Whiplash Team, 6th May 2022

The challenge of attracting the best talent

Recently, the ways to attract and retain talent have changed, as have the expectations and aspirations of potential candidates. Telecommuting has become a priority for job seekers. For companies, being able to recruit the best candidates is now an advantage that increases competitiveness.

One of the few things that has remained almost unchanged in the business world over the past 100 years is the recruitment model.

Even after the widespread use of the Internet and until relatively recently, recruitment techniques hardly differed from those which our parents and grandparents went through to get their first jobs.

In recent decades, however, this reality has changed. In Europe, for example, organizations have realized that a mere job description is not what will attract the best talent to their ranks.

Much less if we talk about Millennials and Generation Z, whose expectations and demands within the labour market are radically different from those of previous generations.

Today, organizations use marketing to build “employer brands” and position their brands as attractive employers in the labour market.

The so-called “recruitment 4.0 techniques” imply an active and systematic use of social networks to build these “employer brands”. In addition, creation of corporate employment websites to publish all kinds of information about the company and blogs with the content of interest for future candidates.

In short, use all the tools that the digital world provides to make the brand more visible and attractive to potential candidates. All in line with the purpose and values ​​that the organization defends which must be aligned with the aspirations and expectations of the talent that is to be recruited.

The goal, of course, is to attract and retain the best candidates.

But a good employer branding strategy is not enough. In a context marked by the speed of technological evolution, the emergence of new business models, and the adoption of new ways of working, talent is a key competitive advantage for companies, and they must take into account what workers want.

Telecommuting, a new priority

The pandemic forced companies and workers to assume teleworking at a forced pace and this caused a substantial change in the way of working. Also, in the expectations of employees, for whom flexibility in working hours has become a priority when looking for and accepting a job.

In fact, a recent study in the United States reveals that remote job searches increased by 360% between June 2019 and June 2021. This suggests, according to an Alliance Virtual Offices article citing that study, that although many workers could return to their offices, they would prefer to continue working remotely.

In our country, the relocation of employment threatens the possibilities of local firms to attract and retain the best talent in positions related to technology. According to an article published by El Confidencial, more and more “companies from the US and Europe are recruiting technical talent in Spain to work remotely with six-figure salaries.”

But this concerns not only the salary benefits but also the possibilities of a better balance between personal and work life which teleworking offers.

For companies, this means that including the possibility of working remotely or with a flexible agreement regarding the time that the worker spends in the office, is an attractive asset that helps build their brand as an employer.

Strategic mindset and clear purpose

Building an employer brand requires a strategic mindset and a long-term plan, rather than tactics or specific actions to fill a vacancy. A brand, as we have said on other occasions, is “a symbolic ecosystem that is created in people’s heads and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product, service or organization”.

In short, it is what others think of the brand. It is a pattern of behaviour that users and potential employees perceive, each from their perspective, and it is necessary for those responsible for the brand to be very clear about what falls within that pattern and what does not.

Creating an attractive brand for talent implies a strategic change in the mentality of those who run the organization, forcing them to better understand their target audience and to take a position by putting themselves in the shoes of the candidate and understanding their reasons for applying (or not).

This is essential when it comes to attracting the right profiles. A successful employer brand is one that starts from a deep knowledge of itself,  by understanding which are the most attractive attributes for the target audience and then connecting your purpose with the values and aspirations not only of society and your customers but also of those talents you want to attract and incorporate into your workforce.

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