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Three New Strategies in the War for Talent

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By Rocco Sannelli, Fox Business

In 1997, Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones and Beth Axelrod of McKinsey & Co. wrote a book entitled: The War For Talent.The book depicted a battle for talent during the dotcom era. Unlike the talent war of the 1990s and 2000s, which was driven by a lack of supply of all talent, today’s war is all about a lack of supply of the right talent to generate growth and compete in a crowded and fast-changing economic and technological landscape.

At the core of the growth issue is the question of leadership — not the individual superhero CEO — but the leadership team that collectively demonstrates insight, courage and inventiveness to deliver double-digit growth in single-digit markets.

Such leaders, more often with a deep entrepreneurial spirit, are hard to find and to engage, but mostly they are hard to retain. The winning companies will be those that find and develop outperforming leaders in an underperforming economy.

After years of global economic turmoil, we are now in a post-crisis era. In this new context, growth is slow but change is fast; what companies can and have to do in order to adapt and innovate, is to implement the right strategies and technologies to find, engage, and retain top talented individuals who will make their companies successful.

The war for talent today is fiercer than ever: here are 3 key insights from leading HR expert.

1- Winning the war for talent starts with Candidate Engagement

Joanna Weidenmiller, CEO of the award-winning HR technology firm 1-Page, founded her company to help enterprises engage candidates beyond the resume, gaining access to new and unmatched prescriptive data for enhanced decision making on talent. “On the 1-Page platform candidates compete for jobs responding with a 1-Page Job Proposal to company’s real-time business challenges. When you ask your candidates to show you what they can do for your company based on what they know, suddenly they are empowered to demonstrate their value beyond the list of past accomplishment that is their resume. Engagement is also the only effective way to approach millennial, showing them that their ideas will be heard, by asking them to solve your challenges in order to get the job.”

2 – The war for talent is Social

Founder of Blogging4Jobs, Jessica Miller-Merrel is an expert in disruptive approaches to talent acquisition. “There is no shortcut in the war for talent. You need to do the work, build the relationships and find the right job seekers through quality research, engagement and community. Hiring the best means being creative yet aggressive yet intuitive enough to understand what’s important to the job seekers you want to reach. Social media provides a creative way for recruiting teams to engage candidates directly, bypassing agency recruiters as well as the traditional job board. It’s an opportunity for candidates and companies to get to know each other before creating a more formal relationship and eventually an employee.

3 – Winning with right Corporate Culture

Rusty Rueff serves as board member for well known HR technology companies including and HireVue. A thought leader in the HR space, he served in several leadership roles in the industry, like Executive Vice President of HR at Electronic Arts.Knowing which foods agree with your stomach and which ones disagree with you, is a series of not-so-fun trial and error experiments. Working in corporate cultures is no different. Company cultures are made up of a set of norms and principles that those at the top believe and act out, and many times what is said and what is done are two different things. What really matters is what is actually happening.” A deep analysis of the current situation, sourcing information from everyone inside the organization, helps managers to identify what culture employees are actually experiencing. “They are the ones who will decide which companies are attractive and good for them, and which ones they should avoid”.

Engagement seems to be crucial to win the war for talent. Social media offers creative opportunities for sourcing, while new systems of engagement help both sides of the job market: better data for hiring managers and a pitching tool for job seekers.

In the end, company culture plays an important role, but as candidates cannot influence it, they will decide what is good for them based on their experience or what peers say, rather than what companies market on their job sites.