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Where has all the talent gone?

Finding and holding on to talent in the industry is THE issue everyone is talking about and one that was reiterated to me by industry leaders from around the world as I made my way through the conference halls this season from Dublin for Web Summit to Milan for the ICCO. This is not a new problem. What makes the landscape so different today is economic growth combined with a lack of hiring and training during the recession; the rise of tech start-ups, Unicorns and GAFAs enticing away industry stars; and the paradigm shift in working patterns of employees to freelance. What is the most important factor to consider in your hiring strategy? Culture. The right culture will attract the right people and help with retention, allowing you to successfully build your business. A lack of good culture will have a knock-on effect on your workforce. Cracks will form into crevasses, with employees complaining of longer hours and a sweatshop-type atmosphere. Naturally, this will push employees to seek new opportunities. Sadly, there’s no quick fix to the headache faced by employers of counter offers and retraining top talent and the spiral effects are hard to control if left too late. Now is the time to change to stop the rot from setting in. Businesses too often underestimate the cost of a bad hire - which, on average, amounts to between 1.5 and 3 times the salary, so it’s about hiring the right people for the culture of your business and providing training to allow them to upskill. Consider hiring outside the industry instead of always looking to poach staff from your competition, which pushes the cost of talent up. Don't leave it too late - consider using a freelancer to support the business needs instead of rushing into an uncertain hire. Promote your brand consistently and in a way that will appeal to the talent you’re looking to attract. Then you will see a change. Top talent – the kind that is RIGHT for your business – will be drawn to you and you won’t have to wonder where they’ve all gone. Need help? If you need help with your hiring and retention strategy, don't hesitate to contact us. Our consultants are specialist, industry- savvy professionals who know their fields inside-out. We can help you identify what and who you need, and we have the contacts to source the best-fitting candidates.

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Author: Alice Weightman

As Founder and CEO, Alice established Hanson Search in 2002 and has since gained a reputation as one of the leading search professionals in senior appointments across communications, developing an incredible network globally.

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