Four signs that your competition might be beating you at attracting niche talent

Today’s hiring market is more candidate-driven than employee-driven, making it more difficult to outperform your competition than ever before. More so, if you are hiring for niche skills which pose additional challenges such as a smaller talent pool and the need for newer sourcing techniques, flexible working models, and more.

Unsurprisingly, workers with niche skills have a greater choice of employers than others. If you are having a hard time attracting niche talent, here are four warning signs to watch out for and some tips to effectively counter them:

1. Candidates pull out of your hiring funnel mid-stream:

Riding high on demand, niche-skilled candidates usually aren’t available on the job market for very long. If your interview process is long drawn out with multiple steps and complicated forms, you risk losing candidates to competitors who have a better speed to interview - the pace at which qualified candidates progress through the hiring funnel.

The solution? Deploy the right technology to improve your speed to interview and streamline the process. 79% of HR professionals in Randstad’s 2017 Talent Trends Report revealed that adopting the right digital technologies has proved to be a critical enabler for better talent attraction, engagement, and retention in their companies. Savvy recruiters are turning to video interviews and recruitment marketing, and 47% of them say this is a faster, cheaper, and highly effective way of winning the talent war.

2. You offer competitive compensation, yet fail to attract the right talent:

If you have trouble enticing candidates despite benchmarking your compensation strategy against peers and bridging the gaps, it’s time to look beyond the dazzle of money. Perks such as a stake in the company’s profits, attractive benefits, and flexible working hours are now passé. If your organisation fails to convey what niche candidates can gain as members of your team (besides material perks), they will look elsewhere. 62% of millennials want to work for a company that makes a positive impact and 50% rate purposeful work higher over a lucrative salary.

The solution? Know your audience – leverage analytics technologies and talent intelligence tools along with social media insights to identify what your niche talent prefers, and make an offer based on that. A sound understanding of their likes/preferences/habits can go a long way in developing attractive talent sourcing as well as engagement and retention strategies.

3. Your job postings don’t quite receive the expected response:

If your job postings are too close-ended, you may be turning niche workers away. Savvy companies such as the online retailer Zappos and digital marketing firm Upworthy are pioneering a new trend – open-ended job postings that do not carry even a job title. What they look for instead, is passion amongst potential hires. This makes such innovative firms much more attractive to niche-skilled workers who are highly passionate about what they do. A really strong employer brand is another critical prerequisite for tasting success with innovative job postings. According to Randstad’s 2017 Talent Trends Report, 40% of businesses plan to increase spending on employer branding in the next 12 months.

The solution? Rather than post your open positions on mass job sites, try niche job sites where people with specific skill-sets look for suitable opportunities. Better still, engage with a managed recruitment services provider (MSP) to optimise your niche hiring strategy to outperform your competitors.

4. Your search for the right candidates is still on while your competitor has moved on:

If you’re spending months sifting through resumes in today’s digital age, you are clearly opening up opportunities for competitors to march ahead. As unique as niche skills are, you require next-generation technologies such as Big Data and analytics, social listening, and dynamic profiling, that can leverage specialized algorithms to analyse thousands of applications and quickly find the perfect skills-match for your needs.

The solution? Become tech-ready for niche talent – conduct an audit to assess gaps in your current talent acquisition strategy, assess the costs and identify the right solution that will further your long term goals.

Learn how RPO can help you hire niche talent

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