How to win the war for talent

August 1, 2018 4 mins read

In recent years, the competition for talent has become increasingly fierce in the major cities of China. In every large enterprise, HR is tasking its mind and planning various schemes to retain talents. We have found in the practice of many schemes that it is the key to win the competition to trace the curriculum vitae of job seekers in the display of attractive brand stories, just as the marketing strategy for consumer brands.

The subversive reform of digital economy business model is bringing major impact to the skills required in the workplace, however, we have not yet determined what future job will turn out to be.

According to the “Future Job” Report on the World Economic Forum, by 2020, more than one third of the core skills required by most of the future jobs are those that are not valued today.

Some argue that the term “competition for talent” has been used indiscriminately since its introduction in 1997. Indeed, it has always been a challenge to attract and retain the best talents. The situation has been becoming unprecedentedly complex in the face of constant changes in business subversion, skill gap and labor force population structure.

Today, the job seekers in the job market are well aware of the importance of personal brand, as evidenced by the continued growth of platforms such as LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, the employer brand is equally important. Job seekers want to understand the company's position before the interview, so companies should show attractive brand stories to trace the curriculum vitae of job seekers, just as the marketing strategy for consumer brands. 

Some employers believe that it is employer brand promotion to provide coffee bar or table tennis to attract employees, however, compensation and benefits are also one of the important considerations for job seekers’ application.

The employers do their best to win the competition for talent and are willing to raise salaries to retain the employees who put forward resignations. However, according to a recent survey, this method is just a matter of expediency rather than a long-term strategy for employee career development. The survey revealed that the retained employees by salary increase usually would leave the company within two years anyway.

In fact, in most cases, employee resignation has nothing to do with salary. Therefore, salary increase will not retain employees no matter how much it is.

The senior managers in various industries have been interviewed, including finance and accounting, technology, law, advertising and marketing as well as human resources. Question investigated: Have you ever tried to retain employees by salary increase? Their answers: “yes” accounts for 58% while “no” accounts for 42%. How long do they work for the company at average after the increase? It is 1.7 years averagely.

In general, salary increase for employee retainment is a typical strategy without careful thinking and comprehensive consideration of personnel matters. It seems to be an easy and efficient solution for employers, but more often than not, it is only of temporary effect. Even though the employee accepts salary increase, he or she would resign soon. Our suggestion for employees is to avoid such salary increase as far as possible. Money is a cure for nothing. If you accept salary increase, the company would question your loyalty. More importantly, the fundamental cause to your resignation still remains there.

According to “2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey”, employees are in demand of meaningful and targeted jobs, while the Millennials consider that they shoulder responsibilities in the workplace and even wider field.         

They consider the workplace the main stage for their creation of positive impact.

Many candidates in interviews said that it was the company’s promise for sustainable development in solving energy conflicts that attracted them to join.

It does not depend on gimmicks for an employer to become the first in the competition for talent. A competitive one will first set a meaning target, share it with employees and grow together. Then an interworking brand strategy will be formulated to connect the enterprise and employer brand, so that its strategies for business development and human resources will be well coordinated.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China