Talent a hot commodity in 2019

There is no doubt that employers are going to find it tougher to fill roles in the year ahead. We have record UK employment and the lowest unemployment since 1975.

The jobs market is suffering from a perfect storm of labour, skill and talent shortages which means employers will experience great difficulties in filling new roles.

The employers who will weather this storm will incorporate a three-pronged approach to their talent acquisition strategies.

First, employers need to be proactive and seek to fill roles from areas of the labour market which are often ignored. An astounding opportunity is to tap into the market of those that work part-time. Recent data from Timewise (the part time job board) shows that only 11% of jobs that are advertised mention flexible work. That means the 8.5 million people currently working flexible hours are excluded from 89% of the jobs available!! Most employers can improve their gender balance and be inclusive just by getting jobs advertised as open to applicants who want to work flexibly. You are also likely to get better quality female candidates (who disproportionally work part time).This win-win is worth pursuing from both perspectives.

The second area of differentiation in this tight labour market is to make your roles and culture more appealing than that of your competitors. In the Good Recruitment Campaign’s Employer brand forum we’ve explored some fantastic case studies over the last year. Vodafone and Autotrader are two examples of companies that worked hard to make their propositions attractive to the people they wanted to hire. However, both organisations came to the realisation that potential candidates wanted to hear what it’s like to work there directly from current employees, not the business. They both found that candidates aren’t interested in fluffed-up content generated by the organization - they want an honest picture of what it’s really like. This approach to developing an authentic employer brand sounds easy but both businesses had to work hard to get employees to engage with the process. They were both proactive in developing authentic brand ambassadors to post stories about their jobs and what the company culture is really like.

One cost effective tactic that generated great results was getting line managers to use their phones to record 1 to 2 minute videos of themselves explaining the job that they were seeking to fill and the skills they were looking for. The organisation that used this approach reduced applicants by over 35% but got better quality applications. This was a consequence of people self-selecting based on the videos they watched. This decrease in volume yet increase in quality is worth thinking about for many organisations.

Third, and perhaps the most logical is to ensure you make it easy for candidates to apply, and provide a great experience. We did a great piece of research at the GRC called the Candidate Strikes Back. It showed that 80% of candidates hadn’t even been asked for any feedback about the recruitment process. If we’re serious about improving the experience of candidates (which in a tight jobs market seems sensible!) then surely a logical starting place is to get some data from candidates at different stages of the process. That’s your starting point for improvement.

If you want to hire well in 2019 and beyond, we would suggest you think about advertising your roles as open to candidates who want to work flexibly, create organic brand ambassadors to post content that reflects what it’s like to work at your organisation and finally get candidate feedback about your recruitment process.

The next GRC Employer Brand forum is on the 7th of February at BT London offices. If you want to attend contact [email protected] 

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