Winning the War On Talent

September 15, 2016

Winning the War On Talent

In today’s technology market, winning the war on talent may seem like an insurmountable task. From Silicon Valley start-ups to the 500 pound gorillas, we are all searching for similar talent with niche technical or stellar sales skills.

What is the company’s culture, and do the company’s actions mirror those beliefs? Having alignment in this area is critical. The company’s values must permeate throughout all aspects of the business, so the stories shared with candidates are credible and impactful. For example:

  • The client is of primary importance. Investing in lifelong partnerships and relationships make happy clients and potentially happy employees. However, sharing this information is not enough. There has to be real substance. In our case, we share our general client ratings with candidates. This message—along with other collateral—is available to applicants to help reinforce the value our organization provides. Moreover, this story can speak volumes to candidates as most would prefer to join a winning client battle rather than a losing one.
  • We also invest in our communities and encourage our employees do so as well. Recent studies show that millennials care for the community and prefer to join companies that do the same. Enlist the aid of your people and culture team to help develop programs that can help attract employees and retain them. 
  • We have also found that a significant factor in recruiting technically-savvy candidates is how we continue to nurture and grow their talents. Techies love new ideas and thrive in a learning organization. We make great efforts to share our training programs with our candidates, and show the opportunities they will have to work alongside other subject matter experts (both locally and globally). Also, continued investment in innovative technology affords individuals the opportunity to work with the best solutions and tools in the industry. You should be asking: What are you doing in your organization that is setting you apart and how can you tell that story?
  • Another strong influencer is the narrative about what tomorrow will look like at your organization. While promises can’t be made, any candidate worth their salt will want to understand what their future might look like at your organization. We are fortunate to have leaders in our company that believe in growth from within. Twenty-five percent of our openings are filled by internal employees who have chosen to seek another path or greater opportunity within the walls of the organization—a strong point of pride for Dimension Data
  • Find one differentiator. What’s the one thing that no one else does that sets you apart from the rest? At Dimension Data, our finely-tuned comprehensive employee programs resulted in being recognized as a certified Top Employer for two years running.  We are the only information communication technology firm that can lay claim to this achievement. What’s your success and accomplishments? Shout it from the rooftops and have others shout it, too!

Each company will have different stories to share. What’s most important is to make sure these stories are giving the best representation of your business. Be truthful and honest—this is your brand. If you stray from the truth, it will come back to haunt you. With social media today, companies can get badly burned. One disgruntled employee or lost candidate can turn into tenfold through a simple misstep. By sharing inspirational stories, you increase your reach and will attract a more diverse candidate pool spanning multi-generations and backgrounds.

The Authors: 

Rebecca Sweeney is the Americas vice president of talent acquisition Dimension Data Americas. With more than 10 years of experience as a senior human resources leader, she is responsible for delivering multi-faceted talent strategies in a complex, high-demand technical environment. Twitter @DimensionDataAM