Tech Talent: Winning Today’s Talent War

Jennifer Burkus • Mar 17, 2020

With the unemployment rate hovering below 4% nationally, companies all over are fighting to snag the best candidates on the market. To win the talent war, you've got to get creative on how you attract the talent your business needs to grow and succeed. But how can recruiters and talent management folk do just that? Well have no fear. We’re going to cover a few different tactics you need to be using to make the recruiting process as efficient and painless as possible.

First, let’s talk communication. This sounds like a no-brainer but thorough communication and follow through can be your competitive advantage against your fellow recruiting peers. I can’t tell you how many times a candidate tells me about a bad experience they’ve had with a recruiter, and usually it's always focused around poor communication. From first look to first day, it’s imperative to set expectations as to how and when communication will occur. Sometimes, even text check-ins are sufficient, but whatever you and your candidate agree to, don’t let them fall into the forbidden resume black hole. Even if you simply check in to say that you don’t have an update, that will go a lot further than radio silence. It’s important to have empathy for your candidate, as you certainly wouldn’t want to be forgotten about.

Next, let’s discuss candidate applications. Majority of candidates are applying to jobs from their mobile devices. Have you taken the time to test your company’s career page and apply to an open role via mobile? How long does the process take? Are there tons of questions/forms needing to be filled out? If the mobile application process takes over two minutes, it’s time for a change. Once you’ve simplified the mobile application process, look at the job description you or the hiring manager has written. Essentially, candidates want to know three main items: an overview of the company (culture), an idea as to how they’ll impact the business and the expertise needed for the role. Provide four to five bullets per section, no more is needed. Ideally, you are trying to cast a wider net, and if you have an abundance of “requirements” even some of the most qualified applicants may not feel they’re qualified for the role, thus won’t apply at all.

Last, be ready to battle the dreaded counteroffer. Companies know how hard it is to find talent, and subsequently they don’t want to lose that talent. Educate your candidates on why accepting a counteroffer is never a good idea. I read a few years ago a study which said 80-90% of candidates who accept a counter offer from their employer end up leaving within the following twelve months. Currently, I’ve found money is not the most pressing factor for candidates to want to leave their organization. Career growth/opportunity and feeling of purpose are on the top of the list. Remind your candidates as to their motivating factors for wanting to leave, and why you started the conversation with them in the first place. Being their sounding board builds trust in the recruiting process, and proves you are truly their advocate.

Winning the talent war doesn’t have to be a monumental task. With the right mindset and preparation, your organization can win the battle and set yourselves up for long term recruiting success.