You’re Losing the Talent War—Unless You’ve Got These 3 Issues Covered

Every organization runs into occasional recruiting challenges, but with the job market showing signs of improvement since the economic downturn, new and different challenges are likely on the horizon.

Below is a list of the top recruiting challenges for 2012, and helpful tips for how to overcome them:

1. Retaining Top Talent

The challenge:
Attracting ideal candidates is difficult enough: What about keeping them around? Thirty-four percent of human resource managers saw increased voluntary turnover of their organization’s top talent in 2011. Nearly half (43 percent) fear their top workers will leave the organization in 2012. Thirty-five percent named this problem a top challenge for 2012.

With the job market on an upswing, workers may be more confident about their ability to find other, potentially better, jobs. This especially applies to highly skilled workers, who are in demand in a rising economy (see challenge #3).

The solution:
Overcoming this recruitment challenge is simple in theory, but tougher in practice: Give your employees what they want. When evaluating an employer, employees place great value on longevity and stability; a good work culture; career advancement opportunities; and flexibility. Offering these “perks” will result in increased employee engagement, and decrease the likelihood that your top recruits will be eying the door.

2. Providing Competitive Compensation

The challenge:
Compensation is often listed among the top recruiting challenges, because while money is a great motivator, the corporate budget is King. Thirty-five percent of companies surveyed indicated that providing competitive compensation is a top challenge in 2012.

The solution:
The fact is you can only offer what you can afford. If your offer isn’t as competitive as it should be, consider what else might serve as collateral. Flexible work hours, opportunities for career development and a great work culture all provide added value to your offer. In fact, 64 percent of workers say job advancement opportunities are more important than compensation and benefits. Show candidates how they can succeed and advance their careers at your organization, and you can beat this recruiting challenge.

3. Finding Highly-Skilled Applicants

The challenge:
The ever-present skills gap is another familiar recruiting challenge. Twenty-four percent of employers said inability to find highly-skilled applicants would be one of their top recruiting challenges in 2012. Half of U.S. employers say they’ve had difficulty in the past year filling job openings due to a lack of qualified, skilled workers. The recession has in a sense “spoiled” employers, because skilled applicants looking for work were easy to find. With the economy picking up, companies face more competition for candidates with specialized skills.

The solution
: Don’t expect the perfect candidate to walk through your door. In addition to skills, consider other attributes like trustworthiness, loyalty and overall “fit”. Be willing to train the right candidate to have the particular skills you need rather than searching high and low for the perfect package.

What do you see as your top recruiting challenges for 2012? How will you overcome them?