16 December 2021 — Facing talent shortages? You’re not alone. With demand rapidly outstripping supply, organisations in the APAC region and around the world need to rethink and refine their approach to securing talent – or risk losing out on the skills they need to innovate and grow.
Here are some key practical steps you can take to close the skills gaps in your workforce.
Optimise your candidate experience
One consequence of the talent crunch is that all organisations are now willing to pay good money to secure the right candidates. As a result, money is no longer the only deciding factor when candidates are making decisions about their role. Instead, what they are concerned about is the quality of the role and the culture of the organisation they are thinking of joining.
Crucially, the opinions candidates form will be dictated by their experiences during the recruitment process. Does everything run smoothly and to schedule? Are they treated with professionalism and respect? These are the cues candidates will be responding to when they are thinking about what life at your organisation might be like. The fact that they are likely to be receiving multiple offers makes it even more important that the impression they form is a compelling one.
What can organisations do to ensure the candidate experience is as good as it can be? The first important step is to think of it as candidate experiences in the plural. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here. What counts for a quality experience in the eyes of a recent graduate will be very different from what a seasoned professional expects.
That said, there are some fundamental elements that all good candidate experiences must include:
The process needs to be quick, efficient and, ideally, mobile-based. Being able to apply for roles anytime, anywhere is no longer seen as a differentiator – it is simply a norm that candidates expect.
- Correct balance of automation and personalisation
Automating your recruitment process can make it more efficient. Go too far, however, and you risk losing the personalised elements that make the candidate experience more informative, engaging and memorable. Achieving the optimum balance is critical. But, again, what’s right is likely to differ between candidate groups.
Poor communication is the most common candidate gripe. One sure-fire way to enhance their experience is to keep people updated and informed about where they are in the process, how they are doing and what’s coming next.
- Don’t just buy. Build and borrow.
If you’re looking to meet your future skills requirements through talent acquisition alone, you’re likely to come unstuck. The reality is there are not enough skills in the market to meet demand. Instead, external and internal sourcing should be treated as a single, holistic approach, with talent acquisition and talent management working in close alignment to train, develop and upskill workers in line with future business needs.
Get serious about DE&I
Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive recruitment process is not just the right thing to do – it’s also the smart thing to do. Why? First, because most people would prefer to work for a company that is a good corporate citizen. So, the more authentic and active you are in your DEI efforts, the more attractive you will be as an employer. Second, you will struggle to secure the skills you need if you don’t diversify talent pools. It is more important than ever, in this era of talent scarcity, to cast your net as widely as possible and access candidates from a broad range of backgrounds. Third, diverse, equitable and inclusive teams are good for business. Having a mix of profiles gives you better insight into your customer base and brings different ideas and perspectives to the table that make it quicker and easier to innovate.
Localise your employer brand
The key to an effective employer brand is that it truly reflects the personality of your organisation. Any disconnect between image and reality makes it harder to recruit the right candidates for your business and will create retention problems further down the line. This poses an important question for organisations: how authentic can your employee value proposition be if you’re using the same messages and approaches to appeal to very different audiences, not just across APAC but around the world?
Ideally, your employee value proposition should flex to reflect local nuances. At the same time, you don’t want to create a patchwork effect, with stark contrasts between what you’re offering around the world. To avoid this, make sure you identify and communicate the consistent underlying themes that are true for every region. These themes should always form the basis of your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). And remember, employer brand isn't 'set and forget'. Make sure to review how things are going regularly to ensure your strategies are meeting your objectives.
At AMS, we’re already helping many of our APAC clients to think more broadly about how they secure the talent they need now and for the future. Discover how we can help you find new ways to overcome talent shortages, contact us today.