The Talent Acquisition Landscape Has Changed: What Leaders Need to Know When Looking for Top Talent

By Lyn Currie

We are in the midst of a talent redefinition with 40% of people saying that they plan on leaving their current employer. Furthermore, those who are looking for new opportunities, are looking for organizations that put culture at the centre of their business strategy – organizations whose culture is fuelled by purpose and by values.

As leaders, how do we address this shifting landscape? 

It starts by keeping the seismic shifts we have all experienced in the labour market over the past couple of years top of mind.

In our executive search business at Waterstone Human Capital, we interview people every day about potential new executive opportunities and making a career change. What we’re seeing – what everyone is seeing – is that the labour market has changed. This change started before COVID, but the past two years have accelerated shifts to how and where we work, how we feel about work, how we get recruited, and how open we are to being recruited. Leaders looking to attract top talent today need to embrace these changes and lean into a redefined recruitment market.

How we work
With work from home, we’ve seeing an increased reliance on tools and technology, the blurring of work and home life and duties, and people working on more projects in solitude. People today are looking for the flexibility that work from home brings, but that needs to be balanced out with the right tools, and the right opportunities to build and maintain connections and to collaborate in meaningful ways with internal teams, clients, and customers.

How we feel about work
Many of us have experienced feelings of isolation and a yearning for connection. But what we’re also seeing is that many of us are questioning the “why” of work, and questioning what our organizations stand for and how we fit in. Purpose, and a connection to purpose, have become key factors for candidates from entry level positions right up to senior executives.  Knowing your organization’s purpose, building that purpose into a well-defined Employee Value Proposition, and then actively looking for ways to connect your team members to that purpose is key in today’s market.

How we get recruited – and how open we are to being recruited
Today’s tight labour market means that most candidates are being pursued for multiple opportunities. But we’re also seeing an increased number of candidates dipping their toe into the job market – often out of curiosity more than a desire to move, but that doesn’t mean the right offer won’t tempt them away.

We have all heard about the “Great Resignation” and we know that compensation has jumped to record levels. That has allowed candidates (many who are happy in their existing roles) to explore their options. They are curious as to what else is out there and how much they might be worth. It can be an exciting and informative journey for candidates; but, for employers the result is that they can go far down the hiring path with a candidate only to have that candidate decide to stay with their current employer. This leads to a lot of offers, counter offers, and time spent – but with poor results.

Leaders looking to hire top talent in today’s market need to take each of these elements into consideration. And don’t forget to factor demographics into the equation! Many mid- and later-career employees are yearning for work from home scenarios, but many newer entrants into the workforce are, perhaps counter to what we all may have predicted, yearning for an in-office culture (one that includes social activities and group projects) where they can connect and collaborate in-person.

The talent acquisition landscape has changed. Companies looking to recruit top talent today need to ensure that they have the programs and processes in place to address these shifts while putting their purpose and their culture front and centre.

Want to learn more about how Waterstone’s executive search and culture transformation services can help you attract and retain top talent? Schedule a meeting with our team.