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Key Considerations for Organisations in this Competitive Global Market

February 6, 2024

In a global marketplace where the competition for talent is getting higher and hotter, what should organisations be thinking about in terms of talent recruitment?

The first question is do you know what you are looking for? It needs to be clear what the role is so that you can attract candidates who are a good match for your needs. This may involve reviewing a current specification or developing a brand-new one. It should be a realistic job preview with clearly identified activities or management scope.

Organisations should spend some time identifying any current external factors which may impact talent recruitment. For example, what is the current ratio between supply and demand and are there any political factors that need to be considered? Changes to visa approval processes can make the task of international recruitment particularly challenging. If this is not checked in advance it can lead to disappointment later down the line if the paperwork cannot be completed.

Now it is important to think about where you might recruit from; again, this is partially context-dependent. You could review the approach taken by your competitors to mirror them or think about how you can stand out by doing things differently. At this stage you could also get some feedback from some current employees by asking them to reflect upon their experience and share ideas for enhancement. We shouldn’t forget about internal talent recruitment, trying to attract existing employees to apply for promotions or perhaps move into a different area of the business. 

For sought-after roles or those that are highly specialist, organisations may consider offering a ‘golden hello’ to recognise their experience and encourage them to join the organisation. However, incentives don’t all have to be extrinsic. Getting feedback about what people are really looking for is important – would the ability to work remotely or options to buy or sell annual leave relevant? Connecting to local networks and professional body events can also be a useful tool and prospective employees may be enticed if the role includes support for appropriate professional qualifications.

Another possibility is to consider creating a partnership or a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with educational institutions. The level of partnership could build over a period of years to include internships, competitions and insights into working for the organisation. This could help to develop a longer-term strategy which would benefit the organisation in years to come. 

Whilst the strategy and approach are important, there are also wider considerations. Reputation and image are both important when potential candidates are considering submitting an application. Developing a strong reputation in the region and sector can make the organisation seem an attractive proposition. Current employees can be the best advocates and organisational cheerleaders If they feel they are working in a culture where they are appreciated, respected and have opportunities to develop they will share their experiences.

If you step back for one moment and looked at your organisation’s website, would it entice you to want to join the organisation? Are the success stories celebrated? Is there sufficient information on existing employees? This is important because candidates will want to do their homework before making the decision to apply. If you envisage recruiting internationally, it may be useful to share some information on your website about working and living in the country in which you are located. This will encourage candidates to think carefully about their willingness to move if their application is successful.

Of course, there are also external recruitment agencies and consultants who you could work with by sharing your brief with them and allowing them to make initial approaches. A key factor in using this approach would be the specific role as well as the level which it sits in the organisational structure as the cost can be high.

When recruiting talent, we can’t stop at the point of offering them a post. It is likely that they may receive offers from other organisations that they have interviewed for, so it is important that the process is straightforward and timely. It is also important to keep talent ‘warm’ where they missed out on a job role but were deemed to be suitable if any other vacancies arise. 

Author
Professor Fiona Robson

Head of Edinburgh Business School and Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Dubai

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