Despite the hype in the media in recent months about rising unemployment figures and large scale redundancies through the closure of some high profile businesses, it is still getting harder to find good talent and this doesn't seem to be changing in the future.
The facts are that unemployment in Australia is still at historically very low levels, we have an ageing workforce with an increasing number of baby boomers set to retire in the next 10 to 15 years and we have seen birth rates consistently declining since the 60's to the point where there are now less new entrants entering the workforce than are leaving it. And immigration will not solve the problem unless we see a significant change in immigration policy at a federal level but with the recent rhetoric from our politicians around 457 temporary skilled visas it is hard to see that happening. In addition our talent is in demand around the world, particularly in specialist areas such as banking & finance, accounting, IT, engineering, education, healthcare and marketing, so we will see more talented Australians lured off shore to the traditional markets of London, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and the USA, as well as emerging markets like China.
If you are a job seeker this news is good and this puts you potentially in the “driver’s seat” however for employers the task of finding talent is only going to get harder and with less people potentially looking for roles how do you find the people you need?
In the old days things were far simpler, we put an advertisement in the paper or on an internet job board and candidates applied. More recently we have turned to social media sites like Linkedin in order to seek out passive job seekers in our first and second tier networks. However we need to look beyond our social networks and connections and take a deep dive in to "big data" if we are to stay ahead in the talent race in the future.
Big data creates incredible opportunities for you to locate talent you would have never found in the past. Talent that did not know about you or your vacancy. Think of big data like an iceberg. There are over 500 million Facebook profiles, 175 million Linkedin profiles, 500 million Twitter profiles, 250 million Google + profiles and 1 billion tweets every three days. All of these are potential talent for you business but like an iceberg you can only really see around 20% of its mass. This is the areas reached via the tools used by most business such as Google searches, Linkedin searches, job board database searches or more traditional referral and alumni programs or the creation of your own talent databases. But how do you reach the other 80% you don’t know exist and who potentially have never heard of your organisation and what you stand for.
And this leads me to my second point it is not just about how you find talent that will be important. It will be also be about how you position your employment brand and your employee value proposition to them.
An ‘employer brand’ is based on various intangible factors, including perception, image versus identity, and the ability to differentiate between them. In a nutshell:
An employer brand represents the image your company projects as a potential employer. If you have a strong employer brand and unique value proposition, then your company is considered a distinctive place to work, with attractive brand values and career prospects. It helps you recruit highly-skilled and promising new employees and enhances their loyalty by increasing their identification with your company. It also raises your organisation’s visibility in the job market and makes you stand out from the competition.
In today's highly competitive job market, employer branding is a crucial tool for attracting and retaining the right kind of talent.
Remember that the talent you are looking for has choices and more information available to them about your business than ever before. What are the real strengths of your business? What is it that job seekers within different demographics value about your business and how do you connect with them to sell this value. But be certain of one thing, one size will not fit all for the job seeker of the future and you will need to tailor your messages individually if you want to make sure you are building a skilled and diverse community of talent in your business.
Honing all of these skills will be the secret to your success in the coming years either through the development of in-house expertise or working with skilled recruiters who truly understand the art of recruiting and can find you the best talent in the market not the best talent on the market.
For more information on what job seekers look for from an employer brand go to the employer branding section on workforce360 and see what Australia’s top companies are doing to attract talent through their employment brand.