How Volvo, IDA Singapore, Shell and Zappos use innovative methods to attract top talent.
When it comes to acquiring top talent, the balance of power has shifted from the employer to the job seeker. Traditional recruiting techniques are no longer effective to attract and keep star talent, but CIOs engage in very little talent innovation.
“Seeing talent as a customer, and employment by IT as a brand promise fulfilled, will improve talent acquisition and retention,” said Richard Hunter, vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner’s CEO Research Group. “Persistent shortfalls in key talent areas show that CIOs must act now to adapt their talent approaches to the digital world.”
Although 66% of CIOs believe there is a talent crisis, few have taken steps to adapt their recruiting and retention strategies to acclimate to the digital world. To hire top talent, CIOs must change their strategies and utilize marketing strategies to appeal to potential employees who now have access to more information about companies than ever before.
Offer employment with purpose
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA Singapore), a government entity, supports innovation and startups in Singapore with the end goal of creating the world’s first smart nation. The group recognized that while it couldn’t compete with the compensation of private companies, particularly with such a small pool of candidates, it could offer training to anyone who has basic skills and is willing to learn. The group is able to invest in its employees in a way that private entities are not. IDA Singapore also offers “employment with a mission,” which gives employees the opportunity to work on something that is helping to improve society.
Offer a challenge
With the current market in the energy sector, Shell is able to offer a challenging environment for employees. The dip in oil prices, which Shell expects will continue for some time, offers IT professionals the opportunity to make a difference in an important industry, even if it isn’t traditionally the first choice for tech-oriented talent. The external context creates an opportunity for employees to combine innovative IT with broader technological developments to help meet the energy needs of the planet. The company, which employs 93,000 people, shifted toward driving business opportunities through IT innovation and technological developments and focused on in-house IT.
Engage the community
Zappos maintains its startup spirit with a nontraditional management structure and holacracy setup, and seeks talent that demonstrates values aligned with the company’s core values. Zappos uses marketing techniques to create awareness of the brand and allow potential candidates to showcase excitement for the brand and its core values.
The company moved to Las Vegas and is committed to rebuilding the community. At a local food bank event, the company connected with some volunteers — who were also on the Zappos Insider list, meaning the company already had an eye on them — and ended up with two new recruits. Zappos also hosts biweekly chats and events in other cities with the goal of creating an engaged community of people that might someday be employees, versus more-traditional methods.
At Volvo, recruiters utilize the brand reputation for safety and innovation to attract top talent. In addition to reducing complexity in the brand, the company is open to talent from any industry, not just automotive. Volvo recognized the value of having diverse experience — including people who don’t even drive —to increase revenue and consumer value. This flexibility extends to compensation and employing people part-time to enable them to maintain their own businesses.
Use talent ecosystems
DBS Bank, the largest bank in Singapore, uses ecosystems that might include vendors, universities, government research facilities, startups, blog networks and open source developers to create a network of people sharing ideas. The company created a pre-accelerator program to nurture digital startups, and allows employees to develop ideas with the help of the bank’s network, but without the bank taking equity. The result is a culture that attracted top talent to an innovative ecosystem.
The bank also developed partnerships and internal departments to use analytics for workforce planning and predictive analytics, allowing them to move from nearly 100% outsourcing to an in-house model.
Gartner clients can read more in the report “Competing for Top Talent: Enter the Talent Platform" by Richard Hunter
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