Today’s #1 Recruitment Challenge: It’s Not the War for Talent

Today’s #1 Recruitment Challenge: It’s Not the War for Talent

The HR industry globally is getting a little bit bored of hearing about the so called “war for talent” - you get it, there are a limited number of great candidates and lots of opportunities that they could go for instead of yours. But you don’t need to be told about it every two minutes. 

So, what if I told you there’s an opportunity to be one of the frontrunners in recognising the latest iteration of the issue, and offered you a counter argument for the next person that claims the dreaded war for talent should be your number one concern? 

Well, here’s a response for you: “No, that’s not my biggest challenge, actually it is the war for teamwork I’m most concerned about.” 

I’d love to say I came up with this concept, but it was in fact the HR guru, Dave Ulrich, that coined it. At the AHRI National Convention and Exhibition in August, he told a crowd of HR professionals who were hanging on his every word that their concern should no longer be the war for talent, but a war for teamwork. There was a moment of stunned silence, followed by vigorous nodding in agreement as he enlightened us. 

The workplace is changing and that is impacting the way HR professionals approach their role, but the fact remains that every organisation’s number one asset is its people. The difference in Dave’s argument is that, rather than placing all your focus on each individual hire, now, more than ever, you should be thinking about the wider team you want to build. 

Here are three reasons why...

1. The Power is No Longer in Your Hands

Today’s jobseekers have a far greater level of power when it comes to hiring decision making - it’s no longer all in the employer's hands. They are applying for multiple roles at one time and they are increasingly driven to seek the organisations that demonstrate a strong employer brand and positive company culture, both of which will be largely influenced by the team you grow. 

2. There’s Greater Value in Character Than Skills

With the shift of control from employer to candidate, also comes the issue that honing in on one great applicant will often leave you disappointed. You must be more open-minded and develop a pool of talent to choose from for every role. While every potential new recruit might not have the exact skills required to maximise their productivity from day one, you must recognise the opportunity to upskill and, instead, focus on the core competencies and characteristics they will bring to the organisation. 

3. No One is Perfect 

Finally, by recognising your focus must be on the war for teamwork, you will acknowledge that it’s never really been possible to hire perfect individuals for every role - even when you did have the reigns and skills where the holy grail. But it is possible to build the perfect team, with multiple characteristics and skills that complement each other. 

Today, HR is in a much more powerful position in the business and a focus on the team you want to form, demonstrates a recognition for the impact your hiring decisions make on broader business goals. Overcoming business challenges and achieving organisational success requires a great team, not just great talent. 

Of course, once you accept this approach, you must implement the processes that enable it. Really understanding each and every candidate is key, and using recruitment methods that produce the data you need to support not only your initial hiring decision, but also the development of new recruits, will be the basis for success as you build your perfect team. 

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