Last week we gathered together some of Auckland’s most forward-thinking business leaders and talent acquisition types at CPA Australia's beautiful harbourside venue to hear from recruitment industry leader Greg Savage. 

Greg’s a true innovator in the world of talent acquisition. He’s got himself a bit of a reputation for unsettling people; challenging them to re-think accepted wisdom.

Straight out of the gate, he didn’t disappoint:

"Can we please, please ban the phrase 'War for Talent'. It’s not a war. It’s a seduction."

His point being that candidates aren’t some kind of inanimate loot, to be captured and divvied up amongst the victors.

The era we’re entering is unlike anything we’ve known. It’s like the loot’s grown legs, and it’s calling all the shots.

Here are four more things Greg wants you to know about the future of talent acquisition in the digital age:

1. Talent is the epicentre of competitive advantage

The approaching era of massive, sustained talent shortages will make talent acquisition THE critical business issue.

Talent is the new currency of wealth creation. It’s the deciding factor in whether companies will win, or lose.


Greg Savage at Consult's 'Talent Acquisition in the Digital Age" event

2. Job seeker behaviour has shifted, radically

People are finding jobs the way they purchase consumer goods. They shop around. They do their research. They use employer rating sites like Glassdoor (and very soon, Seek). But in addition, they look at your social media, your website - your entire ‘digital footprint’.

Instant access to so many digital resources has turned today’s workers into perpetual job seekers.

In addition, they’re very resentful of onerous hiring processes that make life easier for the employer, but worse for them - like cumbersome application forms or robotic ATS’s.

The boot’s on the other foot, and it’s likely to stay there. Traditional hiring tactics need reinventing.


The audience at Consult Recruitment's 'Talent in the Digital Age' event 

3. We must embrace the fact that recruitment is merging with marketing

We are now marketing to candidates. Not screening them, and not advertising for them.

We have to identify them, connect with them, engage with them and then seduce them.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are target candidates even aware your organisation exists?
  • Are your jobs readily found when your target market searches (not on job boards, but on Google)?
  • Can candidates easily engage with your organization on social and mobile?
  • Is your employer brand attractive and compelling?
  • Is your application process frictionless?


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4. Technology + skilled humans = the future of talent acquisition

Finding candidates is a science, and relies increasingly on technology. We need to embrace that technology, fully, or lose.

BUT: Recruitment is about influence and seduction - and this is more true now than ever before.

So what’s Greg’s take on how well we’re doing in New Zealand right now when it comes to talent acquisition?

"On the global stage NZ is actually quite innovative and forward thinking when it comes to talent acquisition, especially in terms of technology uptake and employer branding. But still, there is a great deal to do. So please, in New Zealand and elsewhere, stop treating candidates like cattle. Add science, rigour and innovation to talent acquisition, and empathy to talent management."

We’re super-proud to have welcomed Greg as Shareholder and Board Director at Consult last month, so we’ll be hearing a lot more from him here on the Consult blog.  You can join over 6,000 accounting, finance, HR and business leaders who read it every month, by signing up below. 


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