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VIDEO: Talent Attraction and Retention in the digital age

Talent attraction and retention in the digital age

Over the past 6 months I have spoken with many CEOs and CMOs about their business growth strategies. And I have been overwhelmed by the range and scale of their online, digital and social media marketing plans they are developing.

And that’s exciting, but at the risk of being a party-pooper, all this strategy prompts me to offer the reminder that strategy is NOTHING without execution.

The question is, who is going to execute all these the strategies? Where will they come from?

In talent acquisition, your biggest error is to revert to strategies that worked well prior to the GFC. That will not do, and will leave you and your organisation far behind in the talent hunt as the economy improves.

Most of the senior execs I talk to are desperately trying to balance tight financial management, with the need to invest in talent acquisition. And it’s an incredible tension to balance these demands.

And I believe it’s leading to a talent churn, where lower performing people, slower to adapt to the new digital reality, are being managed out, and a new skills set being brought in. So employment does not go up, but hiring and talent sourcing does!

It’s simple really – we don’t have a people shortage, we have a talent shortage.

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And so the reality is that this hunt for talent is now really global. Skills are being sourced globally and today the customer can be thousands of miles away from the place of production. And nowhere is this more applicable than digital design and production.

So it’s talent search on a global scale and at Firebrand we are routinely using our global network to find even mid-level staff with specific skills. And all of this has implications for salary movement, cost of hire and crucially time to hire.

And as you would expect, retention now becomes critical. A fully integrated retention plan, including financial and non-financial incentives is now key if you really want to have the talent to implement your strategies. And that’s an investment that must be driven from the top down.

“Just in time” recruitment will no longer work. You have to have tactics that connect you with digital talent communities, and these niche experts are not going to be popping up on generic job boards. You need a pool of potential candidates that you are engaged with long before your vacancy emerges.

Of course, having a partnership with a great recruiter can do that for you, but whether you do it yourself, through a niche recruiter who understands this or a combination of both, you have to have a concerted acquisition development and retention plan because soon the active talent market will be as dry as the Sahara.

In summary I offer this thought:

In years to come, finding talented people to work for you is going to be much harder than it is to find new clients.

Consider that for a moment and then reflect on where your investment needs to go.

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