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Three strategies for recruiting and retaining the best talent in the digital technology age

Australian businesses are facing an uphill battle when it comes to recruitment and retaining the best talent. A recent Robert Half report revealed a key challenge, with the majority (57%) of HR managers missing out on qualified candidates because of lengthy hiring processes.

While recruiting the right talent is difficult, retaining talent is the next battle. The latest generation of workers – millennials and Gen Y – are clearly not following the footsteps of the earlier generations in terms of employee loyalty, with the majority always on the look-out for new job opportunities.

For small to medium businesses, this new recruitment landscape is increasingly challenging. However, despite lacking the large HR budgets, extensive resources, and expert teams often associated with recruiting and maintaining top talent, there are still options for SMB owners to ensure they don’t miss out on the chance to build industry-leading teams.

Here are three tips on how SMBs can improve their recruitment strategies to thrive in the digital age:

Get assistance from recruitment professionals by using business services marketplaces

With today’s technology-driven workplaces and tight HR budgets, many SMBs have taken their recruitment strategies online, hopping on job boards and professional social networks to try and find the perfect talent match. While these models have helped accelerate the recruitment industry, they can be highly inefficient and leave businesses paying for services without guarantees of getting candidates or assistance with deciding on the best fit for a role. This can quickly become very time-consuming and costly.

Fortunately, business services marketplaces are changing the game. We see many professional services marketplaces popping up online, with Upwork and Freelancer being great ambassadors of this new sector. The recruitment industry is now also benefiting from this disruptive model, with new generation marketplaces enabling SMBs to access high quality recruitment services for less.

This model puts small businesses back in the driving seat because it brings together all parties involved in the recruitment chain. The recruitment marketplaces available in Australia today enable SMBs to issue a job brief to several recruiters, set their own fees, and pay only if a placement is made. This represents a huge cost advantage but also promotes better outcomes as it stimulates recruiters to only present candidates who are a good fit.

Since this marketplace model has emerged, we have noticed that it can help SMBs recruit up to five times faster and 75% cheaper than traditional methods.

Get familiar with predictive analytics and automation technologies

Once again, the marketplace model gives SMBs access to assets that previously only large organisations could afford. Marketplaces in the recruitment industry offer built-in predictive analytics and automation tools that are helping organisations and recruiters build tailored and sustainable recruitment and retention plans, using these technologies to be more proactive in their approach and anticipate challenging situations before they arise.

Data analytics has a key role to play when it comes to spotting employees who might be ready to move. For example, we are using data analytics from all the CVs and moves on our database to accurately predict the likely lifespan of someone’s career within their job role, and likely salary expectations for a move. These tools can also help in workforce forecasting, provide insights into the financial business impact of human resource changes, and manage fluctuations in employee engagement scores and productivity.

With this knowledge, business leaders can stay ahead of potential challenges in employee engagement by offering what will resonate most closely to an employee – this could involve offering new assignments, training or global mobility opportunities.

Build an efficient employer branding strategy that appeals to Gen Y and Millennials

By 2025, millennials will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce. Companies won’t be able to attract and retain these new profiles if they don’t adapt their culture and communication habits. This digital-born generation is looking for organisations that can offer a sense of purpose, regular career growth opportunities, a flexible working environment, common values and a warm, fun and welcoming work culture.

Having a strong employer brand is critical to promoting who you are and what you can offer, and will ensure you attract and hire the right talent. Employers can promote themselves through several tools and channels, but one of the first and most indispensable steps is registering on an open third party platform, where you can boost your profile and employees – your best ambassadors – can share their experiences.

When building a compelling employer branding strategy, it is important to understand and articulate the most valuable attributes of the organisation, define and promote its company culture to current employees, ensure the external brand and employer brand are aligned, and share images/videos of the workspace, work life, team, and internal events on relevant online and offline channels, including social media.

About the author

Ben Hutt is the CEO of Search Party Group, an online recruitment marketplace, and subsidiary companies including JobAdvisor, which allows employers to showcase their workplace culture and attract staff based on cultural fit.  Ben was responsible for early business development and fundraising efforts at Search Party. He was also instrumental in the company’s inception of the marketplace concept as well as Search Party’s expansion overseas and ASX listing. In addition to his professional activities, he is involved in humanitarian actions, being an ambassador for Opportunity International Australia and an avid supporter of The Hunger Project Australia.

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