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The UK’s leading employers will hire 8.1% more graduates this year, with PwC and Deloitte named as two of the top three recruiters of 2015, offering 1,570 and 1,100 vacancies respectively [1].

With thousands of fresh-faced students vying for the top graduate positions every year, new talent is hardly in short supply. But attracting and winning the very best candidates over your competitors is another matter entirely. For example, the number of accounting firms considering poaching executives from competitors rose from 8% to 22% last year [2].

It’s clear that the war for talent is most definitely here to stay.

Whether it be talented students or executives from competing firms, attracting the right people with the right knowledge and skills is vital for differentiating in an industry where knowledge, experience and reputation are everything. And when it comes down to it, attracting talent is all about being seen as an attractive employer to work for. So finding out what motivates high potentials and understanding what makes them tick will ensure you become a magnet for talented employees who will help strengthen your leadership pipeline.

Six out of ten millennials look for a “sense of purpose” in their role, and are put off by businesses that are too fixated on their own agendas [3]. From higher financial success and employee satisfaction to ethical behaviour and improving society, the expectations of this generation are at an all-time high. Today’s generation of workers consider growth and development opportunities a must-have in any role. And if the right opportunities aren’t on the horizon, they won’t hesitate to move on.

Organisations that invest in their people come out on top, and so keeping pace with new and innovative ways to engage and develop employees will help you draw in top talent and stay ahead of the game. A recent industry study reported that 50% of employees feel that their organisation doesn't recognise their full potential [4], which begs the question: why aren’t organisations doing everything they can to optimise existing talent and developing internal capabilities?

And they should be shouting about it too. With the rise of social media and sites like Glassdoor, organisations can no longer be insular: transparency is everything. Employees now expect an open, honest relationship with their employers and want talent management to be the same. Shrouding succession planning strategies in secrecy can be damaging, and so communicating openly about employee development and leadership plans will ensure you become recognised for investing in your people and will help to build your organisation’s reputation as a desirable place to build a career.

Today’s highly connected, tach-savvy workforce has given rise to the virtual office. A sense of independence and mobility are now part of the modern workplace, and high-performing, open organisations are responding to this by embracing technology through innovation and collaboration. Flexible, mobile working is valuable to many, and being able to learn at the point of need plays an important role in engaging employees in their own learning and development. So making mobile initiatives part of your workplace strategy will help you attract those high-flyers and help them to thrive (see Knell, 2014. Innovation, Collaboration and the Open Organisation).

In today’s competitive dynamic marketplace, winning the best talent is just the beginning - it’s the battle to keep them onside which can prove to be the greater challenge. Look out for a new Kallidus top tips guide, soon to be released, on managing a new generation of talent, with recommendations for motivating and developing millennials and key advice for retaining top talent within your workforce.

How can Kallidus help? www.kallidus.com/Talent

1. Highfliers (2015). The Graduate Market In 2015
2. Universum Global (2015). Talent attraction in the professional services industry
3. Deloitte (2015). Mind the gaps: The 2015 Deloitte Millennial survey
4. Kallidus (2015). Talent Pools: Banishing the Secret Society

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