over 7 years ago by Sonny Van Assche

Are you equipped to attract talent from a shrinking talent pool?

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When you ask a business about its top challenges for 2016 – you can be pretty certain that recruiting and talent retention are high on the list, however doing so isn’t as easy as it used to be.

As the economy continues to rise, competition for talent is fierce. A recent study showed that 90% of companies hiring in 2016 are doing so to allow for business growth and to combat the attrition of current staff. Ireland’s business market is heating up again with big hiring announcements made on an almost daily basis. One of the main challenges remains to be attrition and will continue to be with an increase in ‘Sexy Employers’ starting in Ireland, as well as established businesses upping their game in relation to employer branding, talent management and employee retention. This will make it even harder, or even impossible, for companies that do not market and manage their employer brand to attract the right candidates. International top talent is still attracted to the potential of higher salaries here in Ireland, however Irish companies have a tendency to only hire local talent in order to match the culture fit, however from now on they will need to diversify or deal with a dry talent pool.

Employees today have a new set of expectations for the workplace – they need to know why you exist as a business and how they can play a role in it. They are empowered by their management teams and have a clear career path in front of them. It is essential for employers to be able to highlight how potential candidates can grow in their role and that their needs will be supported and nurtured to ensure each employee can achieve and exceed their own career goals.

Future hires however need to be incentivized more than ever before. They expect an above average compensation and benefits packages, excellent leadership that provides life-long development, and more flexibility on where they work from and when. They want to bring their own devices and use the latest collaboration, including tools like Basecamp, Slack or Dropbox. The standard is to have an on-site canteen with healthy food options or at least a wide range of food choices in the vicinity of the office. They will use company review sites like Glassdoor to research potential employers’ reviews for insight into the culture, the same way one would use TripAdvisor to get an opinion on a restaurant.


The candidate experience has become as important as any other customer satisfaction score in the organisation. Some companies have started to use the Net Promoter Score to measure how candidates would recommend the company to their friends as a company to apply with. The application and recruitment process needs to be made simple, fast and comprehensive. A good IT professional gets an average of 10 to 15 contacts per week from potential employers and can choose from multiple opportunities. Once they decide they want a new job and one potential employer takes too long to respond or makes it difficult to apply they will easily abort the recruitment process. It’s important to be quick and in constant communication with future hires to ensure this does not happen.

Talent platforms, or advanced job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed or Monster, mostly cater to a limited audience of actively-looking candidates. Estimations are that only 20% of the full candidate pool is in search of a new job-and those candidates are not necessarily the best talent in the marketplace. Referral programs, targeted marketing campaigns, networking and a wide range of industry or vertical specific events are a few of the other solutions to create brand awareness among candidates not actively looking for a new job, they are known as the so-called passive candidates.

There is a trend in increased usage of specialised talent acquisition agencies for their capability to find and influence passive candidates, as well as to hunt for niche roles for highly talented candidates. It’s also expected that additional offloading of all or parts of the recruitment process will go to specialised consultants in talent attraction and employer branding. Other companies will invest in their internal recruitment teams and provide additional training on how to recruit in this altered technology and candidate-driven market. Dublin-based company Social Talent is doing great work in this field.

Modern companies now need tailored talent acquisition solutions and cost-efficient attraction approach that are fit for today’s candidate market. Most traditional recruitment teams, whether in-house or external suppliers, are stuck with early 2000’s practices and are becoming less and less relevant in today’s market. The recruitment function is expected to convert further to talent acquisition consulting, and the capability to promote the company as an employer of choice to become as important as the ability to search for talent. Advanced talent acquisition companies or companies with a modern internal recruitment team are now using a combination of technology, knowledge, experience, referral networks, market insight and marketing to find and attract the best hidden talent and to retain valuable employees in the organisation regardless of geographic location.

A market in which talent has the freedom to be selective is a great one. It compels companies and business practises to evolve. It leads to greater competition, which spurs improvements across the board. It also leads to employee satisfaction, which in turn results in greater productivity and pride in output.

Ultimately, when the talent is happy, everyone wins. Is your company prepared?

Next Generation specialises in recruitment of niche talent across, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Engineering, Finance, Insurance, IT, Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain and Procurement.


Dare to take on the challenge in attracting candidates from a shrinking talent pool? Excellent! Join our team of other talented consultants and start unleashing your success.