“War for Talent”

  • Posted: 05-09-2018
  • By: Kevin Fitzpatrick

The “war for talent” has become a cause of frustration for many business leaders.  

Your greatest asset, greatest expense and greatest liability all come down to one word… people. So, why are we surprised that attracting and retaining talent is an ongoing challenge?

Issues around talent have always existed. I’ve found that when the economy is strong, we often relax our diligence around this important business matter.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), when the most recent recession began, in December 2007, the ratio of unemployed persons was 1.9. In 18 short months, that ratio grew to 6.6 unemployed persons per job opening. This does not account for gainfully-employed individuals changing jobs and employers with whom there was competition. Unemployment trended downward until the end of 2015, and again reaching an historic low of 1.1 in November 2017.  Job openings have been trending up with almost 6 million job openings in November of last year. According to the BLS, there were 5.5 million new hires and 5.2 million total separations of which there were 3.2 million quits or voluntary separations. The “quits” may serve as an indicator of employees’ appetite for change and willingness and/or ability to leave positions.  This trend has evolved with a rising generation of employees with different competencies, priorities, commitments and arguably a focus on culture.

The HireRight 2017 Employment Screening Report indicates that in 2009, less than 30 percent of respondents considered “talent management” as their top business priority. Today, more than 60 percent of business leaders plan to invest in finding and retaining talent as well as more than one-third of respondents seeking to improve the candidate experience. Given the trends, unemployment, and changing priorities you might be wondering what the war for talent means for you. As an added complexity, there are several measurements around cost of vacancy, or even broader, the cost of a bad hire.  While the statistics are an indicator, they do not adequately account for the effect on your business to this degree. However, you may wish to consider the following as you look to win the long-term battle in the war for talent.

If you want to make a difference with talent, invest when and where it can have the greatest ROI. Listen to your employees. Seek first to understand goals, ideals and challenges because they affect retention. Then, respond accordingly.  The Cnesta Group was founded to provide these insights as part of our hiring process. Utilizing discovery, assessments, post-hire assimilation, and ongoing coaching, we can impact the talent selection and retention process in a positive, cost-effective manner. The results, thus far, are 100 percent success well beyond our extended guarantee and greater than 91 percent retention of placements since 2014. How you and your hiring partner address these needs will make all the difference in your business. 

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