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According to Glassdoor, 63 percent of CEOs are concerned about the availability of skills in their market and 93 percent of CEOs recognize the need to change their strategy for attracting and retaining talent. According to McKinsey’s 2015 Global Growth Model study, from 2005-2015 there were three times as many workers as retirees. By 2025, the ratio of workers to retirees will be 1:1, making the candidate pool much smaller. Couple that with a need for specialized employees, especially in the technology and Life Sciences fields, and it is clear candidates are in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future.

Think about the journey that a potential candidate for your company experiences while considering the following steps that are universal in the process:

  • Awareness– building your brand, educating the candidate pools that fit your requirements, etc.
  • Consideration– providing strong (and publishing on the internet) sales aids and information
  • Interview– your process and investment of time/resources to create a memorable interview experience
  • Offer– providing a competitive and ‘creative’ package that goes beyond monetary compensation
  • Acceptance– how do you go about closing candidates and ensuring that they are not open to counter-offers?  Is there a personal step that you take where top leaders get involved in welcoming/urging candidates to join your team?

Now think about what your company has in place to address and make your organization stand out for each of the above steps and continue reading! The increased competition for a dwindling top talent pool will require a more significant investment of time and resources to ensure that your organization doesn’t fall behind. If your employer branding efforts are almost non-existent, you and your team will definitely need to beef up your process and visibility.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep your social media posts current, lively and frequent
  • Consider upgrading, enhancing or redesigning your website, especially the ‘careers’ section
  • Compensation is still the number one reason people agree to an offer of employment, but what makes your company an attractive place to work is not far behind.

As a leader of your company, step away from your desk and look at your organization as if you didn’t work there and were looking for a change. Are your benefits attractive? Is your mission clear and are your vision and values well-defined? What is special about your company and what do you have available for candidates to review?

According to BioSpace, 84 percent of job seekers say that it is critical that a company has a strong brand and reputation. With a small pool of talent that is shrinking, it is essential the perceptions of your company are positive and if they are not, you should consider making the necessary changes and publishing them via blogs and press releases. With the average time to hire having increased by 10 days since 2010, the amount of time that a potential candidate has to research your company has increased (and people are very savvy when it comes to research). 94 percent of your applicants are at the very least looking into your company before applying (and many of these folks are conducting a significant amount of research, according to BioSpace. All of the data points to the fact that you beefing up your company brand and Internet presence will put you in the best position to attract and land the best available talent.

One of the best options you have to help you find the best ‘passive’ talent is a specialized recruiting/search firm.  Passive talent, as you may know, are people who are NOT looking for another job at any given time.  By understanding and communicating your company’s best attributes, a boutique search firm can actually help you build your brand by educating the passive candidate population about your company and the benefits/career advancement that you have to offer. Job boards may still be your HR department’s number one choice of finding candidates, but the one thing those posts cannot do is speak about your company and educate people who are not looking for a job. Strong recruiters (Executive Search Consultants) are relied upon- especially for critical roles or time-sensitive searches, have the ability to ensure that potential candidates know why they should consider your company and can answer questions/concerns they might have about doing so. Candidates use an average of 18 sources and read 7-8 reviews before applying. One discussion with a recruiter can potentially resolve any issues they have from their research and keep the process moving forward instead of changing direction altogether. While having a boutique, specialized Life Sciences search firm may not be necessary for all of your open positions, we all know that there are some roles where having the highest quality, motivated candidates in the shortest amount of time possible can make or break projects and initiatives.

Take-away advice:

  • Create a group within your company that is dedicated to developing your employer branding efforts
  • Invest in the journey that potential candidates have as they become aware of and consider joining your company
  • Consider utilizing a specialized, boutique search firm for your more critical and time sensitive searches