According to a recent survey of more than 840 senior HR leaders from across the globe, 84% believe it is harder than ever to attract and retain talent.

Such apprehension in the HR industry was the motivator behind HR professionals descending upon the Talent Leaders Connect conference held by recruitment platform TheJobPost.

Whilst the balmy London sun threw itself over the surrounding Cavendish Square, it was hard to imagine a lack of talent, as scores of figures buzzed around the streets. Yet, inside the four walls of the King’s Fund, delegates found themselves immersed in presentations, roundtables and detailed conversations around how talent can be identified and recruited in an ever fluid market.

One of the key topics of the day was the issue of employer branding, a concern for many HR professionals, and one mirrored in the aforementioned research with only 36% of those surveyed feeling confident in their employer branding assisting in their recruitment efforts. Those present on the day spoke of how an increasingly ambitious workforce, raised on wanderlust, was leading to the high turnover of employees, and in turn creating a far stronger need to differentiate the business brand and become more appealing if they are to stand out from competitors. It seems though that it is not just a case of attracting the talent they need, but retaining that talent, in the most buoyant employment market for years.

Part of this challenge for retaining staff seems to stem from an age where technology breaks down traditional boundaries (geography, language, culture), allowing for them to be connected to thousands of jobs globally, with just a few taps on a screen. One particular roundtable discussion focussed in on the need to think not only about the initial recruitment process of employees when discussing branding, but ensuring that the culture meets the expectations conveyed during this process. This must then be consistently promoted throughout their journey to promote a greater sense of belonging and by association, loyalty.

Those in attendance spoke of the difficulties they were facing in both promoting their branding and in convincing the C-Suite of the worth in doing so, with many not appreciating the importance or value from a recruitment perspective. Effectively justifying these initiatives and securing the go-ahead was a common frustration, with many stating that they require clear ROI and testimony to have a chance at proceeding. For those who had convinced the board, they still faced problems with many saying the rapid pace of change within businesses made it difficult at times to promise a consistent, long term branding message to prospective employees.

The issue of employer branding was but just one of a series of topics raised on the day, which clearly paint the picture of the challenges and solutions ahead for businesses and HR when it comes to recruiting talent. Technology was touted as one potential solution.  By utilising new and innovative technologies that build on different and more agile business models, organisations may have a start at tackling these issues. 

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