How to Build a Competitive Talent Attraction Strategy
In a climate of economic uncertainty, access to best-in-industry talent is more critical than ever.
A strong talent attraction strategy can unlock access to the expertise you need to not only preserve business continuity but thrive as an organisation. However, in STEM where skills shortages are rife, specialist talent can be hard to source. Research from STEM Learning shows that 7 in 10 leaders are finding it difficult to find people with the right skills and are experiencing with major staff shortages.
While the cost-of-living crisis is currently driving more employees to switch jobs, in my experience many senior passive candidates favour job security, and as a consequence experienced specialist candidates are increasingly challenging to access.
In this article, I’ll provide actionable advice to help you overcome the hurdles and strengthen your talent attraction strategy based on my own experience working across STEM as a specialist recruiter.
Read on to learn more about:
- The importance of a strong employee value proposition (EVP)
- 3 ways to strengthen your talent attraction strategy
- Preparing for the future of talent attraction
The importance of a strong employee value proposition (EVP)
Effectively persuading candidates to consider your organisation relies on your messaging, marketing, and overall brand as an organisation.
An EVP encompasses this concept and is a brand campaign that highlights the value of working at an organisation.
While some companies may have well-construed customer and client marketing campaigns, creating a brand that highlights why people should work with them in a meaningful way can be challenging and often poses a key barrier for organisations.
Taking the time to build an EVP can provide your organisation with the platform it needs to bring your talent attraction strategy to life, and your target candidates are more likely to identify with your organisation. What’s more, your current employees are more likely to be engaged and committed in their work, helping to lower attrition.
3 ways to strengthen your talent attraction strategy
Salary transparency encourages the right level of applications and can help overcome salary imbalance and inequities for diverse groups. SRG’s Global STEM Surveyshows that the gender and ethnicity pay gaps have widened. Salary transparency can set your organisation on the right path to overcoming these persisting imbalances.
Alongside supporting diversity, salary transparency can help reduce candidate fallout. Equipping candidates with the opportunity to assess the suitability of the salary range against their own expectations before they apply, can significantly reduce the number of people who leave the application process due to salary related concerns – saving you time and streamlining the recruitment process.
In line with salary transparency, transparency around funding rounds can be crucial for smaller start-up organisations. Successfully promoting your financial backing can reassure candidates who may be more inclined towards larger corporations and help extend your reach as an organisation.
I recently worked with a European-based healthcare IT company that secured more funding to expand in the UK. We adopted a transparent approach surrounding the level of investment and salary across the recruitment process, and in doing so directly inspired more UK candidates into the application process, despite the organisation’s lack of UK presence.
In the wider world of business where most companies provide some form of benefits package, standing out from the crowd can be tough.
Providing meaningful, flexible benefits can provide a key avenue to making a strong impression from the start. Research from EY on the post-pandemic workforce shows that flexibility and working from home remain key motivators for candidates in the job search.
Interestingly, SRG’s Global Science Employment Report shows that across UK, US, and wider Europe, a good work life balance was cited as the most important factor for the highest number of people. At the same time, it was ranked as the least important factor by the most respondents in the UK and Europe, showing that flexible approach to benefits is vital; what matters to one person, does not matter to another. Over half of all respondents in all regions said they would also find an employer appealing if they offered an attractive salary and benefits package or challenging work.
Diversity and inclusion
SRG’s research in STEM shows that in 2021, 25% of women reported feeling harassed or discriminated against at work, but in 2022, this figure rose to 32%. Likewise, the statistics for men also rose, from 19% in 2021, to 23% in 2022.
Gender was the biggest factor behind discrimination and harassment, but age, ethnicity, education, disability, and sexuality were other significant factors for respondents.
As shown by our research, DE&I initiatives are increasingly critical to establishing safe and supportive work environments where all people can thrive. However, creating a successful initiative that drives candidate attraction relies on a considered, well researched approach.
Bayer, a global pharmaceutical organisation was recently heralded as the most inclusive organisation within the pharmaceutical industry. According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates LGBTQ+ workplace quality, resource groups, interactive workshops, and allyship dialogues, Bayer’s score is perfect.
Some of the initiatives Bayer has progressed to help them achieve their leading score include:
- Scholarship programmes for the Asian University for Women
- Leadership and skill development for women in STEM leadership
- Embedded platforms for diverse perspectives
- Goal to increase disabled workforce by 5% by 2030
- Goal to establish gender parity in all management levels by 2030
Outside of Bayer’s work, I’d like to recommend that while neurodiversity can occasionally fall under disability inclusion, proactively empowering neurodiverse employees is still an under-utilised approach.
Creating a neurodiverse-sensitive advertising campaign and considering how your roles and team could accommodate conditions, as well as benefit from them, can help unlock additional candidate pools, as well as motivate existing applicants who may be neurodiverse to commit to your organisation.
Preparing for the future of talent attraction
The ongoing implications surrounding Brexit, alongside current global economic uncertainty, has shifted the recruitment market in some ways, as some organisations begin to downsize, or grow both in and outside of the UK.
Despite these changes, the recruitment market remains candidate driven, particularly in the STEM industries where skills shortages are rife. Amending the skills gap will take educational reform, alongside workplace training, apprenticeships, and work experience programmes – these are all changes that could take a decade for their full impact to be realised.
When, and if, the recruitment market does shift back to being employer-led, those organisations with robust and meaningful candidate attraction strategies are more likely to have a better reputation amongst candidates and be prioritised by top talent in the long term.
With this in mind, preparing a considered candidate attraction strategy today will likely set your recruitment in good stead for the future.
At Search by SRG, we help organisations build personalised candidate packs that highlight the features of the role and company, and amplify benefits in a tailored way depending on the market segment. Alongside this, we provide candidates and clients alike with data analytics access surrounding the role, equipping both stakeholders with a real time view of how the opportunity compares to other roles that are currently advertised.
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