Talent War (Year 2): 4 Strategies that are Working
Hope springs eternal as we head into 2022, a new year overflowing with potential, optimism and possibility… or as the Head of Talent for one of Australia’s most prestigious educational institutions put it…
“Next year will be another ‘Bin Fire’, just like this one”
And I’d probably struggle to mount a defence against her assertion.
Prediction for 2022
Last November, in this Newsletter, I predicted a ‘Tsunami of Resignations’. This was 6 months before the term ‘The Great Resignation’ was coined. And we’ve seen this play out in 2021 with increased turnover in nearly every IT environment. In 2022, we predict a decrease in liquidity in the IT candidate market as so many people have recently moved roles and are not interested in anything new. As a result, we will see decreased numbers of people both actively looking and open to hearing about opportunities.
Obviously, most employers will welcome this increase in stability, but quality and affordable candidates will continue to be a rare commodity.
Most people I have spoken to agree that demand is unlikely to slacken. The economy seems increasingly buoyant with stock and property markets bounding ahead, businesses are enjoying a Covid bounce driven by pent-up consumer spending, and technology continues its role as the corporate darling, connecting businesses to their home-centric customers and their new spending habits. The shortage of IT talent continues to worsen, and any influx of migrants will not be enough to cover this shortfall in the short to medium term. There is no quick fix.
For regular readers, you’ve heard all of that before.
Tactics to Win the War!!
If you’ve been beaten up in the war for talent this year (who hasn’t? – every time I chat to a customer it’s like a game of “who’s got the craziest recruitment story”) I have some tales from the front line from those who are winning.
1. It’s not a race… Actually, it is a race.
Just as our Prime Minister soon realised the errors of his ways when he declared the vaccine rollout was ‘not a race’, the winners in the Talent War are recognising that there is a strong correlation between speed and efficacy.
The winners are moving fast. I have recently been recruiting for a Director role. One of the candidates was being interviewed twice on one day for the same job by my customer. And two of his other potential employers both also booked in for 2 stages on the same day.
Elsewhere, a customer in the entertainment sector received a resume from us mid-afternoon on Tuesday, interviewed him at 1 pm Wednesday, and offer was formalised at 4 pm on Thursday. He started on Monday.
Our candidates are telling us that that CBA is interviewing on consecutive days: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd interviews
It is a race. The winners have the fastest process. The end.
2. Job Boards Don’t Work, Head Hunting Does
Those who advertise jobs regularly would understand that job boards like Seek have largely ceased functioning as an effective recruitment tool for most IT roles. Seek now has up to 250,000 jobs advertised at any time, so it’s almost impossible to gain any visibility. Seek told me last week that Balance’s response rates are amongst the best in our sector, yet we haven’t filled an experienced developer role from Seek ad response this financial year (and we have filled dozens of them).
We have found that great roles, proactively pitched to the right candidates, are getting excellent results.
We’ve been so effective on this front, we have just been announced as a finalist in the LinkedIn Talent Awards for Australia and New Zealand in the Search and Engagement category, primarily on our effectiveness of headhunting.
Head Hunting used to be the preserve of executive recruitment, no longer: we’re headhunting Help Deskers.
One of the key challenges in an inflationary market is trying to attract candidates with competitive salaries without causing parity issues i.e. paying the new guys lots more than the old guys and causing discontent.
This is an age-old issue but we’re seeing this principle abandoned by many employers as they see their staff piling out the doors for greener pastures and no one new coming in.
We had an instance last week, where one of our candidates was asked by a talent competitor ‘What will it take to make you accept an offer right now?’ He named a ridiculous price and had an offer for that in writing by the end of the day.
Headhunting means that loyal staff are getting great offers dangled in front of them every day – increases of 50% are no longer shocking. Most organisations have seen increased attrition and need to pay competitively to continue to function.
Most organisations offer bonuses and other benefits, but these seem to have decreased in effectiveness when people make their final decisions. It’s all about the headline figure.
4. Referral Program
At Balance, our database is the number 1 source of candidates (38%), head hunting is number 2 (20%), Seek at 3 (13%), Linked In ads at number 4 (9%). Referrals were less than 5%.
In 2022, Balance will launch a new referral program. If you refer us a candidate who is successful in securing a role with one of our customers, we will pay you $1000.
Referrals are one of the most effective ways of attracting new staff. Our team has an average of 20 years recruitment experience and has huge networks. We’re looking forward to leveraging these networks more effectively in 2022.
We’re just working on the Terms and Conditions, however in the meantime, if you know someone good, we’re happy to reward you.
Balance is delighted to announce we are a finalist in the LinkedIn Talent Awards 2021 in the Search and Staffing Talent Engagement Category. What does this mean? Apparently, when we headhunt, we receive a better response than our competitors, when we advertise, we receive a better response than our competitors, and our posts on LinkedIn receive more engagement than our peers.
Thanks to those that have responded to us online and thanks to those who gave us great roles to work on, that candidates loved.
Thanks for a great 2021!
It’s been hectic but rewarding, on behalf of the whole team, please accept our heartfelt thanks for everyone’s support across 2021.
We look forward to working with you on the Bin Fire in 2022… It can’t be crazier than this year… But we’ve said that before.