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Talent drought: how to attract the best against the odds

24/04/2018
Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Commercial talent; often it feels as though there isn’t any! And it’s not just a feeling either; in January, the British Chamber of Commerce published findings that skills shortages in both service and manufacturing industries were reaching ‘critical levels’. The headlines make for sobering reading, although it’s not all doom and gloom. Businesses can take specific steps to give themselves a much better chance of attracting, and retaining, the very best talent: a strong employer brand and a reliable recruitment partner could make the difference your company needs. 

Building a brand: need to know 

If asked to name a famous brand, there’s probably half a dozen or more that you could name off the top of your head. We’ve all heard of consumer brands like Coca-Cola, but what about employer brands? 

An employer brand should be to your potential employees what your market branding is to the people that buy your products and services. It should be appealing and should essentially portray your business as a desirable place to work – as it is, no doubt. An employer brand might showcase the following aspects of your company:

  • Success stories – what kind of achievements have your staff made since working in your company? 
  • Culture – is it work hard, play hard, or do you encourage staff to pursue a healthy work/life balance?
  • Quality of work – is the work varied, challenging and interesting?
  • Training and development – what opportunities are there to enhance skills, and how might a candidate grow their career with you?
  • Benefits – apart from salary and financial reward, what are the benefits of working for your business over and above another? 

Reassurance

Post-recession and post-Brexit, those on the lookout for a new job want to know that the company they decide to work for is a solid investment of their professional time and skills. Businesses need to reassure potential candidates that their prospects are good and that the company offers a good fit in terms of values. 

A strong employer brand shouldn’t just work to attract new talent, it should help to retain existing talent. In fact, one of the most effective ways to devise a strategy for creating an employer brand is to communicate with your existing staff. Find out what motivates them, what they would like to see more or less of, and how their experience could be improved upon and you’ll have a good idea of what potential employees are looking for.

Getting the right support for your employer brand

Having an employer brand is valuable and should pay dividends in the long term. A great employer brand, however, takes time to create, establish and maintain. And all the while the war for talent rages on. The very best talent work hard and it’s hard work to attract them to your company too! 

A recruitment partner that works in the background while you concentrate on your own brand-building activity can be incredibly beneficial. An established recruitment agency will already have their own brand and a good reputation, which reflects well on your business and provides reassurance to the candidate. What’s more, a recruitment agency, especially one with a broad spectrum of commercial experience, will have their ear to the ground and be able to keep you informed of candidate feedback and motivations to be aware of when establishing and maintaining an employer brand. 

Not just a helping hand

Clayton Recruitment’s regional analysis of recruitment trends in the North West found that vacancies are on the increase across all industries from commercial finance to logistics: it doesn’t appear that the skills shortage will be coming to an end any time soon. The benefit of working with a recruitment partner is that while you’re busy building up your employer brand, the agent can access their existing pool of talent to find you the best candidate. 

An agency that understands and has plenty of experience in commercial recruitment is key too. They can use their extensive and wide-ranging sector knowledge to filter out the very best talent that matches up with your needs. And while the skills shortage isn’t likely to disappear overnight, it can take a weight off your shoulders knowing that a professional is handling your company’s recruitment. 

If you’re thinking of creating an employer brand or think that your existing brand needs re-developing, then why not get in touch with Clayton Recruitment? We’d be happy to chat about employer branding or help with finding the best talent for your business.

If you’d like to find out more about building an Employer Brand, please download our guide here

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of using a specialised recruitment company, have a look at our blog on how to get the best out of your recruitment company.

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