Recruitment: The war for talent

Recruitment: The war for talent
Published: 23 February 2017

If you add a turbulent economy and the instability of Brexit to an already tight job market then it’s probably no surprise that my prediction is the war for talent is only going to get more intense.  It is essential you do everything in your power to arm yourself effectively when attracting new talent.  Whether recruiting yourself or through a search firm it’s all about the candidate experience.  You are on interview as much as the candidate.  The wording in the job advert, time taken to respond to the application, communication for the interview process, the impression you make in the interview, the depth of interview feedback or delays in sign off at offer stage can all make or break the success of an offer. 

In my opinion timing and transparency are two of the most important factors:


Timing can easily get out of your control but you can keep a handle on it.  If possible time your recruitment to avoid the summer or the Christmas break as there is real lethargy in the market during these periods. Juggling diaries and people during the process can be tricky but it doesn’t have to be cumbersome.  Setting a timetable as you start the process can ensure it continues to move forward and expectations are set.  Always make sure you are aware of the holidays or work travel plans of those potentially involved in the process and set your timetable around this.  Delays can happen but if you communicate the reasons why to those in the process it will reassure them.  There can often be a delay in getting sign off on an offer which is a particularly stressful time for an applicant but if you explain from the start that it will take ‘x’ amount of time to be confirmed then the candidate won’t be surprised later on in the process.  Communication is the key to success.


Be honest and open about your opportunity during the interview process.  Set the scene and talk through the challenges and personalities of the people in your organisation.  Bring the role to life to set you apart from other positions the applicant may be considering.  They need to know who you are and what it’s really like to work there.  If you are open and encourage honesty then the applicant will hopefully reciprocate and you will learn more about them, their aspirations and even their development points.

We don’t know what the future holds regarding access to the single market and freedom of movement but you still need to be a step ahead of the competition and do everything in your power to have a successful recruitment process.   Just refreshing yourself on the above factors and being mindful of the impact of even the smallest of actions during the process can ensure success.

Jane Firth specialises in recruiting senior management and leadership positions in HR across all industry sectors at Berwick Partners.

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