06 Dec 2018

Top Trend 2018: HR struggles with talent shortage

By: Judith van Oudheusden

How can employer branding help you win the war for talent?


When discussing the Dutch labour market, the struggle to find and attract the right candidates always seems to pop-up. No wonder, since employees are the true gold of your organization. Finding the best candidates is always vital, no matter if the labour market is tight or crowded with applicants.

What we can do to change things around and get control over talent attraction? In this blog you’ll learn how you can use your Employer Brand as a powerful weapon in the war for talent. We’ll explore the difference between a real and a fake Employer Brand and show how you can create a real, truthful Employer Brand.

71% of the Dutch HR professionals fear to face problems with recruitment and selection in the near future
Source: HR Trends Report Berenschot

We all worry about talent shortage

Earlier this year, Berenschot published their yearly HR Trends Report and it showed some great insights into the most important struggles for HR. Number one concern is the issue of Data and Privacy Protection. No surprise, considering the amount of personal data we gather within HR. And with the implementation of the GDPR this year, it is more important than ever to have a watertight strategy on gathering and handling personal data.

But do you know what the most prominent outcome of this report was? No less than 71% of the Dutch HR professionals fear to face problems with recruitment and selection in the near future. In comparison: in 2016, only 36% expected this to become an issue. Is that concern legit? Or are there ways to change the tide and master the battle for talent? I think there are.

Employer Branding as a solution

Let’s see how we can change the tide and start finding the right talents for our job openings. Luckily, HR professionals are not likely to give up easily and they are looking for serious solutions. In the report, one of the mentioned solutions to win the war for talent is ‘Strengthening labour market communication and Employer Branding’. Great news! Employer Branding is seen as an important solution. I second that. However, I also see how many organizations fail their Employer Branding badly. Why is that?

Why our idea of Employer Branding fails 

So, how to get your Employer Branding up and running? It’s a popular topic and maybe our idea of an Employer Brand is even more popular: We need to shine, and we’ll need every resource available for that. Spectacular campaigns with the most amazing promises are designed. We all see them on a daily basis, right?

But what happens when candidates become colleagues? So many times, those promises appear to be empty shells.

Once they landed the job, candidates find out it’s just ‘business as usual’. Flexibility? Sure, from their side, but how about the employer? ‘We make anything possible’ often in real life actually means: ‘We ask, you deliver’. And that comfy sofa and the table tennis area? Yes, we’ve seen it. But no one dares to sit or play, afraid of being accused of laziness or lack of focus. Relatable?

It’s no coincidence that almost 60% of HR professionals have an active strategy on Employee Experience. They know: attracting candidates is important, but retaining talent perhaps even more.

So, where do we go wrong?

How to build a true Employer Brand? 

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. You should put in an effort in building a true Employer Brand. Dare to be honest about your DNA. Is your organization innovative? Then, oftentimes, there’s room for growth and fun. But, it demands something as well: people work hard and put in many hours. Get that message out there, in a positive manner.

For example: 

Will you lose applications over this text? Probably. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. Because, as a fast and innovative company, you’re not looking for people who want to get in their cars at 5 o’clock sharp and head back to their families. They wouldn’t fit your organization’s DNA and would be better off in a more traditional company. That’s okay.

How to determine your Employer Brand?

Creating a truthful Employer Brand is a combination of goals, your reality and the type of candidates you’re looking for. A great Employer Branding strategy at least contains the following elements:

✔   KPI’s: what are your goals?
✔   Persona’s (2 or 3 should be enough): what type of audience are you aiming at?
✔   Employer Story: who are you as an employer?
✔   Roles: who does what to distribute your message?
✔   Channel plan: how will you distribute your message to the right audience?

Start thinking beyond the challenge

The trends are clear, the Dutch labour market is in rough weather. But it’s good to see that HR thinks beyond their challenges. A strong Employer Brand will help them find the right candidates after all.

Are you in HR or recruiting? Use the tips above to make a start with getting your Employer Branding right. As you start, you might still feel overwhelmed or find it hard to obtain the right info. No worries, we’re here to help you out. We can share a lot of best practices with you.  Nothing beats fresh insights from someone who’s not part of your business. Our Talent Peaks consultants exactly know which questions to ask and which data to obtain to complete your strategy. Let us inspire you. Happy hunting!

Inspire me!