WarforTalentAre you ready for a wild ride? 2015 is here, and it is going to be one of the best years we have seen in recruiting since 1999. Yes, consumer confidence is up and unemployment is the lowest we have seen it in years. Do you have the recruitment professionals in place to take advantage of this opportunity? If not, you need to evaluate what your organization needs to do to capitalize on attracting the right talent to your organization.

Think about this. The candidates your company could not attract for years because of economic uncertainty are now listening to opportunities. They are willing to actually make a change if the right opportunity becomes available. On the flip side of this coin, what about your employees? What is your organization doing to retain the employees who are being courted by your competitors? Your employees are willing to make a change also.

What does this mean? This means we are in a talent war. Yes, I said it. 2015 will be a bloodbath. It is hard to believe because we have been talking about a recession for a very long time. With a talent war, organizations are going to have to get competitive. Candidates are going to want and demand competitive pay and competitive perks, and will want to work for an organization with a great culture.

Recruiters are going to have to be aggressive. They are going to have to think outside of the box. They are going to have to build relationships with candidates and earn their trust. Companies are going to have to get serious about their employer brands. People are looking for jobs in many different ways this year and it will take much more than a standardized job posting on LinkedIn to attract the best.

Your organization has a choice in 2015. Are you going to be one of the success stories or are you going to be one of the companies we read about that failed? If people are looking for new jobs in your organization and you are doing nothing to retain them, then you may find yourself in a horrific situation.

If you are losing your employees as fast as you are gaining them, then you are not moving forward as an organization. Organizations need to build on what they have in place today, not just replace what they’ve lost; they have to try to find new leaders in the most competitive environment we have seen in years.

Which department is most concerning to your organization in 2015? Is your company looking for technical people, sales people, marketing people or for employees in another department? If you don’t know that answer off the tip of your tongue, then you aren’t ready for this bloodbath. If it is all of the above, then you better get serious about your recruiting strategy.

Organizations are going to have to hire recruiters with tenacity, assertiveness, and an attitude of a winner. Recruiters who have hidden behind the scenes and done administrative tasks for years will ultimately lead to the demise of the success of your organization. The characteristics of a successful recruiter demand someone who is okay being “on call” at all times and can roll with the punches when things constantly change. Recruiters will have to be good at sales; because in this war, your competition will have the best sales people.

If there is a year to put all of your cards in the table, this would be the year. Get your recruitment strategy in place. Hire the best and invest in your human resources department. This is not the year to reduce or keep your recruitment budgets status quo. Work closely with your marketing department and make sure you have a very clear message to your candidates. Lastly, do what you can to retain the employees you want. You may have to revisit salaries, and perks; however, it is worthwhile, as you do not want to have to start over and lose out on your investment.

What is your organization doing differently to deal with these challenges in 2015?

Jim Durbin and I will be talking about this topic at TalentNet Live on March 13th.