Time to shape up your talent brand

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Employers are taking longer to fill positions according to the latest Employer and Employee Insights Survey from recruitment consultancy Parker Bridge. The survey found just 4.35% of employers find their next employee within two weeks and after four weeks, 63.04% of employers are still looking to hire.

Employers identified lack of specific experience as the main reason behind their recruitment difficulties, and Oliver Hawkley, Parker Bridge General Manager New Zealand, told HRM Online the results showed New Zealand is already in a skills short market.

“It’s taking [employers] longer to find the right talent because there is less people around and people are being far more selective about what they go for,” he said. “From our perspective we have more candidates that are taking longer and doing a lot more due diligence on the employers they choose to work for.”

Hawkley anticipates as the year goes on the challenge will only intensify with employers struggling to fill certain positions by the second half of the year as the talent pool dries up. To ensure their organisation isn’t left with unfilled roles, Hawkley said employers need to sell themselves as a talent brand rather than just the product they represent.

“You could have the coolest product you sell to market, whatever that may be in your space –  whether it be a drink or piece of technology – but if your place of work is not an appealing culture or not a decent culture to work for or perceived like that in the market you’re going to struggle to find the right talent which is going to hamper your growth. People build business – it’s really important to get that right,” he said.

Hawkley explains organisations can market their workplace by selling their success stories and allowing potential employees to see those within who are succeeding and thriving. This demonstrates succession planning is in place within the company and not just something that is being said.

Along with building up a talent brand, communication with current staff and keeping them engaged is also important to avoiding delays in filling vacancies.

“Engaged employees still leave, but if they are engaged they feel more loyal to their employer to give them more notice rather than just two or four weeks and that’s when you know a good work culture and a good management style is going on because a manager knows in plenty of time and can prepare and succession plan,” Hawley said.

Other key findings from the survey:
  • There was a very slim preference of employers (44.22%) towards tertiary educated candidates compared to 42.22% who ‘do not mind’.
  • More than 40% of employee respondents are passive job seekers always on the lookout for their next opportunity. 42.99% of employees indicate career progression and growth as the main reason for leaving their current job, followed by remuneration and company culture, equally gauged at 18.69%.
  • Seek is the top method for both finding opportunities and sourcing candidates, followed by recruitment agencies and then personal networks.

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