Winning the Battles for Talent

5 minutes read
By Irene Martínez, Project Manager at Top Employers Institute
Irene Martínez
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I think it’s time that we stop saying we're in a war for talent. Not because the fight is cooling off, but rather, because it is intensifying. It is worth changing our perspective on the concept itself; its real form is not that of a war, but of continuous battles for talent. Organisation’s ability to attract, engage and stay committed to and excited about the talent they need is not something we win or lose at once. It is a process of continuous improvement - a thrilling one at that - in which the areas of people management play a decisive role.

Maximising the Employer Brand Strategy

88% of companies worldwide certified as Top Employers have an employer brand strategy that incorporates their employee value proposition as a core element. Naturally, all organisations offer some kind of value proposition to their employees.if they didn't, it would be difficult to attract anyone, or keep them in the company for that matter – but here we are talking about effectively addressing the challenge of identifying, developing and communicating what you can offer to the talent you require, both during the hiring process and once they are in the company. A value propositon is something that makes the organisation unique, makes it a company that professionals want to belong to, where they want to work and thrive. That, undoubtedly, is a competitive advantage that sweeps away any competition.

Optimising the Candidate's Journey

The best companies want to make sure they deliver on what they promise, and they achieve it by embarking on a process of listening and continuous improvement. That  is why 89% of Top Employers design and review the key stages of their talent acquisition process so that they are aligned with the pillars or key characteristics of their employer brand. What's more, 70% of Top Employers systematically measure their employer reputation among their potential candidates - their target market for talent - while 70% also map their candidate's journey, allowing them to optimise it. They outline what the experience will be like, both from their perspective and that of the candidate, and work with the information they collect from surveys to implement a process of continuous improvement at each focal point. The aim of this is to improve the candidate's experience so that the hiring process is agile and reflects the pillars of the employer's brand, making the company more attractive.

Measuring the Experience of Newcomers

These steps are not limited to candidates; they are also aimed at employees, both existing and new. 79% of certified Top Employers measure the experience of new employees, but it is interesting to note that 40% also focus on discovering whether the perception of the employer brand the employee had before joining the organisation has matched their actual experience in their first few weeks of company life. This is very insightful information. It reflects the fact that they are companies with a daring attitude, that are very committed to people, and that thrive in the spirit of continuous improvement. The results they capture inevitably lead to action, and either they change the experience or they will have to change the employer brand.

The best companies will need to work to build trust in their employer brand with the aim of maintaining their commitment to their promise of value throughout the talent life cycle of the organisation. 85% of companies certified as Top Employers ensure that there is a clear alignment between the employer brand and the perception and experience that employees have. They are consistent and coherent brands that work to ensure that no disparity arises between how they consider themselves to be and how they really are in the day-to-day life of the company.

The EVP at the Core of the Employer Brand

An employer brand strategy should have the employee value proposition (EVP) at its core. This is, after all, what gives it consistency, because it brings together the tangible and intangible benefits offered to employees and is aligned with the pillars of the employer brand, related especially with the current and aspirational values of the company.

80% of Top Employers are clear on the fact that, for an employee, a good value proposition must include an effective listening process. For this reason, they actively involve representatives from different groups of employees in defining their value proposition, evaluating their needs, aspirations, and current work experiences. Best practices in this respect shows us the relevance of segmenting employee samples and analysing whether there is a gap between the company's vision and that of the employee – something which is usually the joint work of management and human resources.

Mapping the Employee Experience

Of course, the EVP, the heart of the employer brand strategy, is certainly not the result of a one-off exercise; the best companies - 72% of Top Employers - increase their value by regularly assessing it, and they continue the systematic exercise of listening to employees. 46% of them use effective tools like employee experience mapping, which details the employee's perception at every touch point of their journey in their relationship with the company.

Final Thoughts

Talent battles are continually being fought. Socrates, with very good judgment, left us with this reflection: "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear". Consistency between what we say we are and what we really are is what builds trust in the employer brand. The best companies invest time, resources, and enthusiasm, as they embark on a process of continuous improvement to achieve what they promise.

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Winning the Battles for Talent

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