The tall task of acquiring talent

In a candidate-driven market, companies are competing with each other to get the best talent. Here is how they are making their workplaces aspirational for potential employees.

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The workforce is changing rapidly. Baby boomers are retiring, millennials are climbing the corporate ladder and Gen Z is entering the workplace. Organisations are facing disruption not only in technology but also in people management. Today, more than ever, businesses need visionary leaders who remain at the helm, not only to steer them through disruption but turn these disruptions into opportunities.

A combination of such transformations has altered the talent acquisition process. Digitisation through AI and predictive analysis simply form one aspect of the transformation. The synergies involved in creating an employer brand to attract the right candidates is the significant development that has taken place in talent acquisition.

Hiring the right talent to gain a competitive edge in future business has led to the unveiling of recruitment marketing. Since talent is limited in the market, companies are in a race to get the best slice. They are making use of multiple platforms to attract the right candidates to join them, and not their competitors.

Amit Das

“The traditional means of talent acquisition are no longer effective because of four generations of employees at the workplace”

An employee of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) recently posted a video on the social-media platform, LinkedIn, which was shared by the CFO too on the same site. Here, the employee talks about his work–life and how he looks forward to it each day. In short, the video sends a strong message to potential candidates that they are missing a lot in life if they are not working there.

Speaking to HRKatha on the business of branding for talent acquisition, Rohit Suri, chief HR & talent officer- South Asia, Group M says, “Our focus is not on branding for talent acquisition, but we work consistently and pervasively towards creating employer branding that helps us attract talent.”

“The traditional means of talent acquisition are no longer effective because of four generations of employees at the workplace,” says Amit Das, director-HR and CHRO, Times of India Group. “Creating a multi-generation pool is distinctly different because each generation requires a different lever and attribute associated with branding,” he adds.

Companies use technology to create personas and archetypes of potential candidates, points out Unmesh Pawar, CHRO, KPMG. “Once that is done, your advertisement, Instagram pages and job postings, all will use that persona to give a sense to what a day in the job will look like,” says Pawar.

Rohit Suri

“In addition to using social-media platforms to influence potential candidates, presentations in business schools have helped us attract entry-level talents. Our employees are our biggest brand ambassadors, making the organisation aspirational for candidates”

Das also believes that in the age of technological disruption real-time feedback from different stakeholders is the cornerstone for brand building to attract talent. “Today, opinions shared by employees and ex- employees on the multiple platforms available on the Internet plays a key role in establishing the image of a company in the context of its leadership, agility and culture attributes,” says Das.

Moreover, an organisation’s culture is constantly scrutinised and judged by the employees – their opinions and reactions impact the talent acquisition process. A potential candidate uses the multiple channels available on the Internet to get a sense of the organisation’s culture.

Synergising and leveraging social media to influence candidate response is universally practiced as a new-age hiring tool. “Not only does it help us find a candidate but also helps us to create an image for our brand,” says Das.

Unmesh Pawar

“Organisations are becoming more personal-real for candidates. They show leaders in action instead of promoting silhouette pictures or pictures of them cutting ribbons”

“Organisations are becoming more personal-real for candidates. They show leaders in action instead of promoting silhouette pictures or pictures of them cutting ribbons.” says Pawar. The candidates are interested in knowing the real picture of an organisation before signing up for one.

“In addition to using social-media platforms to influence potential candidates, presentations in business schools have helped us attract entry-level talents. Our employees are our biggest brand ambassadors, making the organisation aspirational for candidates,” says Suri.

Leaders influence potential employees through different channels says Pawar. He adds, “Everyday there are one to two posts flowing from my account. There are two intentions— first, to show who I stand for as an influencer, and second, to use my voice to push my message to a large follower group,” narrates Pawar.

Organisations are using their leaders and employees to push a point of view, be it being future-ready or having an agile culture in order to attract potential candidates.

“Thus, acquiring talent is a strategy and companies are using multiple digital vendors to derive an integrated solution for talent acquisition,” concludes Suri.

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