August 20, 2015

6 Innovative Ways to Attract Talent in a Tight Labor Market, Part 2

SingerTalent shortages are the new normal in the corporate sphere, and many employers are learning to adjust to the reality of a scarce talent supply. While it’s right that stressed employers not succumb to desperate hiring practices  — these can only lead to more bad hires and compound the problem — it’s also best that employers not become too accepting of talent scarcity and slow hiring times.

Why? Because employers who do grow too comfortable will fall behind the competition, while those who continue to use disruptive and innovative recruiting strategies will rise to the top.

Yesterday, I offered three tips to help employers source talent in these trying times. Today, I present three more:

1. Find a Way to Truly Differentiate Your Brand From the Competition

Many employers offer things like flexible work arrangements, telecommuting opportunities, and free food, and they mistakenly believe these are employer brand differentiators. Perhaps 15 years ago, these perks might have been considered innovative, but today, they are expected by top talent. These perks will put you among the better employers, but they won’t help you stand out. They are not true differentiators.

You therefore need to find a true differentiator, something that really makes you stand out from the crowd — something that will bring talent running to your door.

The simplest way truly differentiate your employer brand is to buck the trend in a particular sector. For example, perhaps you operate in a sector that is known to have a more disposable hire-and-fire attitude toward its workers. If your company were to lead the way by offering a unique no-fire policy, it would really make a unique place for itself, thereby making it more attractive to talent.

True differentiation is not about jumping on the bandwagon, but rather forging a new path distinct from the competition. If you manage to achieve this, your business could be a strong talent magnet in a talent-starved climate.

2. Pay Candidates to Attend Interviews

To many, this might seem desperate and foolish. To be frank, there is a talent war going on; at times, the situation does get desperate.

Is paying candidates foolish? It depends on how it is done. Paying candidates to send in resumes or attend first interviews could be throwing away good money, as plenty of people might see this as a way to exploit the company by simply showing up, saying a few words, and taking the money.

TennerThere is a more prudent way to implement a cash-for-questions interview strategy, one recently tested by Midas Media. The company is offering £1,000 to candidates who reach the final interview stage with the firm. The interview itself is no cakewalk: candidates are required to present a performance marketing strategy.

Midas Media tried out this tactic in June 2015, but there have been no updates on the outcome just yet. It’ll be interesting to see how things go for Midas.

3. Lower the Entry Requirements

Research shows that around 21 percent of all jobs require some type of higher-education degree, and this figure is expected to rise to 40 percent by 2020. Many jobs require certain kinds of qualifications, and the general trend is that employers prefer to hire people who meet or exceed those qualifications.

But there is another way: companies can hire people who don’t quite meet their qualifications, and then spend time training them to reach the required level of competency.

As opposed to hiring in at a lower level and spending time training them to reach the required level of competency. Companies taking this approach may even find that candidates who lack the on-paper credentials don’t even need much — if any — formal training.

By lowering the minimum requirements for their roles, employers should be able to increase the number of applicants they receive and even uncover top talent that would normally not have applied.

In this topsy-turvy age, lowering entry requirements, paying candidates to interview, and finding a way to truly set your company apart from the pack are just a few of the innovative approaches that you can use to attract the talent you need.

Read more in Recruitment Strategies

Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.