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How to Attract Top Talent In the Midst of a Talent Shortage?

A recent survey conducted by global HR company Manpower reveals a gloomy picture of continual and extensive talent shortage worldwide. In 2012, 33 percent of employers named “lack of available applicants/no applicants” as the most common reason for difficulty filling jobs, a 9 percent increase. The same percentage of employers cited “lack of technical competencies / hard skills” as the main reason behind their understaffed business, an 11 percent increase since 2011.

The survey also shed light on the specific talent shortage in each region; Asia Pacific employers claim the sales representative position is the most challenging role to fill. Skilled trade candidates are in high demand in EMEA countries (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). In the Americas employers have a hard time finding qualified engineers.

Clearly, the talent shortage is a global problem, and as the statistics show, it’s only going to get worse. For small businesses this means higher competition on each and every eligible candidate. That is why I decided to dedicate this post to give you some tips on how to attract top talent.

First, use your employees to promote your business. Attracting new talented employees is just like marketing to consumers; word of mouth and peer recommendation are the best policies here too. Give your employees the tools they need to market your “brand” to their friends from college or their past colleagues. Those tools include designing a memorable message that will convey your business’s essence and will appeal to potential employees or designing an informative and attractive “career” section on your website.

Second, show what it’s like to work for you in a creative and fun way. Use YouTube and social media to show how your company is a great place to work, putting your employees front and center. Allow them to share their personal story on your site or maybe guest-write on your company’s blog. Post pictures of the office, company events, meetings, etc. to give your future top talent a feel for what it’s like to work for you.

Third, be a proactive communicator online. Talk to the people who follow your company on LinkedIn or other professional social networks you use. Look for groups that are relevant to your industry and check who else is active on them. Use your professional network for referrals and introductions. Social recruiting networks like Jobfox that connect companies with job seekers specifically interested in working for them might also be relevant and more recruiting-oriented.

I hope these tips gave you some idea of how you can compete in the already very crowded market of employers looking to find their next star.

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On the Creation of a Talent-Rich Culture
Going Beyond Borders: Introducing the Born Global Entrepreneur
Adapting to the Blurring Borders: Workplace Flexibility
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