By Adam Gordon
A 2017 STUDY by LinkedIn found that tech and software were the fastest-growing industries for millennials, while sectors such as government, retail, and oil and energy saw the biggest drops.
Pressure is growing on these more traditional sectors to recruit more effectively. Companies in some of these industries are taking a more creative approach to recruitment. Nordea, the largest Scandinavian bank, hosted a fashion show in Denmark to appeal to a new generation of talent. The aim of the event was to show that finance could be as innovative as tech.
But what about companies in other sectors? Why are so many businesses struggling to compete with the technology industry — and what can they do about it?
Rewards and incentives are probably a good place to start. Tech giants such as Amazon and Google are renowned for offering new talent a range of modern perks, including flexible hours and free lunch options, which many candidates find more appealing than traditional bonuses.
In most cases, however, traditional industries like finance have not matched the creative benefits on offer from these players, with many relying on bonuses and pay-rises instead. The problem, though, is that financial perks are no longer enough if the job is seen to be life-consuming.
In a 2017 CNBC poll of 4,000 US millennials and Gen Z-ers, just 10 percent were interested in careers in finance, a path often associated with long hours, as well as high salaries. The same poll revealed that a third of financial services employees felt they had to sacrifice work-life balance to work in the industry.
Another problem is that most companies have been using the same recruitment strategy since 1999 — which explains why many candidates aren’t impressed. A generic online vacancy post, once the standard pathway to begin the recruitment journey, is now often met with apathy from potential recruits.
Parameters set for many vacancies can often be too rigid. It has been estimated that 80 percent of US machine-learning engineers with PhDs choose to work at Google or Facebook. And yet many engineering companies still insist on setting PhD as a minimum requirement — and some candidates are being overlooked.
As more and more new talent is snapped-up by the tech sector, other industries will fall behind without effective recruitment strategies. Productivity can suffer if extensive training and supervision are needed. Poor hires can lower staff morale, as colleagues start to resent the fact that salaries are the same — but the output is not.
The good news is that there is still a lot that businesses can do to help attract relevant, engaged candidates. For a start, employers can now use automated solutions that enable them to rival tech companies in finding recruits.
Talent acquisition software such as Candidate.ID is designed to revolutionise the search for good team members. Businesses can now use sophisticated, real-time analytics to measure a candidate’s desire to work for the company. The system is based on variables such frequency of visits to the company’s website and their interest in research, white papers and announcements.
Companies can stay one step ahead by learning what other roles candidates are considering. Candidate engagement can be enhanced by using these insights to deliver personalised communications relevant to the different stages of the application process and each candidate.
*Adam Gordon is CEO and co-founder of Candidate.ID