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Employers should see themselves as marketers

Candidates have access to more information than ever, so companies are starting to act like marketers

Employers should be considering themselves as marketers when it comes to recruitment, according to Joe Wiggins, head of communications, Europe for employer review website Glassdoor.

“Candidates have access to more sources of information than ever before,” Wiggins said, speaking at a debate hosted by Southerly on the future of recruitment agencies. “They will, on average, look at 18 sources of information when searching for a new job. Candidates have become more like a consumer, while smart companies are starting to act more like marketers.”

Laura Wigley, global director of learning and talent for luxury hotel chain Dorchester Collection, said that the 'war for talent' has intensified. “Five years ago there would be about 15 hospitality companies competing for the same subset of talent, but now there are 52 organisations fighting for the same people.

“I’m a firm believer that everybody is talent, but that looks different in every business. With more information available we see people self-selecting into the hiring process, but also self-selecting out if the position isn’t what they are looking for.”

CEO of ThisWay Global Angela Hood suggested that some organisations are approaching the 'war for talent' the wrong way. “You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight,” she said. “Part of the war for talent is finding out what candidates actually want. Some companies offer ping-pong tables, but when you speak to candidates they want flexibility and ownership of their career. We shouldn’t just assume we know what they want."

Neil Dickins, co-founder of Intellectual Capital Resources, argued that firms have a responsibility for the current state of the job market. “This is a candidate-driven marketplace, and that is the result of two things,” he said. “The first is that some organisations don’t understand it is a war for talent, and see it more as a skirmish for talent. They don’t fight hard enough for that talent."

“The second is that many organisations don’t build their employer brand enough. The companies that are getting recruitment right are seeing it as a war," he added.