James Mayes

Results in: the war for talent is over….

In Recruitment, Social Recruiting on November 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm

At an event on the changing nature of the recruitment industry a while back, one of the speakers offered a great soundbite:

“The war for talent is over. Talent won”

I don’t believe it was his originally, but it certainly got some buzz in the room that day – and in one clear respect, he was right. Candidates have become far more influential and forced the industry into some sweeping changes. Many employers are using social media as a more efficient way to access candidates, most blue-chips now have at least some understanding of what employer brand and marketing are (even though I’m still not convinced the employer brand can be separated from the company brand, especially in the case of B to C firms).  The move to mobile is inexorable and today saw a major change announced by JobSite, one of the bigger and more innovative job boards out there.

Here’s the thing though. What really happens in a war?  The balance of power may shift, for a period. Very rarely is the loss/victory a permanent conclusion. If anything, a relatively short war can lead to decades of strife as changes are made by those in power. As for the rest of the population? They lose. On both sides, almost without fail.

confusionSo where are we, in the recruitment cycle of things? Did Talent win?  Yes, I think for now. In most sectors and disciplines, talented candidates are in the driving seat. Firms are under pressure to do more with less and talent acquisition methods and technologies show that.

What of the decades of strife? That, I believe, is just beginning. Candidates are now receiving so much advice, from so many sources. How to write a CV, should you use an infographic, make sure your LinkedIn/Twitter/Xing and countless other profiles are perfect. Sort out your Facebook settings. Learn how to do a good video interview. For employers, it’s a similar story… an absolute plethora of tools have launched in the last couple of years – some stellar, some less so.  Many of the larger firms still run legacy ATS platforms which can be a nightmare to integrate anything new with- so keeping up to date with candidate demands is no easy feat.

I don’t believe we’re necessarily in the wilderness though. Some new emergents are focussing on candidate experience, to great effect – really helping employers understand what’s needed and helping to ensure they spend time and money on the most effective things… not ALL the things!  Social filtering is getting better every day, helping good quality jobseeker advice rise above things which may be just average but with great SEO.

TL;DR version? No-one won, but some lessons have been learnt. Change is only the beginning.

  1. Really like this… Seriously you write with confidence, authority and style.


  2. Hmmm. true for the 15-20% (at max 25%) of roles that are in increasing demand and where there is an ever growing need, but that leaves approx 80% where that is not so.
    The reason why we have the subject of bad candidate experience still and more widespread is because agents and in-housers have not yet had their hands forced to make that necessary change.

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