Hiring talent in today’s world – remember it’s a courtship

A young white woman with blonde hair smiling.

Today’s recruitment market is candidate-driven and intense, and shows no signs of easing off. The Great Resignation is far from over, with one in five employees planning to leave their jobs this year, according to PwC. Competition for top talent is, and will remain, fierce.

So what can businesses do to stand out during the hiring process?

1. Establish a narrative

Establish a clear narrative around your organisation’s purpose and let prospective hires know what makes your organisation one to be proud of. For example, if you’re committed to sustainability, share this with candidates. Instead of trying to compete with bigger players in terms of compensation, appeal to candidates by clearly stating what you value and how you act responsibly.

Addressing career development in particular is key. Be prepared to engage with candidates on the roadmap for promotions, additional training and general growth within your company. And discuss any company ambitions that could benefit their career progression and sync up with their goals.

2. Align with stakeholders and make preparations

Before the hiring process kicks off, align with the team and agree upon the type of person you want to hire. It’s also beneficial to establish a clear internal hierarchy at this stage, with one decision-maker at the top. A multiplicity of voices can lead you into the territory of “decision by committee”, which just slows things down.

Pace is key. The majority of hiring processes get derailed when they lose momentum, so agree on timescales with stakeholders and partners, and get all elements of your proposition ready, from the outset. This will help you keep candidates engaged, manage expectations regarding timeline and move quickly when you find the right candidate. 

Remember, in today’s market, it’s not in your best interests to keep candidates waiting – they will have other offers on the table. If there are times you cannot meet with them, or you’ll be unable to answer questions because you’re travelling, for example, make that clear.

3. Manage perceptions

To the candidate involved in your hiring process, you are only who you appear to be. So don’t just tell them who you are – show them. If you’re an agile and fast-paced company, make sure you have an agile and fast-paced process. Anything less and your claims simply won’t resonate.

This is also true for how you communicate the role. Be realistic and don’t oversell it just to make it look good, otherwise you risk losing talent and wasting time. Instead, try to be clear in terms of where the business is, what it is trying to achieve and what part the role in question will play in it.

4. Create a compelling compensation package

Creating an attractive package right now is not just about paying more financially – it’s about paying more attention to the candidates and giving them what they want.

Perks, benefits and incentives all play a role, but they’re much more compelling if they’re tailored, for example. Think about who you are as a company, the type of candidates you want and what they want in return. You need to customise your offering to the talent you want to hire.

And pay particular attention to long-term incentive plans (LTIPs) – they’re currently the key to getting top talent. Speaking of a successful strategy for LTIPs, one CFO in our network advises: “subtly managing expectations during the process, and then delivering a better offer at the end.”

With this in mind, be prepared to be flexible and agile – on everything from flexible working options to pay structures – based on the needs and desires of the individual; a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in today’s market.

5. Keep the level of the candidate in mind

Challenging a candidate is an important part of the hiring process – not only to ensure you get the right person for the job, but to avoid the candidate losing interest because it’s “too easy”. It is, however, a balancing act. Challenge them and court them.

The process needs to be a positive experience, and one of the most significant ways to achieve that is to make sure that your hiring process has been appropriately designed to reflect the importance of the hire, and with the level of the candidate in mind. This can be consciously communicated to them during the process, but don’t underestimate the power of a gesture. A senior stakeholder, rather than a peer, making time to meet or interview a candidate sends a message that will not be overlooked.

In today’s market, you’ll need patience and persistence, but remember, there is a wealth of talent out there; it’s just a matter of refining your hiring processes to stand out from the crowd.

For more advice or assistance, reach out to our team.

Written by

Byron Tarboton

Byron is responsible for leading both the Technology Search Practice as well as BIE’s executive search capability.

He focuses on delivering C-suite leaders in Technology and Commercial leadership roles into transforming and evolving businesses. He works across a range of industries and ownership structures including FTSE, AIM listed, private Equity as well as privately-owned businesses.

Amelia Black

Amelia is a Director within BIE’s People and Culture Leadership Practice.

She focuses on mid to senior retained assignments and has over 10 years' executive search experience. She has worked for a selection of highly reputable search firms throughout her career in both the UK and Asia. Amelia partners with organisations ranging from start-ups to listed businesses and works across all HR disciplines.

Amy Luke

Amy is a Senior Director within BIE’s CFO and Financial Leadership Executive Search Practice.

She works with businesses across the UK to appoint CFOs, Finance Directors and specialist financial leaders.

Subscribe to BIE Insights

Get updates on our latest reports and articles, as well as invites to our upcoming events and webinars.
© BIE Executive Ltd 2024 | Registered in England & Wales No: 7176911 | VAT No: 974 9772 48
Designed by Kabo Creative