Attracting key talent in an ever-changing market

Uncertainty remains rife in the job market and there’s no sign of this changing soon. HainesAttract’s Head of Partnerships Ben Tinker says people are eager for the market to return to normal following the pandemic, but volatility is still very present. We are living in a world where situations constantly change so the need to adapt rapidly and effectively is essential. 

Over twenty years of experience in global talent acquisition enables Ben to provide direction about how businesses, teams and individuals can attract, engage, onboard and nurture the talent they need without wasting precious time and resources. ACE is delighted to announce that he will share this knowledge at our inaugural ACE New Zealand SME Summit on 8 May in Auckland. 

How should SMEs approach the uncertain job market? 

Ben describes the state of the sector’s job market as volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous, and hyperconnected (VUCAH). He says it’s affecting every business, regardless of its nature, and there is no sign of this changing. VUCAH breeds uncertainty, which means there are no predictable trends and planning for the future is challenging.  

Consequently, Ben believes all companies need to prioritise for the next three to six months to be able to deliver on their needs, and this applies to all businesses regardless of size. 

How do businesses attract the talent they need? 

Ben says there are four key areas to analyse before commencing a recruitment drive. If a business is going to secure the people it wants, it must first undertake some essential background work. The four stages, which are all connected, are: 

  1. Assessment of the business strategy - where is the business heading, what is its human resource development strategy and how does it fit within the business strategy? Also look at the business structure - why do certain teams or roles exist, what does their future look like, and what are the goals of the team or of that role?
  2. Marketing and media – diversify channels used to find the people the business wants to attract.
  3. Creative strategy – what is the employer’s brand?
  4. Attribution – understand where the potential employee or group has been, how they live, and what influences them to make sure recruitment is targeted to the right places. 

Ben stresses the importance of undertaking this process, pointing out that a disconnect often exists between areas, such as the business strategy and structure. He says a business can also return to these four key areas if its situation changes suddenly, for example, it may urgently need to recruit more people.  

The value of an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) 

Ben is enthusiastic about the value and strength EVPs offer, saying it is a strategic project that can drive change. The attraction assessment process could form part of the approach and Ben says this process is relevant to all businesses regardless of their size because it identifies what the business stands for and the kind of people it needs.  

An EVP has huge value when telling the business’ story to the recruitment market, ensuring everyone involved in the recruitment is saying the same thing. Ben says a consistent and engaging message is essential - the story must be clear and inform the market what the business represents and offers, including challenges and opportunities, and the direction it wants to go in the future. 

Is key talent hard to find? 

Ben says most of today’s key talent is not currently in need of work as many already have good jobs. Therefore, to enter the consciousness of these people, businesses need to inhabit the spaces this talent occupies and visits in their daily lives, which might involve LinkedIn, publications they are reading, or sports they are playing. It is essential to consider the daily media journey they undertake to ensure the attraction strategy fits. 

HainesAttract works with and offers advice to organisations about how to succeed in attracting the best talent by teaching them tactics to get themselves in the right place. Ben says talent recruitment today is almost unrecognisable from twenty years ago and it’s very easy for companies to miss out on attracting key talent if they are not targeting the daily areas this talent frequents. 

Why should SMEs come to the ACE New Zealand SME Summit? 

Ben says HainesAttract is keen to help businesses of any size succeed in talent acquisition. He is aware budgets differ for all companies and says successfully recruiting the right people needn’t be costly. By working through the four key areas outlined above, businesses can tailor their recruitment drive to meet their needs effectively and efficiently ensuring they are telling their story in an engaging and clear manner, and reaching the people they want to attract.  

More information 

Find out more about the ACE New Zealand SME Summit in May in Auckland