The "War for Talent" is Back

The "War on Talent" is back (I know... cliche) but do you have to be in it to win it?

For anyone who keeps tabs on our blogs, you'll have seen that we are without a doubt out of the recession and are back in a candidate driven market.

"Candidate is King" and external and internal teams are out in the markets every day with the sole purpose of attracting the best candidates. Some companies understand this and are working with strategic recruitment partners to supplement their ever growing internal recruitment teams, however there is more to be done by companies to not only help their recruitment partners, but also themselves to get the best of the best through their doors.

There is now, more than ever, the greatest selection of high technology companies all clambering for the best talent. From newly formed start-ups looking to take over the world to the very well established giants looking for another massive product innovation, if you're working within the IT sector you're almost spoilt for choice. If you're also one of the elite, you're pretty much writing your own cheques!

I work with a number of clients across Retail, Commerce, Media and Digital Industries of all shapes and sizes, I know that being able to compete with the social giants of Google and Facebook on price is never going to happen, but more and more I see money being less of a determining factor as to why people take jobs in our sector, but this only happens if they have bought into your company.

Whilst it is key for you as an employer to have a great interview process to make sure you get the best person into your company, candidates are interviewing you too, evaluating what they hear, see and feel to understand if you can offer them what they need.

Candidates WILL lower their salary expectations if they feel they will be able to fulfil other goals. Where some companies fall down is that they expect the candidates to know how they work technically (somehow) and are not willing, or thought about, who they are interviewing and what is motivating the move. Would they accept the position if offered?

OK, so this is focussed a bit on developers, but I believe this crosses all industries... People want to know what they will be doing and they want to be clear on how you do it before they consider a position or how you intend to do it better in the future!

With the introduction of code and knowledge sharing sites such as GitHub and StackOverflow, companies are now expecting developers to demonstrate or show their capabilities as a developer before they even interview them. New jobseekers are just as keen to see examples of work from the company to back up what they are saying; to speak with the current teams and truly understand what working with your company will be like.

People aren't asking for much when looking for a job, but when they are looking for career progression, to work a 9-5, investment in training and development, to work with the latest and greatest technologies, that's what they expect to find when they walk through the doors and giving examples of where this has been done before is a great way of giving clarity in someone's mind!

Winning the war on talent isn't just about getting them through the doors, but making sure they leave interested and have bought into your company when they are there! This starts in the very first interview with a candidate walking into the office, or finishing the call on a high. They leave feeling like they've been challenged, have a clear understanding of the technology they'll be working with (having been given great examples), the direction and vision of the company and how they will be a part of it... you get the picture.

Get this wrong and you are in the front lines. Do this right and the war on talent becomes someone else's problem!