As Summer starts to creep up on us in Dubai, the annual mid-year lull is also looming. The smart ones make the most of the downtime during Summer, gaining a first-mover advantage whilst their competitors wait for the clock to tick to September. There is always an opportunity to pounce while others are sleeping, and I have seen some fantastic moves in the market during previous Summers, with relatively little competition for the best talent.
For those who intend on sleeping, get ready for a battle that has already begun!
We are in the eye of the storm that is the Digital Revolution, combine this with the time of year, and it becomes more important now than ever before to position yourself at forefront of the market, to stand out from the competition, and to have a compelling reason for people to want to join your journey over others.
So how do we win the battle, what’s the strategy, and how do we execute?
There are 5 very simple ways that you can stand out from your competitors and attract the best talent, and I truly believe that ensuring you have a strong grasp of these will determine how successfully you execute your hiring plan during the most competitive time of year.
- Create a world-class Employee Value Proposition
If you don’t know what your EVP is, or have a confused idea about what an EVP is all together, then this needs to be corrected immediately in order to have any chance of attracting great talent. Many confuse an EVP simply with Employer Branding, it is much greater than this and incorporates company culture, work-life balance, recognition & reward, professional development and of course compensation & benefits. If any of these 5 pillars of your EVP is lacking, then your whole EVP is flawed.
Once you’ve created your world-class EVP, first communicate it internally, and ensure that your organisation talk about it is the DNA of the business. This will naturally seep into the outside world and will mean you can use it as your greatest weapon when going to market for talent.
- Deliver an enjoyable, effective and efficient candidate experience
Cancelling interviews last minute, having a 7 stage recruitment process and not conducting professional interviews can go a long way in putting a candidate off the company altogether. We all know that first impressions are everything, so make sure you introduce your candidates to the whole process that they face right at the start, stick to that process and remember that interviews are a two-way experience, make sure you offer your time to answer questions.
Many life decisions are made on gut instinct, candidate experience is critical to making sure the gut says yes!
- Look after the family
Take an interest in your candidates personal and family situation, and understand how the company can support that. A decision to take a new job is a group one, and you want to ensure the family are fighting your corner! Family benefits, flexible hours, flexible holiday allowances are often small offerings that can make a big difference. In Dubai, this point is more poignant than anywhere else, due to the lack of state-provided family healthcare and schooling.
We all know that Family comes first, so make sure you put them first!
- Act fast
It amazes me how many companies lose out on great talent simply through procrastination. If you have found the right candidate, and you know they’re perfect for the role, move quickly to take them off the market before your competition does. Waiting to see what else is in the market will inevitably come back to bite you.
The age-old scenario comes to mind here of trying the perfect pair of shoes on in the first shop you visit, only for them to be gone when you return after checking out the other shops, we’ve all been there!
- Think Global
It may seem daunting to search globally for talent, but the reality is that the perfect candidate for your role isn’t living around the corner. At Salt, around 70% of the candidates that we place are not currently based in the UAE, and as time goes on this proportion is actually increasing. An investment in time to go global can reap huge rewards in the long run, as you bring fresh ideas and approaches into the company from different countries and cultures.
Although it seems big, the world is actually a surprisingly small place with the technology that we have access to, and if your competitors aren’t looking globally, you could have much less competition for the best talent!
That’s it from me for now – good luck in your hunt for great talent over the next few months!
Author: Lloyd Cremer, Sales Manager, Salt MENA