Understandably, companies spend an enormous amount of money and time carving, what they consider to be, the right message to attract new talent.  Dedicated employment websites are created, with portals to make the recruitment experience more painless and accessible.  Via HR departments, businesses have been through the pain of collaborating with workforces to ensure their Vision and Values statements truly reflect on culture, and marketing teams have focused on driving “noise” through social media channels.

Over the past six months we at Collingwood have been researching a lot around this subject.  It’s clear that the war on attracting talent is fierce globally and it’s a topic our clients are keen to discuss.

Two lightbulb moments occurred to me recently on the subject; both of which having been stolen from the marketing world.

  1. As a business do you market your products or service to everyone? Are your marketing campaigns a catch all?  I very much doubt it.  Even brands that attract broad ranges of customers still focus on the behaviours, likes and dislikes of their target markets.  For the majority of employers out there recruitment campaigns focus on capturing the interest of anyone and everyone.  Who are the top 10% of the job market that your businesses craves to attract?  What’s the demographic?  What language should you be using to attract these?  What media channels are this group likely to subscribe to?  What is it that this elusive group are going to see that will pull them into contacting you?
  2. Last week we listened to a TedEx talk by marketing professional Tabaya Waller.  One key point that she made really resonated with me: especially amongst Generation Y (those born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (1997 to 2012), how are they being attracted to brands, products and services?  It’s not through mass company advertising.  In fact, many pay a premium through online subscription platforms to get rid of advertising altogether!  They are increasingly being attracted by individual influencers.  People who endorse products and services.  And so why should this be any different when companies plan to attract fresh talent into their business?  Who are your shining lights internally?  Who speaks well and would act as a strong advocate for the business?  Who internally has a strong, professional online presence?  How can both the Human Resource and Marketing departments work with these individuals in creating more meaningful employer branding messages that hit your target demographic?

Behaviours are shifting;  attracting the best individuals for critical senior leadership roles, together with high potentials who will futureproof your business in years to come, is tough. I hope the above stops and makes you think what else you can be doing.