A recent article on the Recruitment Grapevine website featured a report highlighting HR leaders concerns about a shortage of quality talent. 76% of HR respondents cited a shortage of talent as the biggest threat to the future of their company, and 84% admitted that it is harder than ever before to attract and retain high achieving employees. Furthermore, only one in ten HR leaders classified their approach to attracting and retaining talent as strategic and optimised. Specifically this was due to a lack of ability in identifying potential internal candidates; a lack of assurance, confidence and skills in tackling global sourcing; and concerns that company branding would help them secure the necessary quality of talent. The report concluded that HR can no longer rely on ‘spray and pray’ tactics when it comes to job posting, and that a strategic plan to address priority pain points is required to build a talent pipeline for the future.
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BCL Legal– opinion:
Since the economy began to improve and companies refocused back towards recruitment, personal development and succession planning, the recruitment market has slowly and steadily swung back in favour of the candidate. Companies looking to recruit new talent, particularly high-calibre and experienced individuals, are increasingly finding the market competitive and challenging. Law firms and in-house legal teams are fishing in the same pool for talent, resulting in multiple options and offers for candidates, and with increasing numbers of employees seeing pay rises, promotions and improvements in their working conditions, the potential pool of talent is not as big as it was two or three years ago. This is not simply a problem for small or less well known companies and law firms, it is a problem which impacts every size of company and in every location.
If we take the in-house legal market as an example, we see companies like Autoglass, BAE Systems, Britvic, easyJet, McDonalds and others requiring external legal support to attract the necessary calibre of talent. Well known listed companies from the FTSE 100, NASDAQ, NYSE, DAX and CAC are struggling to recruit the necessary calibre of individual and often direct adverts have failed to attract the volume or quality necessary to successfully recruit. However, it is not only the large and well known companies that are finding it hard, far from it, many SMEs and small/mid-cap listed companies are feeling the pinch.
The Recruitment Grapevine article clearly indicates that HR departments have identified a talent deficit as a major risk to their employers, and it also highlights potential challenges and provides solutions to resolving the problem. Building a talent pipeline is a priority however this takes time and is often difficult to implement, particularly with other companies looking to attract your talent for their own vacancies. Thus, retaining talent is often the equal or greater priority for HR and the business. Employees with limited career growth and promotion prospects; those who feel undervalued or underpaid; those with inflexible employers; or those who have been given limited learning and development opportunities, are often the people we see contacting us about new opportunities. Building a pipeline of talent ensures that existing talent has room to grow and it reduces business risk. However, in the legal world, even attracting the most junior talent has become extremely competitive.
For companies that are growing and adding talent, as well as for those that are recruiting following a departure, building strong relationships with specialist external recruitment companies is imperative. Direct advertising is becoming less and less effective, and many direct adverts now only attract a few candidates, or they attract many individuals with limited or no experience. In this situation, when the ‘spray and pray’ technique has failed, companies need another solution. Recruitment Consultancies like BCL Legal provide that solution in the legal space. We devote maximum effort to candidate generation and attraction, and we provide both a national coverage and a regional approach. Each consultant focuses on a particular region/specialism, allowing them to better understand their clients and to know the lawyer candidates looking for a new role within their region. They are also able to provide salary and recruitment advice, which can help with employee retention and attraction, and they have access to the most up to date information about the recruitment market and the available talent.