Jane Kennedy

Jane KennedyAssociate Director - TalentSpark

In my role I spend a substantial amount of time meeting with founders and hiring managers of exciting, dynamic, growing businesses.  Whilst their business ideas vary hugely and the challenges they face differ from company to company, recently I find myself coming up against the same problem on a regular basis. Companies are taking care to craft well worded job descriptions, using language that will appeal to a diverse audience, and yet sometimes struggle to get response rates that reach double figures.

The battle for talent has never been fiercer. We’re operating in a candidate-led market where job seekers have several opportunities presented to them in a variety of different businesses at the same time. So, what does this mean for those looking to attract the top talent to their startup?

Firstly, it means that candidates don’t have to look through job adverts.  They don’t need to search for jobs; the opportunities are coming to them. Good candidates are in jobs – most of them are not actively looking for a new opportunity which means that you will have to search to find the missing skills in your business.

Secondly, it means that good candidates aren’t in the market for long. You can’t afford to interview, find great candidates, and then sit on the decision of whether or not to hire. It’s too late – your competitor has already offered them a role.

Finally, you need to really consider what it is that you’re offering. A good opportunity isn’t just about the technical aspects of the role – in today’s market it’s about more than that. Candidates want to understand the purpose behind the business; what problem are you solving? How are you making a difference?

As a Hiring Manager you need to be aware of how your opportunity compares – who else is hiring for the same technical skills?  Is that working environment more attractive? By that I don’t mean the fixtures and fittings of the office, I mean the culture and values of the company. Do you encourage personal and career development? Do you offer flexible working? Are there other advantages that you can provide that align with your business values?

The consultants I work with are immersed in their markets. They know exactly what’s going on and how your opportunity compares. If you’re struggling to find top talent, get in touch and let us provide you with some insight as to why those skilled developers/engineers/marketers/product managers aren’t sending you CVs.