People & Leadership

What is the war for talent?

Do you know what the war for talent is? Read about the factors and priorities businesses have in the competitive labour market, including employer branding.

The war for talent is a phrase often used in HR and business to describe a competitive employment marketplace. That means it’s harder to recruit the best people, because there’s a shortage of the most desirable skills. Employees have a choice of attractive employers who need their capabilities and experience to drive business growth.

How to win the war for talent

In the war for talent, employers have to think hard about how to identify the people and skills they need. They need to understand what makes those people productive and attracts them to an organisation. They need to design an employee experience that will make talented employees want to stay with them.

What matters to employees?

Historically, organisations have focused on pay and benefits as a means of persuading candidates to choose them as an employer. But modern HR and People teams in People Companies recognise that a great employee experience is about far more than salary and bonus. It means providing working hours and facilities that suit workers’ lifestyles. It means making it easy and convenient to do their jobs, with effective tools and technologies. A great employee experience includes a company culture that workers enjoy, with a collaborative, appreciative approach and opportunities to develop new skills and advance careers.

Different employees have different priorities

Research shows that employees value flexibility, trust and interesting work very highly. HR and People teams need to ensure that they understand what their particular workforce needs. Different employees may have different values and priorities: HR and People leaders must design programs and policies that give staff the healthy work-life balance they want while also meeting the operational needs of the business.

Employer branding

In the war for talent, employer reputation matters. HR teams and People organisations are proactively developing employer brands to attract candidates, just as marketing teams have developed corporate and consumer brands to attract new customers to buy their products and services. Current and former employees can be loyal and powerful advocates for employer brands that deliver a great employee experience in practice.

Talent can make or break a business. See how you can attract top talent with Sage People.

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