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State of Resourcing

Report Launch

National study finds employer brand the most important concern for HR Directors seeking to attract top talent

  • 90% of companies cite employer brand as important or very important
  • 83% consider candidate experience important or very important
  • As labour market increasingly a ‘candidate market’, companies advised to improve their recruitment processes to secure top employees
  • Irish companies fare poorly on predicting and planning future resource needs

Market reputation emerges as the most important issue for HR Directors when seeking to attract new employees, according to a new study by recruitment experts Hays.

Hays today launched its ‘State of Resourcing Report’ which surveyed 150 prominent Irish companies and employers across a number of industry sectors including financial services, technology, construction and life sciences. Participants in the study, included leading Irish employers in the private, public and multi-national sectors.

The report benchmarks the ability of companies to attract and recruit the best employees. It also examines the resourcing capabilities needed by Irish companies to secure top talent.

Seven key areas were examined – prediction and planning; talent acquisition; market reputation; assessment methodology; on-boarding of employees; metrics and measurement; and, enabling technology.

Of the seven areas key to attracting the best candidates, managing the company’s reputation was considered the most important by HR Directors, with 90% citing it as important or very important.

However, the study also identifies a number of shortfalls in this area.

A disconnect between a company’s brand, used to markets its goods and services, and the candidate experience of that employers’ brand, used to attract the best employees to its company, emerges strongly from the report.

In total, 90% of organisations cited an exciting employer brand as being important or very important in attracting the right people to their organization. Companies were found, unsurprisingly, to invest heavily in their market brand but to neglect their candidate experience for potential employees seeking to join the company. Despite 83% of employers citing candidate experience as important or very important, only 20% of those questioned believed their company ‘very good’ at it.

According to Richard Eardley, Managing Director of Hays, this approach can be a costly mistake:

“The employment market in Ireland has changed hugely in the past 18 months, notably in the key area of construction. The loss of skills overseas during the recession, allied to falling numbers of new entrants coming though the education system has left employers caught short as widespread job creation takes root. It has become a candidate’s market. Companies who want to attract the top candidates will have to do more to protect and foster their reputation to ensure that they get the best applicants through their doors.

“This means working harder to market their new roles, a quicker and more efficient recruitment process and ensuring that new employees’ initial impressions of the company are positive. Even how companies treat unsuccessful candidates must improve. A bad experience can spread quickly particularly on social media. The days of not giving interview feedback or not hearing back for weeks or at all, will not fit in this new landscape,” added Eardley.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • 67% cited predicting and planning of their resourcing needs as very important. Yet only 8% ranked their company as very good at doing so, suggesting there is a gap between knowing what manpower a company needs and actually putting this in place;
  • 38% of respondents recognise the importance of workplace diversity, but only 17% regard themselves as very good at it;
  • 62% of employers regard pre-employment screening, such as legal, reference or other job specific checks as very important but only 36% define themselves as very good at carrying out these checks;
  • 61% of respondents see on-boarding of new employees, as very important, yet only 18% regard themselves as very good at it;
  • While 2-out-of-3 companies are failing to embrace technology to identify and select the right candidates needed for specific roles within an organisation.

Key recommendations offered in the report on how companies can attract the best talent, include:

  • Adopting a HR strategy which targets specific hires, creates pipelines of engaged talent such as through youth programmes and fosters internal talent;
  • Promoting the company’s employer brand and focusing on giving candidates a positive experience at all stages of the recruitment process;
  • Measuring and using technology to assess the quality of hiring, while pinpointing areas of improvement;
  • Training hiring managers to see recruitment as a two-way process where the candidates’ impression of your company counts, as much as the company’s view of the candidate;
  • Make the on-boarding process for new hires as smooth and engaging as possible.

Commenting on the wider results of the study, Mr. Eardley also noted: “Talent is the key to the success of any company. Irish companies are now aggressively competing with one and another to secure the best candidates. Therefore companies must move away from their recession mind-set when hiring and improve both the marketing of their companies and their recruitment processes”.

If you would like a copy of the report, click here to arrange a meeting with one of our consultants.