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  • Writer's pictureAndy Foy

The War For Talent is Over - The Employee Won!

The last two years, as we have navigated the Covid-19 pandemic, have dramatically changed the workplace. The reality is, the employee won the talent war.

Why has the employee won? Because there is a massive global talent shortage which is not going away anytime soon. Therefore, you must do something about it. The clever companies are already, the question is, will you be one of them?

So, what are the changes in the workplace that have happened over the last two years and why is the talent war over?

  1. At the top of the ‘changes’ list is the way we work. Organisations are adopting all-new remote and hybrid work models which are driven by physical distancing requirements.

  2. Employees are demanding freedom and flexibility - and quitting if they can’t find it.

  3. Leadership teams are realising inclusion can’t and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

  4. Workforces are becoming more diverse geographically, and socially.

  5. Neuro diversity and understanding individuals at work is starting to be recognised as important if not a distinct competitive advantage.

Adding to this, are two fundamental shifts in the demographic of our nation's workforce:

  1. An ageing population, a shrinking working population;

  2. Under-utilisation

As at December 31, 2021 the under-utilised proportion of New Zealand's workforce, (which is defined as those who are: under-utilised, unemployed, a potential labour force, available potential job seekers and unavailable jobseekers) was 9.2%, compared to the unemployment rate at the same period which was 3.2%. While the under utilised proportion grew by 5000 people in the December quarter. The total available workforce who could be drawn on is small.

This means that the available labour market for people with experience in a particular industry, and well developed soft skills is shrinking at such a rate, that retraining and up-skilling is failing to bridge the gap. Those with talent have won and can largely take their pick of the job offerings, and name their price!

When hiring the right talent is now more critical than ever, why are businesses getting it so wrong?

Because too many hiring decisions are made on face value after only 47 minutes (on average ) of interview time and less than 10 minutes interview prep time.

When you consider the cost of a bad hire:

Why would you expose yourself to so much risk?

When it takes 150 days, in the example above, to replace someone, ask yourself how much have you invested in the decision you are making? And how do you make the right decision quickly in order to secure the talent you need?

What are smart organisations doing to reduce their hiring risk?

They are taking a data driven approach.

When using a data driven approach to talent acquisitions you must have an

understanding what you actually need in a role, what success looks like and what

actually works rather than relying using a degree and or tenure as a benchmark for


Most companies fail to define the abilities and attributes required for success in a given role accurately and then fail to assess candidates against those attributes effectively.

Future job success can be predicted, as this graphic shows:

Predictive Performance selects and recommends the gold standard in data driven behavioural and cognitive assessments . We can help you find the right new hires and bring out the best in your people and teams quickly with data-driven solutions.

When you hire for long term, interview the “whole” person

We all are the sum of three parts - our head, our heart and our experience. Therefore, it is axiomatic that when we are looking to bring someone into your team you should seek to understand that individual at all three levels.

Asking an interviewee questions about what drives them, such as

  • What Frustrates you at work?

  • Tell me about a time when you were really happy at work. What was it that you were doing and why did it make you happy or satisfied?

  • What is it that you love about your occupation

Work samples and technical experience are also important but look to blend the questions and go for depth in the answers. Asking them to give you real examples from their current job can provide you with a wealth of information about how they apply their technical skill and behaviour at work. For example. In a sales interview ask them to sell you their current product or service. Its something they know and they should be able to at least provide a pitch that sparks your attention. Ask them about process. Get them to take you through a sales, or month end or operational process. Ask them about what they would change about it. If you have problems at work, give them the problem to solve.

If you know what their behavioural drives are and how they are having to adapt to their current work environment, you suddenly have some deep insights to see how they will be able to fit into your role, team and culture. This can provide fertile ground for further interview questions and give you the added confidence that you have made a great decision when it comes to making an offer. Having this data to hand also enables you to ask insightful and relevant questions of referees and speeds up your recruitment process massively. Ensuring you don't loose candidates in the process.

Taking a data driven approach to recruitment is critical for your organisation’s success. But it's not enough to just use behavioural assessments you need to track, diagnose and understand your key metrics in the recruitment process. What could you be doing to take your recruiting and people processes to the next level? How do you ensure your organisation wins?

By measuring what matters. Collecting measuring analysing and acting on the data. You will improve the experience of your candidates and performance of your recruiting managers and also your offer acceptance rate. In this short article Six key recruiting metrics you should be using you will find the key metrics you need to start systematically improving your recruitment process. You may find other metrics such as candidate sourcing data and measure time and type of interaction at key steps of the way. The way you actually hire someone and the efficiency and friendliness of the candidate experience can often be key to securing a scarce candidate.

As the years roll on, recruitment and retention will get harder. Our population stats prove it. The way we hire candidates and view working hours and work flexibility must change. Those who adapt will be significantly more successful than those who don’t.

Author: Andy Foy – Talent Optimisation Consultant & Certified Predictive Index (PI) Associate

I know how frustrating it can be when you cannot get the organisational results you desire. There is no way around it; people drive business and all business problems at their root, are people problems.

For over 25 years, I have built my career on solving business and people challenges in the most practical, pragmatic, and cost-effective way across a variety of industries, countries and cultures. I know business and I know people.

Using the innovative, market-leading Talent Optimisation tools from The Predictive Index (PI), I help organisations align their people strategy with their business strategy to create better workplaces and achieve optimal results.

These tools are practical, fast, scientifically validated, easy to use and deliver deep insights to help managers hire the right people, manage their teams, and improve performance. Moreover, I train and educate managers and their teams so they can understand each other, hire the right people and build cultures and interpersonal relationships that drive business success.

I have helped hundreds of companies and teams across the world & have an extensive network of consultants in New Zealand around the world I can draw upon to solve many of your business challenges. I'm here to help you.

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