Talent trends for the ’20s

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Why can’t I find great employees in Waikato? Why can’t I find a great job in Waikato? Two of the most common questions I’m asked these days. Employers are screaming out for talent and new candidates are coming to the market every day but are frustrated by the lack of opportunity. So, what is actually happening in the Mighty Waikato?

If you’re an employer, the challenges you’ve been experiencing for the last decade are still pretty much the same – just not enough of the “right” people out there. But what do you mean by right? Years ago, the right person had to have the right skills, experience and qualifications. Personality was often last on the list, as we just needed people to do the jobs we had available.

Then we moved to cultural and personality fit a few years ago, and late last year we saw the rise of adding value to the culture and alignment to values – many employers looking beyond their current needs and recruiting to future proof their business.

Moreover though, we are now seeing a degree of MUST-HAVES. Now, must-haves can be great, but they can also seriously limit your talent pool. Discrimination is still rife in many businesses when they tell me “they must be a woman/man, they must have a 10 plus years’ experience, they must be a qualified XYZ, they must….” and the list goes on.

Naturally, it’s our job to challenge your must-haves as we regularly meet candidates who could add significant value to your business, but don’t tick all the must-have boxes. Some employers will flex, but many won’t. Of course, if you’re hiring a brain surgeon there will be lots of must-haves – they must have. Consider broadening your thinking about what great talent looks like for your business and change the viewpoint from MUST HAVE to perhaps IDEAL? You never know, the perfect person just might need some of your wonderful direction and coaching to quickly become your best employee.

Now, you employees out there looking for work – firstly … please stop randomly applying for every job that you see advertised online. Focus. Take time to carefully look at what the employer is searching for and dig deep to make sure you are aligned to their needs, research who the company is. Tailor your application letter to highlight your match to their needs and talk to the recruiter who is filling the role.

Ask questions. How do you know if the company is going to be a great place to work if you don’t do a bit of digging? By simply firing off your CV within five minutes of a job being posted, you’re telling us that you really don’t care who the employer is, you just want a job. Chances are you won’t get past the first screen. If you’re seriously looking for a new opportunity – meet with a variety of recruiters to see how they can help you, tap into your personal and professional network and be clear about what you’re looking for in a workplace. Prepare a list of the places you’d like to work and places you don’t. Employers will ask you questions about why you want to work for them, how you match their needs and if you haven’t done your homework, well, quite frankly, you’re dead in the water. Similarly – you may want to ask employers about their culture and how you can add value to that. It certainly is a great way to show your potential.

Here’s what we know at the beginning of 2020 – there is plenty of work out there and new jobs coming online all the time. There is good talent out there but not every candidate is skilled at selling their worth and value to their future employer. Employers should be expanding their vision on what makes the perfect candidate, and employees should be focusing on what they really want in a role, in a culture and how they can truly add value to their future employer. Perhaps if these two paradigms merge, talent challenges in the 2020s will be easier to navigate.

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About Author

Senga Allen

Human Resource Specialist and Managing Director, Everest People. Waikato and BOP people and culture specialists. www.everestpeople.co.nz