MCI News - Can You win the war on talent

By: Mci  11-11-2011

[7 October, 2011] - The competitive battle between rival organisations is no longer limited to the conventional marketplace as it has also moved into the arena of attracting, hiring and retaining the best talent available. Companies that hire the best talent ensure that they have an edge over their competitors in whichever industry they may trade. The question that all companies should be asking themselves is ‘do they currently have the competitive edge regarding their recruitment process, or is it their competitors that do’?

Sourcing and hiring the right talent is becoming increasingly more challenging as massive changes have occurred since the Internet became a part of the daily routine. Recruitment and hiring is now quicker, increasingly competitive, with more of a social component and is no longer limited by a person’s location. Modern recruitment processes now follow different rules and have adopted fresh methodologies and ground breaking technology models. Companies that gear their processes to accommodate this change will, without a doubt, leave their competitors in their dust and hire better staff more effectively and efficiently. It is the companies that have the best employees and human capital that will allow their organisations to become more competitive, and ultimately, win.

In order to meet the demands of this new recruitment territory, it is vital that companies analyse their existing recruitment processes with the following in mind:

  • Can your company’s current recruitment processes evolve to adapt to this new world of talent acquisition?
  • Are you able to identify the right candidate from the masses of online applications you receive on a daily basis?
  • Are you aware of where scarce potential talent is, what their online behaviour is and how to attract them using your employer brand?
  • Does your recruitment process motivate them to join and make applying for vacancies quick, easy, secure and enjoyable?
  • And, before you look externally, do you know what internal talent you should consider?

This article is intended to offer companies some advice and insight into the implementation of what has been described above. This is based on the ‘new best practices’ of recruitment that have been adopted successfully by 70% of global organisations.

Attraction and Sourcing

As competition for talent grows, multiple candidate sourcing channels will assist in reaching the best candidates, at the best time. You need to leverage your employer brand to attract the best; especially the passive candidates that are not actively looking to change jobs or careers. A good starting point that will assist in facilitating this is the incorporation of a careers page on your website.

A terrific candidate experience: When setting up a careers site on your website, it is vital that it is geared towards creating a personalised application experience for candidates that will leave a lasting and positive impression. Career sites should be made to appeal to a mass audience or specific types of candidates. This methodology should be incorporated into all aspects of your recruitment processes.

Multiple talent sourcing channels: Your vacancy advertising strategy should be altered towards multiple recruitment channels such as social networks, job portals, recruitment suppliers and your website, whilst at the same time, encouraging interest from less direct candidate sources such as internal employee referrals.

Focus resource where it matters: It is advisable that a library of personalised templates is created for communications and the posting of jobs on external channels. By streamlining your communication processes, you'll be able to spend more time where it matters most. Personalised communication is vital when trying to build or maintain a strong employer brand.

Improved results: Keep track of the performance on all of your talent sourcing channels so that the approach can be refined or resources changed in order to maximise exposure and impact; whilst simultaneously attracting a better standard of candidates.

Screening and Selection

HR professionals and hiring managers are aware of the amount of time, money and energy that is spent on screening, assessing and identifying the best applicants from hundreds of applications. For candidates, a slow evaluation process can be demotivating, whereas a faster, more transparent process further assists enhancing your employer brand. It is therefore imperative that the screening and selection process is geared or altered towards quicker turnaround times.

Initial Impressions Matter: Ensure objectivity, speed and better communication in your recruitment process, thus reinforcing a positive candidate experience and reducing the chances of losing a top candidate to counter offers or, even worse, a competitor.

Quality over quantity: HR and hiring managers are able to reduce the time spent interviewing, by putting measures or systems in place to assist in identifying and fast-tracking top talent that meet or exceed job specification criteria.

Collaborative selection: Consider building processes that allow all stakeholders to work together and allow for interview times to be easily booked and interview feedback visible to all.

Build exclusive searchable talent pools: Sometimes great candidates apply, but the timing just isn’t right. Make sure that measures are put into place that ensure that good candidates, who are not right for a vacancy today, are not overlooked for a potential great hire tomorrow.


Once you've identified and secured the best talent, it's vital to continue to reinforce a positive candidate experience from offer acceptance, to their first day and beyond. By creating a great onboarding process, you'll generate excitement, goodwill and speed-up the induction process of each new employee.

A coordinated approach: Coordinate employment offer documents, employment contracts, and induction activities in a central environment, thus reducing the potential for errors whilst minimising administration.

Compliancy: Ensure your organisations compliance with increasingly complex labour legislation for equal opportunity.

Get new hires started: Consider building a branded online portal for new hires, with Frequently Asked Questions and company news, as this assists in creating a sense of belonging even before commencing work with the company.

Whilst in theory the processes discussed here are very effective, putting these practices in to place can be challenging. Projects of this magnitude require lots of consultation from various stakeholders and can, initially, be rather costly.

One method that can reduce the time, complexity and cost of putting such processes in place is the implementation of an HR e-recruitment management system. An ideal cost effective solution is Direct Hire, which has been developed by MCI Consultants.

Activities such as attraction and sourcing, collaborative screening & selection and onboarding are all automated and streamlined through this system. Not only are you able to manage and automate recruitment functions but you are able to draw reports and gain solid insight into the nature and success of your organisations recruitment activities. Direct Hire also integrates with your website, social networks, intranet and popular job boards. Direct Hire has built in screening technology to ensure that only the most suitable candidates receive your attention. Couple this with the fact the Direct Hire also manages a company’s entire recruitment lifecycle from vacancy requisitions to managing your recruitment suppliers, and you have a winning recipe that will help ensure that you recruitment process has the competitive edge.

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