The Winning Formula

A change in the paradigm

November 23, 2016

Those of you who know more about the HR sector have probably come across a TED talk by Rainer Strack, BCG’s leading partner globally for the People & Talent practice. Mr. Strack predicts a global workforce crisis by 2030 based on three pillars: labor shortage in most economies, skill mismatch and cultural challenge. Though the first is based on estimates of supply and demand that believers in AI and robotics may challenge, it is clear that we are already facing a skill mismatch (in Spain we have 4M unemployed workers and yet companies struggle to find specific profiles, particularly in tech). The also goes for the cultural challenge: in the millennial mindset, big brands such as Fortune 500 companies, investment banks or consultancies are not as attractive as they were just a decade ago.

This is why “Employer Branding” has become a “buzz” within the HR sector in the past few years. Companies all around the world are more and more aware that they need to convey an appealing message to candidates to be able to hire the best talent, so they are starting to put resources in building a “brand” that could be attractive towards the profiles they need. This new approach comes from a complete change in the recruiting sector paradigm: it is the talent that chooses the employer, not the other way around.

This phenomena, the Employer Brand, is really important to be able to drive applications from candidates. In Nova, our 20 years of experience in the market has enabled us to create what we call the “Employer Branding Maturity Funnel”. It goes as follows:

  • Awareness: do candidates even know about you?
  • Consideration: once they know you, do they consider you as a potential employer?
  • Desire: are you appealing enough to make them actually WANT to work with you?
  • Application: once you actually get them motivated enough, do you get the applications of the right profiles?

Therefore, having a clear Employer Brand and improving it every day is more critical than ever to have the right candidates passing through that maturity funnel. Particularly if you are interested in top talent. Because an application of an unqualified candidate is just a waste of time, resources, and an extra “no” that will not improve your brand in any way.

Top talent represent a unique target group with an increasing array of opportunities to choose from: business/product development, transformation projects, building startups, management consulting, investment banking… both national and international. They can (and to a large extent want to) be entrepreneurs. They have so many opportunities that you need to make a compelling argument to convince them that you are their best option.

To create that image and brand in the minds of these unique individuals, there are a few things we have learnt in Nova that you need to keep in mind:

  • Top talent value learning as the most important feature of their dream job: make sure keep them challenged and you invest in their development
  • Top talent need to know you personally before they decide work with you: an impersonal email or a call by a third party (i.e. an HR consultant you hire to fill in a position) is not enough to engage them. This is why peer referrals and events work so well.
  • Top talent need to feel special and valuable to go and work with you. If they are just one more on your list, they will go elsewhere.
  • Millenials in general, and also top talents, need clarity and transparency both in their career path and their compensation. This is why portals like Glassdoor are becoming so popular: make sure you create the right expectations and communicate around work-life balance, growth opportunities and salaries very clearly (even if your company is not great in any of those).

If you do this right, you will easily attract the best talent and you won’t face the skill mismatch nor the cultural challenge predicted by Rainer Strack. In Nova, with our tailored events and our unique community of engaged top talent, we provide a neutral ground and help you to build the environment which will present your company in the most attractive manner towards the top talent you need, so you can overcome your challenges in the Employer Branding funnel and ensure long term recruitment of the people that will have the biggest impact in your organization.

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