Save the talent

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 - 10:00am IST | Agency: DNA
Organisations need to develop a positive work culture in order to hire talented employees. Uday Vaidya gives tips on how to acquire and retain talent in a competitive market.

As talented candidates  give the company they work for, an edge to survive in tough markets, organisations are keen to hire the best. However, employers need to know that talented individuals have choices too. Hence, it is essential for an organisation to be “attractive” in order to hire talent.

Talented professional want to work in an environment that allows them to grow. To attract these candidates, an organisation must brand itself as a good employer.

Many organisations are effectively using job advertisements to portray a positive image. If you are using print media for sourcing talent, then select an appropriate one depending upon the kind of talent you are looking for. One needs to look after visibility of the organisation in various industry specific media forums and even the social media network. Remember, a product which is most visible gets sold.

Treatment given to the candidates during an interview will also help in creating a good image. Remember your existing and more importantly, your past employees are your brand ambassadors. Hence, make all the effort to create good brand ambassadors. Please remember that talent acquisition is a selling process for the organisations too.

Businesses that are successful in this area are skilled at staff planning and development. Some of them conduct a staff assessment, or “human capital review.” They ask questions such as: Are we organised effectively for success? What talent do we have in each function? How are they performing? Are they in the right jobs? Do we have the technical, business, interpersonal skills and experience needed to achieve our goals? If so, how can we develop these resources to be even more valuable to the organisation? If we don’t have what we need, how shall we address this gap?

Successful talent acquisition requires that you become skilled in identifying your needs and being able to discern whether or not a candidate possesses them.

Look at your organisational structure and determine the job you need to fill. Define the responsibilities and results you expect from this position and the attributes a candidate must possess. Include a thorough description of the position and a complete list of skills and experience needed for the job.


Skilled interviewers ask questions that require thoughtful responses and reveal how candidates approach their work and use their experiences. They ask for examples that deepen their understanding of a candidate’s thought process. Questions may include asking for a description of past behaviour “Tell me about a challenging assignment you worked on and how you completed it?”; encouraging value judgments, “What made you select ‘x’ as your life career?”; revealing attitudes, “Describe your most difficult boss and how you worked together?”; or require problem solving “What would you say to an angry customer?”

It’s common for employers to conduct third-party background and reference checks on their final candidates. These services might include verification of employment history, educational degrees, social security numbers, as well as screening of credit history, criminal records or driver’s license records. It’s important to have any background checks completed by a knowledgeable company that can guide you through any compliance issues.

—The author is a human resource consultant and a corporate trainer

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