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More than 24 years ago, Steven Hankin of McKinsey & Company coined the term “war for talent”, foreseeing that companies were about to become “engaged in a war for senior executive talent that will remain a defining characteristic of their competitive landscape for decades to come.” 

Surprisingly, these words are still just as relevant today; such is the competitiveness of today’s knowledge-based world, the strength of calibre of today’s talent has the potential to materially influence a company’s success in the marketplace. 

Clearly, employing the best managerial talent has always been important. However, in today’s fast-paced environment, it’s becoming increasingly more critical. And typically, as the demand for highly-skilled people grows, it’s becoming harder and harder to attract and retain talent. 

While we may not be seeing employers taking to the battlefields and slugging it out for the best candidates, or gladiatorial showcases which leave the best employers standing, it is a harsh reality that the fight for finding the best staff is here to stay. 

Here, we’ve been inspired by McKinsey’s original model to come up with some of the best tried-and-tested methods for attracting talent to your company. Read on for 5 tips for getting the talent you want –and keeping them.

How to attract the best talent for the role

So, what can companies do to instil an environment that not only attracts the best, but makes them want to stay too? They must bring about a fundamental change in the way their people are managed. Get this right and improved financial performance for the company as a whole is sure to follow. Here’s what you can do:

1. Instil a talent mindset

Wanting to be a big fish in a small pond simply doesn’t cut it in companies that are serious about winning the war on talent. Leaders must be prepared to make the creation and harnessing of talent part of their job, building and nurturing a strong pool of talent across all areas of the business.

2. Create a winning Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

This is all about asking the question, ‘Why would an employee want to work here?’ As individuals, we all have a craving to be appreciated and the same is true in the workplace. Having exciting work to do, a great company culture and rewards which go beyond simply a salary and the opportunity for growth and development all top the list of what makes a good EVP.

3. Always look for promising talent

While almost three-quarters of managers appreciate the importance of being able to recruit the best talent, less than 10 per cent believe that their current actions will lead to a stronger pool of talent being available to the organisation in the next few years. Talent is needed at every level in an organisation and the most successful companies view recruitment as an exercise in marketing rather than purchasing. They need to sell themselves to potential recruits as though they are the customer – in both the short and long term.

4. Grow your own future leaders

Talented individuals will soon leave for other opportunities if they feel insufficiently challenged or undervalued. Winning the talent war means providing opportunities for those with potential to stretch themselves to be the best they can be.

5. Differentiate your top performers

It’s never a good idea to take the easy option of treating everybody the same way in the workplace. Top performers should be rewarded and poor performers need to be dealt with appropriately. It’s not an easy task, but it is one which all good leaders will agree is vital to the long-term success of the business and the management of its talent pool.

Winning the war

With high performers knowing that they are much in demand, there is little incentive for them to stay in businesses where they feel underpaid, undervalued or underdeveloped. There is no longer a stigma attached to moving jobs every few years and so the onus is very much on companies to win and retain the best talent for the sake of their future success. 

It’s vital that companies are prepared for the challenges ahead. By taking heed of these 5 tips on how to get the talent you want, you’ll be well on your way to securing candidates that aren’t only right for you, but will help you grow in the long-term – becoming valuable partners in setting you up for success in the road ahead. 

Not sure where to start on attracting excellent candidates for your organisation? We have more than 15 years’ expertise in recruitment in the life sciences. Book a consultation with us today for expert advice on getting the talent you need.