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How to win talent in a tightening employment market.

by Melissa Behrend
| Nov 10, 2021 |
HR Policies, HR Policies for small business, Outsourced HR

The winners in the current employment market will be the businesses that think outside of the box. Keep an open mind in both what you offer and what you look for in employees in order to attract – and keep – the best talent available.


The Post-Covid labour market in Australia is a seller’s market. This means there is a surplus of job vacancies compared to the number of appropriate applicants competing for them. If you’re a small business struggling to recruit, you’re definitely not alone! In a series of three articles, we delve into some insider’s tips about how to be smarter in order to retain talent, attract talent and win talent in a tightening employment market.


Why thinking differently makes all the difference


In a competitive market, you can’t win by playing the same game as everyone else. Keeping an open mind means creating an advantage by being more flexible, nimble and creative than your competitors. When you approach recruitment with this mindset, it becomes easier to see opportunities to find the right candidate for that hard-to-fill role, even if there is a labour shortage. Here are some ways to think outside the box.


Look for the right attitude over the right experience


The best candidate to fill your role may not be the one with the most experience but the person who demonstrates a capacity and passion to develop and grow in line with your company’s plans.


Look for things like micro-qualifications or short courses people have done on their own merit. This shows dedication, interest and a willing attitude. Invest in developing the person who has the right attitude and abilities to become your perfect employee.


Search for transferable talent


Is there another industry from which you could poach talent with transferable skills? This type of lateral thinking can be very effective in terms of finding new recruitment pools – places where your competitors may not have thought about.


Sometimes finding talent in different industries requires additional training, which might put some people off. However, being open to developing your new recruit through both formal and on the job training could pay off big dividends in the future.


Hire graduates and young talent


Another way to develop the employee you need is to consider hiring a new or recent graduate. This could be a great solution of you are looking for a specific technical skill that is difficult to find via the transferable talent approach.


Many employers are reluctant to hire graduates because of lack of experience; however, graduates are often very motivated to learn on the job and will provide significant capability in the medium term.


Provide a great onboarding experience


Having a winning attitude in a tightening labour market isn’t just about finding the right talent; it’s about keeping them too. According to Harvard Business Review, an alarming 33% of employees look for a new job within six months of employment. That represents a huge loss in time, money and effort, especially in a market where suitable candidates are in short supply.


A great onboarding experience can go a long way towards building trust, commitment and loyalty in new staff. Onboarding should be about helping new employees not only understand the technical and practical expectations of their role but also helping them feel like valued and appreciated members of the team.


Make your workplace awesome


When the going gets tough, recruiters get creative. What could your workplace do to attract the best of the best? Could you focus on health and wellbeing by offering gym memberships, standing desks and in-house yoga classes? Could social responsibility initiatives be a way to stand out from other employers and attract the right candidates? How could you improve your company culture to make it a fun, caring and productive environment for all employees?


The right path for your business is the one that helps you stand out from other employers in your industry for all the right reasons.


Need specialist HR advice and support?


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Written by Melissa Behrend

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