Talent Attraction

By Raymond de Villiers and Nikki Bush

We need to start marketing our organisations differently if we want our talent attraction efforts to work because young talent isn’t looking for a job, they are looking for an experience. Recruiting talented, high-performing individuals is no longer a one-way transaction about what an individual can bring to the organisation. It’s an opportunity where the organisation needs to present a sales pitch too.

‘Give me an experience and I will promise you a relationship’ is the mantra 20 – 35 year olds have lived by from the time they were toddlers and this continues to ring true for them today. They give allegiance to those who provide them with experiences that excite them.

Experiences that work for young talent include:

  • Learning opportunities
  • Chances to be part of innovation and the associated experimentation
  • Opportunities to lead where situations play to their strengths and expertise, and are not dependent on seniority
  • Working in diverse environments and teams (homogeneous environments become boring and unexciting)
  • Opportunities for movement within and without the organisation through short term job referrals, projects and transfers etc.

Can/does your organisation do this?

Stepping stones to creating their Talent Profile

Sharp, upwardly mobile young talent is on a quest to build and create an interesting Talent Profile that will set them up for future success. Organisations that can prove their usefulness in this process will grow a reputation of being a talent magnet.

Talent are your best marketers to other talented individuals

With current global mobility of high performing individuals, it’s not realistic to expect talent to stay for an extended period. The trend is that they seem to move on within 18 and 36 months. However, an individual leaving you does not mean that that you are losing your magnetic effect. Talent magnetism can continue even if the person is no longer working for you as they can become your best advocate or marketer to prospective new talent.

If they have had a rewarding and beneficial talent development experience with you, they are likely to encourage their peers and associates to align themselves with the opportunities you have to offer so that they too, can experience the same.

Intentionally create a magnetic force field

Today, talent is about more than the individual it’s about their extended social group too. Creating a presence within an individual’s social network (both real and virtual) is an essential part of an organisation’s talent attraction strategy. You need to intentionally create a magnetic force field.

Remember the experiment you did in school with the steel knitting needle and magnet? You took an old metal knitting needle and ran a magnet along its length several times. This process shifted the way the molecules in the needle were aligned – the magnet thereby induced a temporary magnetic field in the knitting needle. The knitting needle became magnetic. Your organisation’s magnetic field is created by the word of mouth that draws talent toward you – the stories high-performing talent share with their peers about you. This is what will inspire and attract new talent to your organisation. It’s about growing your magnetism beyond the individual and your immediate sphere of influence. Create talent scouts out of your bright young things. They can spot a good fit when they see it.

Talent attraction and the way to work with high-performing individuals needs to be redefined for organisations to survive and thrive in a fast-changing world. Download our free ebook, Talent Re:Defined here for a new framework and fresh perspective.


TomorrowToday Global