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Why is it harder to find great talent?

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

The ever-changing nature of the workforce landscape means that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to source top talent. So much so that it’s no longer just the responsibility of HR functions, it’s now also one of the biggest concerns for business leaders.

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trade report, talent acquisition has been ranked the third-most-important organisational challenge. As pressure to hire quality candidates grows, there’s never been a more apt time to explore the root causes behind the challenge.

The talent pool is limited

The talent gap has been well-publicised over recent years; but unfortunately it seems that the problem is here to stay. A McKinsey Global Institute study found that employers in Europe and North America will need 16 million to 18 million more college-educated workers in 2020 than are going to be available.

The bottom line is that more employers are looking for new hires in a smaller pool of skilled candidates. Yet hiring managers are still receiving tonnes of applications, making it even more difficult to separate mediocre talent from the pick of the crop.

Competition is fierce

For the first time ever, the job market is being driven by candidates. Employees are seeking new careers and new career models. This has left companies scrambling to position themselves as the best choice to a shrinking pool of talent.

With skilled workers in scarce supply, small and medium-sized organisations are struggling to attract the best talent as they vie with larger companies that can win over candidates with larger salaries, impressive benefits and exciting development opportunities.

Organisations need to develop more creative hiring strategies to get a competitive edge. Talent forecasting, investing in the candidate experience and creating an attractive working culture are all things companies can do to set themselves apart.

Slow hiring: a big no-no

Every new hire is a gamble, so it’s understandable that recruiting managers want to consider their decisions carefully. But taking too long to make a final decision can be disastrous where great talent is concerned. Time-to-fill is estimated to be on average up to one month – which is far too long in the fast-paced world organisations now operate in.

It’s naïve to think that the most qualified candidates only have eyes for one company – they are likely to be interviewing for more than one job. If employers allow indecision to take hold, the best talent will slip through their fingers.

Technology has changed the game

The emergence of new hiring technology, platforms and channels has been a godsend to some organisations; however, it has also complicated the search for top talent. Skilled workers are now able to move much more freely. They can hop from role to role, but also across organisational and geographical boundaries. As a result, the ball is now firmly in the candidate’s court.

If employers want to be able to tap in to the best people, they will need to broaden and expand their sourcing channels. Thanks to technology, quality talent is more likely to be found in the form of freelancers, crowds or even part-time candidates.

Our FREE Guide to Smarter Hiring provides a wealth of insight to help hiring managers maximise their recruiting strategies. Click here for more information.

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