Simply having the biggest carrot on offer will not attract the best candidates, says Andy Batt
The ever-uncertain economic climate means that for many organisations, concerns about skills shortages and employee turnover have been superseded in the short-term by questions of how to manage costs and raise productivity.
But the longer-term agenda remains. Creating a well-managed, effective workforce, able to deliver its best for the future, cannot and should not be left to chance.
Employers will need to be smarter about managing all their employee 'talent' effectively - not just the high-fliers they may have focused on in the past.
The problems caused by a mismatch of need and available resources in the labour markets are all too familiar. The IT industry has illustrated this difficulty, with repeated periods of high salary inflation and employee turnover. In the UK and Germany, governments have taken radical steps to deal with such shortfalls, offering easily obtainable work permits to thousands of skilled IT staff from outside the EU. These are the wanted 'economic' migrants.
Population growth trends indicate that in the absence of other changes - for example, substantial increases in immigration or relocation of jobs to other markets - skills gaps could become widespread throughout Europe.
How employers can prepare
Employers need to market themselves to existing and future employees with as much vigour as they do their products and services. The most successful organisations will have already addressed many of the following:
- Develop a distinct employer brand
Organisations with a clearly defined employment brand proposition and positive image find it easier to attract new staff. Those who have not invested in building their reputation will naturally find it harder to recruit, and may end up paying a premium to persuade employees to join them.
Think about ways in which you can differentiate your employment offer from the rest. Benchmark yourself against organisations rated as the best to work for in your markets.
- Expand the 'marketplace' you recruit from
Every employer strives to hire the best possible people. Yet in a tight market, a compromise may need to be reached between 'the ideal', and what is available at a reasonable cost. Review your hiring policies to ensure they are not unnecessarily restri