How to Win a Talent War?

Anil Munjal

An organisation is exceptional only with the talent in it, and to get exceptional people, a well-defined recruitment strategy & process is required to maximizing the value of recruitment activities.

There is a saying “Superior talent is many folds more productive& contributes to building a culture of organisation too”.

We all need to understand, Great Talent is scarce & its even difficult to get the same in recession.

Hiring talented individuals is critical to an organization’s success. As stated, recruiting employees is a challenging task, even in a recession, you may find it tough to fill certain positions. Recruiters need to strategies& understand what you need to attract the Talent.

As Mckinsey stated focus on the 5 percent who deliver 95 percent of the value. 

Companies go through cycles of initiatives to improve their talent processes. Yet they reap only incremental improvements. The facts are companies neither recruit enough highly talented people nor believe that their current strategies will work. One need to understand recruitment of the best and brightest people commanding fleets of nuclear submarines is not going to work, you need to know it requires superior talent to the role of the IT-outage engineer, who prevents catastrophes for the crew, the environment, and humanity. Thus HR People need to know the role for which they are hiring.

One of the key factors is to focus on roles than just processes. In a constrained resources environment, companies should focus their efforts on the few critical areas where the best people have the biggest impact. 

HR need to understand the true economics of value creation in specific roles. That’s precisely why this can be one of your secret weapons in the war for talent.

Make your offer Compelling, Alluring & Captivating —and deliver

Organisation need to know the term “Employee value proposition,” or EVP: 

Firstly, Talent always looks for what’s he gets, for what’s being given. It’s all about —time, effort, experience, ideas & “Gets” include tangible rewards, the experience of working in a company, Its all about how strong is your EVP is truly stronger than the competition’s, you will attract and retain the best talent. Remember “ Talent doesn’t work for Compensation any more, it is all about Challenging & Stimulating Environment “ 

Is your EVP evocative, If yes, you have won the half battle, you have created edge over competition 

Distinctive or not?

Majority of HR people work in determining, what makes the company great, what kind of reward system should be drawn? What kind of environment people want? …….. HR starts framing things across all those propositions & in fact misses on the Key factor, what the value proposition he is giving. It’s better to have a standalone more powerful than a bouquet of propositions. eg Apple: Do your life’s best work here. With the whole world watching. Work for Google if you want to face complex challenges. Dell: You thrive, We thrive.Unilever: A better business. A better world.
A better you.

Is proposition targeted to talent: 

If you are making a proposition of bouquets, which means you have missed the bus, may not attract talent. The HR has to make things more rapid, transparent & career-oriented to make a bigger impact.   

Is your proposition true:

If HR makes EVP more for branding EVP than substantiating with the real, it may be able to attract talent initially but will lose in a big way later, In a nutshell, it will be a losing proposition. With the advent of social media, every individual is wired & comes to know facts even before you know the impact. So, PR, branding on a false premise is a double edge weapon.

Technology will be the game changer

We need to understand information is freely available & technology will have an edge on all ideas. Today one can screen people more fast, accurate & can differentiate what is needed? What is potential & what is garbage?

HR software systems are no more processing software, they work like, aggregator, identify the potential even for tomorrow, getting information from social media, LinkedIn & even to the extent from financial institutions, organisation like IBM,  SAP’s success factors and work day already gather information through sources such as LinkedIn to provide advanced warning when top talent may be thinking about jumping ship. 

Organisations like Mckinsey are using AI machine-learning algorithms to determine,  What’s driving attrition among our managers. Unexpectedly, all three are unrelated to pay, travel, or hours worked. a complete process; a bad process may not only be hindrance but may miss on the right talent.

To hire the right talent, right time with & right strategy, need to address some of the key factors: 

  • Create clear and concise job descriptions, if it needs train functional heads, how to write job description? 
  • Understand the role, its criticality, future perspective: know is it, fast track or which track ?
  • What we need to target, reaching the targeted individuals?
  • What type of work experience and skills needed?
  • How to brand your organisation, designing a recruitment pitch on true premise?
  • Know your competitors, edge & plan accordingly.
  • Analyse your past efforts, challenges & successes to create the difference.
  • Managing the entire recruitment operation. End to end, a complete flawless flow.

Job description :

Write a differentiated job description that gets the right talent engaged and excited, 

Job-based competencies, e.g.

  • What specific capabilities will this job require over the next few years? 
  • Will the focus be on growth or on engineering a turnaround? 
  • Does it require someone who is fundamentally an entrepreneur, a manager, or a leader?
  • If this is a stretch opportunity, can the candidate grow into the job? 
  • What are the next jobs he or she is likely to move into, and
  • What capabilities may be required for those positions?

Team-based competencies.

  • Does the candidate have the skills to lead his or her prospective team, and how do they overlap with other members’ skills? 
  • How will the applicant manage resistance or political dynamics? 
  • Will the individual need to hire additional people to build out the team? If so, can he or she bring in other talented executives?
  • Organisation-based competencies.
  • How well will the candidate fit into the organizational culture? 
  • Will this person flourish with the resources (supporting talent, technology, organizational reputation, and so on) the organization can provide?
  • Whether the person comes from a more resource-rich environment, can equivalent support be provided, or at least can the candidate be helped to adapt to less?

Assess the candidates keeping in view that :

  • Judging people accurately is very challenging & requires a great skill & competence, keeping in view of the information candidate carries with him is immense.
  • Assessing people for complex positions is inherently difficult for several reasons, including the unique and changing characteristics of many jobs, intangible traits etc.
  • Using “assessment process” is not a simple solution, in reality its has separate objectives& one of the major challenge is to bring consensus within the interviewers. Also it is too stringent in process &can leave a candidate feeling judged and unenthusiastic about the organisation.

There’s nothing more crucial to the success of an organization than bringing the right people on board and encouraging their growth, especially if you consider a bad hire could cost you not only loss of revenue, but impacts the organisational culture too.

What employees want—a great job, in a great company, with great leaders, and great rewards, to do so ensure :

  1. Empower employees by bringing them into your innovation ecosystem : Build a culture of innovation & a brand post to display
  2. Create transparency and connect employees to your corporate strategy : Develop listening poles in organisation.
  3. Drive internal innovation disruption to discover : Have incubation centres in organisation.
  4. Sharpen your innovation horn : You will be perceived as innovation company
  5. Avoid “innovation tourism: one time cutting ribbon 


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