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3 Tips to Win the War for Talent


The War for Talent has been stewing slowly for nearly twenty years, coined back in ’97 referring to the increasingly competitive recruiting environment and the steadily shrinking workforce. Back then, the causes of the war for talent were less clear but today we know for certain. The Boomers are retiring, leaving technician, lead, engineer, and senior management positions open wherever they have been. And the much smaller Gen-X generation of professionals just isn’t enough to step up and fill all the gaps. Today, the only generation that compares in both size and technical skill to the boomers are their children, the Millennials. And therein lies the current problem.

Where Is All the Fresh New Talent?

Millennials are freelancers at heart. They watched their boomer parents sacrifice time, health, and family to the job. They heard countless complaints about the commute, they survived the bank and housing crisis as children and teens. And with the mobile tech and remote work trends, they can choose to work from anywhere. So why, when they can freelance from home or on working vacations, would a millennial choose to apply for a job, go through the interview rigamarole, and commute to your office every day?

Winning the War for Talent

The fact of the matter is that positions no longer fit the workforce and in today’s freelancing, entrepreneurial environment, the talent holds all the cards. Therefore: The key to winning the war for talent is to access the untapped talent pool and bring some of those free spirits on as members of your team, and here at San Diego Pro Staff, we can help.

1) Flexible Policies

The first step is to loosen up. Many professionals in the office today may remember when ‘suit and tie’ steadily became ‘business casual’, when HR became more helpful than problematic, or when employers suddenly started caring about your health. This is one of those changes. Times are moving forward and workplace policies must as well in order to gain the best results from today’s professionals.

The younger half of the workforce isn’t looking for the same kind of day-to-day stability that previous generations value. They don’t all want the same schedule, uniform, and benefits package, They each one something different, which means you should be willing and able to negotiate across the interview table. Do they care more about health coverage or vacation days? Flexible work hours or a free pass to the company gym? Allowing new employees some leeway to build a policy they will enjoy and stick to will get better results than any ‘take it or leave it’ tactics.

2) Remote Positions

Next, seriously consider the possibility of offering remote or semi-remote positions. A fully remote position can allow you not only to hire reclusive geniuses who live nearby but extend your candidate search across the country. If the perfect programmer for your project lives in Maine, offer them both a relocation package and a remote position to massively increase their chances of acceptance. Put away your fears about no-shows and shoddy work, these are only appropriate when actually trucking with freelancers. Trust that remote professionals know how to be remote professionals and can deliver what they promise, just as you would someone who will come into the office each day.

Semi-remote positions are also highly appealing for local professionals, especially those who have dipped their toe in both the freelance and office work experiences. Many professionals enjoy coming into the office but adore the flexibility and comfort of working at home. By offering a few days or even weeks of remote commuting for both current and new hires, you can reward good performance, allow for ‘working vacations’ without anyone taking leave time, and entice nearby professionals to your positions.

3) Employer Reputation

Finally, don’t forget that everything, including employers, is rated online today. Platforms like Glassdoor allow employees, past and present, to submit their reviews and personal accounts of what it’s like to work for your company. You can bet that people you interview will also post stories if the interviews were particularly good or bad. This comes together into your ’employer reputation’, something that your candidates are all checking before they agree to sign on. It’s important to be aware of your employer reputation and to start manicuring it as soon as possible. Look at what is being said about your company and start working to correct any problems that cause negative comments. You might even discover a few things about your company you didn’t know before.

When you have a glowing employer reputation, offer remote positions, and are ready to be flexible on employee priorities, you are ready to win the war for talent. Now all you need is a great recruiting service to help you find those talented young professionals who will enjoy your new and improved hiring practices. For more information, tips, or a consultation contact us today!