What Is A War For Talent? (With Factors And How To Overcome)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Organisations use different ways to hire employees, attract qualified candidates and retain top talent. Retaining and hiring new employees is a complex process because the shortage of skilled employees results in a war for talent. If you want to work in the human resource (HR) department, knowing everything about this type of situation can help you hire qualified employees who positively impact the company. In this article, we define what a talent war is, explain the factors resulting in it and explore the steps an organisation can follow to overcome the talent war and gain a competitive advantage.

What Is A War For Talent?

The war for talent is a complex and increasingly competitive scenario for retaining existing employees and attracting talented employees. Typically, the talent war is about developing, attracting and retaining the most capable employees. With organisations becoming increasingly digital and relying heavily on IT systems and software, it becomes challenging to hire skilled candidates, resulting in a talent shortage. When an organisation lacks talented employees, it becomes challenging to complete projects on time.

Related: What Is Talent Hunting? With Skills Of A Talent Hunter

What Causes A War For Talent?

Some factors that cause a talent war include:

Shift to qualified jobs

Because of the skills gaps, there can be a shortage of talent in the job market. This is primarily because computers and automation increasingly threaten the job of low-skilled employees. As the demand for highly skilled labour increases, the skill gap worsens. As there is more demand for skilled labour than the market can produce, it results in a talent war.

Related: What Is Talent Management? Importance, Strategy And Process

Increase in competition

Increasing globalisation can cause additional competition among companies. This makes it difficult for hiring managers and recruiters to find the right talent that meets their requirements. Even if they find qualified candidates, it becomes challenging to retain them.

Related: What Is Talent Acquisition? (And How To Do It In 7 Steps)

Change in values

Another contributor to the talent war is a change in the values of the younger professionals. Lucrative salary packages, job safety and company reputation are becoming less important to employees. Younger professionals often expect flexible working hours and require an innovative work environment to excel and stay at the job. Creating a work culture and environment that focuses on innovation is essential for companies looking to hire qualified talent.

Change in demographics

A lower birth rate is an important factor in the shortage of skilled and qualified employees. In industrialised countries, birth rates are declining, leading to a shortage of professionals available to work. As a result, companies can hire professionals early and provide adequate training to help ensure they can complete their job duties and retain them in the company.

Related: Examples Of Talents At Work And Guide To Talent Strategy

Change in the psychology of employees

The psychology and desires of employees are changing. Hiring managers are designing new workspaces, changing HR tactics and using captivating interview methods to convince employees to stay with an organisation. For retaining an employee, strategies like additional incentives and benefits are rarely as effective as they previously were.

Related: Psychology Of Learning And Behavioural Learning Theory

How To Overcome The Talent War And Gain An Advantage?

Being successful in the talent war involves more than attracting qualified employees to a company. It focuses on attracting the right employees who are enthusiastic about their work. You can use these steps to overcome the talent war and hire enthusiastic employees to gain an advantage:

1. Attract qualified employees to the organisation

Attracting qualified employees involves much more than offering good pay and benefits. To attract employees that are desirable for the role and company, it is beneficial to find professionals who have goals and aspirations that match those of the organisation. Before hiring qualified employees, it is essential to identify employee preferences and assess how well they align with the company's strategy and processes. When an organisation knows the type of employee they want to hire, it becomes easier to hire qualified and skilled employees.

Organisations can develop a profile of potential candidates they plan to attract and hire. For instance, some organisations might hire entrepreneurial candidates, while others prefer team players who enjoy collaboration and stability.

Related: Q&A: What Are Compensation And Benefits? (Plus Importance)

2. Retain qualified employees

Give employees a reason to stay with a company. An excellent way to encourage qualified employees to stay is to talk with them and understand their preferences and career goals. Knowing employees' likes and dislikes can help develop training and employee programmes that resonate with them. Ensuring employees grow on the job can keep them motivated to stay with the organisation.

Typically, when employees are unsure about their career path, the organisation can help them identify their goals. Knowing the assignments and projects that employees find engaging and understanding the employee's engagement levels can help in employee retention.

Related: What Is Employee Retention? (And How To Increase It)

3. Learn what employees want

Many employees working in an organisation want to grow and develop in their career. They typically want to complete projects and engage with team members to achieve organisational goals. Organisations can mentor and connect with employees and help them build their professional network. Aiding in creating a professional network for employees can be helpful in learning, creating and finding new growth opportunities for them.

4. Offer a mix of remote work

Many employees prefer a flexible work environment to stay motivated and encouraged in their role. One way to retain qualified employees is by providing a hybrid working environment where employees work from home for some days and work from the office on the remaining days. For organisations looking attract and retain high-quality employees, it is essential to redesign workspaces to accommodate hybrid arrangements.

5. Use new ways to hire employees

With growing integration of technology, candidates often expect a seamless experience while applying for a job. To help ensure an organisation attracts qualified candidates, post job openings on job-listing platforms and the company's website career page. Focus on creating onsite relationships with community colleges and universities to connect with qualified talent.

6. Focus on employer branding

Attractive and captivating job advertisements improve employer branding and encourage candidates to apply for a job. To attract qualified candidates, organisations can focus on creating interesting job advertisements. When a company conveys a positive brand image, it can successfully attract qualified candidates. An organisation can consider hiring professional photographers to promote the company to potential candidates.

7. Provide a seamless hiring experience

Candidates may not receive a reply after applying or sending a resume for a job. After the interview process, many hiring managers become unresponsive, reducing the positivity of the candidate's hiring experience. To win the talent war, ensure recruiters, hiring managers and onboarding teams provide a positive experience throughout the hiring process. Candidates who have an unpleasant experience are less likely to recommend the company to other professionals.

Related: Show Hiring Managers That You Are Ready To Work

8. Use human resources to manage employees

The financial, legal and social implication of managing existing employees is challenging. When an employee becomes valuable to an organisation, managing them becomes even more challenging. Often, start-ups and small-sized companies might overlook the importance of HR, which can result in negative consequences. Having a robust HR department makes it easier for companies to manage and retain employees.

9. Plan ahead

Rather than waiting for positions to become available, organisations can collect resumes for future use. Often, a career website encourages unsolicited applications that the HR department can save for future use. Organisations can even store applications of candidates who did not pass an interview, as their resumes can be helpful for other job positions. This helps ensure recruiters have a steady supply of candidates they can contact as soon as a position becomes available.

10. Use pre-selection tests

The next step to winning the talent war is using various pre-selection tests. These tests can accurately assess and rate candidates and help an organisation find qualified candidates. Conducting psychometric tests and completing professional questionnaires can help assess which candidates are ideal for an open position.

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