed have made it easier to find candidates, filtering down to those who are relevant is very time consuming, added to by having to locate those who are available. Aside from this many recruiters and hiring managers will tell you that a CV doesn’t tell the whole story. A candidate could look good on paper, but not be a good fit in the interview, or vice versa.

Once you have written a detailed brief of the assignment you need fulfilling you should have a clearer idea of the criteria your candidate needs to meet. Using a tech platform that matches your needs to the skills of a network of talent is one way of improving the efficiency of your search. At Talmix, our algorithm matches your project brief to the skills of a pool of over 27,000 independent consultants whose profiles have been vetted by a team of resourcing specialists.

At Talmix the power of specialist technology is combined with the management of people who understand the complex talent needs of businesses to ensure that you find the right person.

Getting the candidate interested in your company

This is the bane of recruiters everywhere. As the workplace market has improved the competition for top talent has increased. Well known brands such as Google or Facebook have the employer brand equity to attract the best talent. However smaller or lesser-known companies don't have the equity to trade on when hiring, this makes it much harder work.

So how do you convince the best candidates that your company is the place for them? The answer is - you don't. An independent consultant is looking for an interesting project where they can use their top tier experience and skills to make a difference. In this scenario you don't have to convince them that your business is where they want to forge the future of their career, only that you have an interesting project that their involvement in will help to set the company on a different track. This way you get access to the best talent to solve real challenges, without wasting valuable resources on attracting them for the long-term.

The brave new world of work

The “new world of work” has opened up new ways for companies to build up their talent resources without investing in all the time and effort of traditional recruitment. 

When you think gig economy, you probably think of an uber driver or a task rabbit fixer. But what if you thought about the gig economy as a way to access talent that is part of a top tier contingent workforce. A place where you could hire the perfect interim candidate who would help grow, transform, or improve your company exactly when you need them. A place where you could hire an interim strategy manager for 6 months while your current manager is on sabbatical. A place where you could hire a data analytics consultant to work with you for 3 months and if you realise you have more work for them, keep them on with you.

This is what the new world of work looks like, and it’s already a reality. By working with independent consultants, you don’t have to worry about whether the best person for now is the best person for 6-months from now. You can bring someone in for the project that they’re needed on. Or, you can bring an independent consultant in for an interim role and if all goes well and you find growth for them with you, you can offer them a full-time role. 

Because independent consultants work on a project to project basis, they are more interested in the experience that they get from their work, rather than the brand of the company. This means that, regardless of your brand, if the work is interesting for the consultant, she’ll be happy to work with you.

If you want to find out more about how to get started in this brave new world of work get in touch.

About the Author

Rebecca Porter

As the Client Success Manager, it’s Rebecca’s job to make sure that our small and medium-sized business client get the most value out of Talmix. While her experience in the consulting industry provide vital background for clients, it’s Rebecca’s enthusiasm and energy that make every interaction memorable.

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