Navigating the Ongoing Battle for Talent: Strategies for Success

By Janelle Robin, Senior Recruiter

As a Senior Recruiter at People First HR, I’ve witnessed a significant shift in the marketplace lately. For the first time since pre-COVID times, we’re experiencing an increase in available candidates actively seeking opportunities. What’s striking, is the unwavering desire among these candidates – even those presently without employment – to align themselves with organizations that offer a genuine fit.

Candidates are also holding fast to their non-negotiables for maintaining a healthy work-life balance, with benefits like flexible working arrangements that include remote options, hybrid schedules, and adaptable hours, topping their lists.

Through my decade of experience in the industry I’ve found that the organizations reaping the rewards of attracting top-tier candidates are those who make determining a genuine fit much easier with a robust employer brand, and by prioritizing a positive candidate experience. Organizations offering employee perks that go above and beyond traditional benefits, along with that much sought-after flexibility, are also the most well-poised to attain the right talent for completing their teams.

Building Strong Employer Branding:

Establishing a robust employer brand is fundamental in the pursuit of top talent. It’s not just about offering a job; it’s about crafting a compelling narrative that resonates with potential candidates. Here are some strategies for building employer branding that is robust and engaging to candidates:

Define Your Value Proposition: Clearly articulate what makes your organization unique as an employer. This could be your culture, mission, benefits, career development opportunities, or innovative projects. Ensure that this value proposition is appealing to the kind of talent you want to attract.

Showcase Employee Experiences: Use real stories and testimonials from current employees to highlight the positive aspects of working at your organization. This can be done through videos, blogs, and social media posts. Authentic insights into daily work life, organizational culture, and career growth opportunities within the organization can be very persuasive.

Leverage Social Media: Utilize platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to share content that reflects your organization’s culture and values. Regular posts about company events, employee achievements, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into your workplace can build a relatable and attractive employer brand.

Focus on Diversity and Inclusion: Emphasize your commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. This should reflect in your organization’s policies, culture, and in the way you communicate externally. Candidates are increasingly looking for workplaces where they can see themselves represented and valued.

Engage in Community and Social Responsibility: Demonstrate your organization’s involvement in community service and ethical practices. A strong sense of corporate social responsibility can differentiate your brand and appeal to candidates who value civic and environmental engagement.

Monitor Your Employer Brand: Regularly assess your employer brand by seeking feedback from employees and candidates, and by monitoring reviews on platforms like Glassdoor. This can help you understand the perception of your brand and identify areas for improvement.

Continuous Improvement: Employer branding is not a set-it-and-forget-it part of your organization. Continuously seek innovative ways to enhance your brand and stay current with trends and changes in the market.

Provide a Great Candidate Experience: From initial application to final interview, every interaction shapes perceptions of an organization. Organizations that prioritize transparency, communication, and respect throughout the recruitment journey stand out. Seamless scheduling, prompt feedback, and personalized engagement can leave a lasting positive impression, even on those who aren’t ultimately hired.

By showcasing a clear and authentic employer brand with particular emphasis on a positive candidate experience, organizations can attract talent eager to contribute to a larger mission. APTN, Edison Properties, University de Saint Boniface, Access Credit Union, Red River Co-op, SJR, University of Manitoba, World Trade Centre Winnipeg, Turning Leaf, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and St Amant (all part of Manitoba’s Top Employers for 2024) excel in this area by demonstrating innovation, inclusivity, and employee empowerment.

Offering Benefits and Flexibility:

Traditional perks alone may no longer suffice in attracting top talent. Candidates now value work life balance, flexibility, autonomy, and holistic well-being initiatives. Forward-thinking organizations recognize this shift and adapt their offerings accordingly. From flexible work schedules to wellness accounts and remote work opportunities, organizations are redefining employee benefits. Tech giants like Microsoft have implemented innovative benefits such as paid parental leave and mental health days, setting new standards for employee care and satisfaction.

As the war for talent rages on, organizations must continually refine their strategies to remain competitive. By cultivating a strong employer brand, delivering an exceptional candidate experience, and offering compelling benefits and flexibility, organizations can position themselves as employers of choice in a crowded marketplace.

In this ongoing battle, success lies not only in finding talent but also in nurturing and retaining it for the long haul. As we navigate the evolving landscape of talent acquisition, one thing remains certain: the quest for the right talent is an ever-present challenge, but with the right approach, attracting and retaining the right candidate is within reach.