In a nutshell – talent reigns supreme
Attracting talent + retaining talent = success
Companies are starting to realise that a talent management strategy is not only desirable, but also crucial to success. Both South African and international businesses highlighted talent acquisition and long-term retention as their primary areas of concern in 2016.
46% of South African respondents rated quality of the initial hire as the most valuable indicator of recruitment success, while 35% felt that retaining employees was a top priority for their business.
South African companies are seeing an increasing demand for high quality candidates compared to previous years – yet their hiring budgets are not keeping pace. When aiming to recruit talent, organisations are commonly encountering three main obstacles:
- Catching the attention of candidates who are in high-demand
- Hiring competition from other organisations
- Compensation of top talent
55% of South African respondents indicated that finding high quality candidates in limited talent pools is a major obstacle for their company. This is compared to only 46% of respondents globally. Compensation was also a greater concern for South African organisations than their international counterparts.
Where are we finding talent?
Global respondents highlighted employee referral programmes as an important piece of the talent acquisition puzzle. This relatively recent trend did not feature in the South African results, so there’s a huge opportunity to get ahead and develop programmes within your organisation.
Research has shown that candidates discovered through employee referrals generally display higher job performance and remain at the company for longer periods of time, according to the Jobvite Index.
South African organisations highlighted company career pages and social media as important sources for attracting talent. Compared to 2014, internal recruitment saw a 9% decrease as a source for high-quality candidates.
Sourcing talent internally – an untapped resource
Given the scarcity of talent and the cost of a new hire, 35% of respondents emphasized employee retention as an important area of focus. Yet both global and local companies did not highlight internal recruitment as a top priority for 2016. This area is being sorely overlooked with significant room for improvement.
37% of South African respondents indicated that internal hiring is a completely ad-hoc process, while 11% had no internal recruitment programme at all. These figures are similar to those seen globally. This indicates a need for succession planning strategies and in-house development initiatives that will not only cultivate the talent you need, but also bring with it a wealth of institutionalised knowledge. Such programmes also contribute to employee satisfaction and retention, another important trend under the spotlight in 2016.
Employer as brand – marketing to your employees
High-demand candidates need to be won away from the competition. Not only that, but they also need to be retained in an age where changing careers every few years is becoming increasingly common. American research has found that the average worker stays in each position for 4.4 years – the younger generation job hop far more frequently than that (Bureau of Labour Statistics).
The recognition of the “employer brand” as a trend has increased from previous years with 78% of South African respondents emphasising its importance.
When asked how they managed their employer brand, companies made reference to their website and social media platforms as effective tools to increase brand awareness. They also highlighted the need to work with other departments, in particular marketing, to best determine how to sell their company culture and benefits to employees.
That’s the problem…more than half of respondents in South Africa did not feel that they are adequately measuring quality of hire. The global average was 33%.
Given that hiring budgets are not always keeping pace with the demand for talent, this underscores the need to:
- Make the right hiring decision the first time
- Retain key players in the organisation and
- Track performance to refine talent strategies.
As such, talent analytics has become a key trend for 2016. Those companies who are able to pinpoint the areas where they are falling short can adapt and grow their talent management strategy accordingly. Companies who have no human capital insights will find themselves on the losing end of the compensation and competition struggle.
Key takeout points: what will you focus on in 2016?
South African companies are keeping pace with their global counterparts in many respects, with the majority local obstacles being echoed internationally.
The quality of hire remains the most important area of focus and a long lasting trend in the area of talent management, particularly in South Africa. 29% of respondents felt that better sourcing passive candidates through social/professional networks is one of the best ways to get ahead in the competitive hiring market.
While retention is top of mind, with companies increasingly marketing themselves to employees via their employer brand, internal recruitment programmes are sorely lacking. The hard truth is that employees won’t stay in an organisation with limited room for growth, despite the marketing tactics that may be used. Formalising an internal hiring programme within your organisation can provide employees with the assurance of growth, while proper succession planning can ensure that you develop the skills and competencies for top performance.
A key area where South African companies can get ahead is to implement an employee referral programme – shown by their peers in the global market to be a valuable, and possibly untapped, source of high quality candidates. If effective, your employees can be the marketing tools you use to ‘sell’ your organisation to talented candidates.
Lastly, analytics and performance tracking is an area where, globally, HR departments lack confidence. Instituting an HR KPI tracking process in your organisation – preferably a method that minimises the drain of both time and resources – could prove a key differentiator. These insights can highlight the competencies you need to focus on when recruiting staff that will perform down the line. This, and other data, can be used to adapt and improve your talent management strategy.
About the study
LinkedIn recently conducted a global survey that assessed recruiting and HR trends for 2016. Respondents participated from countries around the world, including South Africa, and were selected based on their experience with talent acquisition. To read more about the results of their survey, click here.