Battling for Talent? Show That Your Jobs Offer More Than Pay

To attract talent in today’s hypercompetitive market, make sure to communicate all the ways a job can meet the needs of sought-after applicants.

Gartner research shows that more than half of HR leaders say they’re having more trouble today attracting candidates with the exact skill sets required by hiring managers than they did five years ago. “To attract talent, it’s become critical to understand what your target talent pool wants most in a job,” Gartner Senior Principal Alexia Cambon said at Gartner ReimagineHR in London.

The convergence of demand for certain roles continues to strain HR leaders’ talent sourcing efforts. Gartner TalentNeuron™ data shows that 90% of S&P 100 companies in 2018 were competing for talent to fill the same 39 roles.  

Employment brand must be both highly visible and highly attractive because candidates now often find the employer, not the opposite

But Gartner research shows that talent-sourcing strategies built on remuneration aren’t enough. While compensation remains the top consideration for employees when evaluating a job, work-life balance, stability and location are also priorities. Understanding what those in your target talent pools want most can enable your organization to rebrand hard-to-fill roles and improve its ability to recruit and hire the best talent. 

“In today’s labor market, an organization’s employment brand must be both highly visible and highly attractive because candidates now often find the employer, not the opposite,” said Cambon.

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HR leaders must have an action plan in place to drive candidate decisions and limit the chance of them regretting their decision to take an offer. 

Represent the opportunity holistically 

Instead of focusing on any one job attribute, employers should be sure that candidates understand the wide range of elements that make up the role and working at the organization. Though compensation remains the top driver of attraction/attrition globally, organizations should also communicate the other key components of their employee value proposition (EVP), such as stability, work-life balance in the form of paid time off, and/or flexible working arrangements, professional development, etc. 

“Organizations must offer candidates an opportunity to evaluate the EVP factors they find most valuable,” said Cambon. “Doing so ensures that you are transparent in your approach and attract the right candidates to the job.”

Confront brand challenges head-on

Organizations should use any perceived weaknesses about their brand and/or the specific job opportunity to have conversations with candidates that provide more insight into the organization and address misperceptions.  

Leading organizations utilize their EVP to appeal to candidates by homing in on what they value most. Gartner research found that when candidates view an EVP as attractive, employers can reach 50% deeper into the labor market. Further, organizations that effectively deliver on their EVP can increase new-hire commitment by nearly 30%. An employer’s brand needs to convey that its culture, benefits and growth opportunities are superior to those of competing organizations. 

Redesign roles to appeal to top talent 

Organizations that want to maintain a competitive edge in today’s labor market must consider redesigning roles to tackle the demand of filling them. 

To evaluate how a role is structured, HR leaders should answer the following questions: 

  • Which EVP attributes matter most to our target candidates? 
  • How unattractive are our current EVP offerings in the labor market?
  • How do we actively manage hard-to-fill roles? 

To redesign positions, consider whether the restructured role meets an emerging or immediate business need, incorporates at least one key talent attraction driver, and has a demonstrated impact on the organization. 

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This article is based on insights that are part of an in-depth collection of research, tools, templates and advice available to Gartner clients.


Gartner for HR clients can read Managing EVP Strategy in the Digital Age and The Other Front in the Talent War. They can also watch a webinar on Identifying and Managing Moments That Matter to Employees.


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