Should recruiters really be calling it the war for talent?

Maybe it should be called the war for “can do the minimum requirements”. The security clearance holding population is gradually decreasing as the need for cleared personnel for specific roles (i.e., cybersecurity) is rapidly increasing. Recruiters are competing with other industries with $50,000 sign-on bonuses and as burned-out active military are looking for a change up following their transition, the war for talent has become a battleground that needs a truce.


Calling it the ‘war for talent’ creates other potential issues – basing your employee’s work on a ranking system where some talent is positioned in a higher class than others fails to see the group as a whole and the cog in a wheel approach that all team players are supporting a common goal.

Peter Cheese from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, an association for human resource management professionals in the UK, has noted that focusing on a favored few of professionals, “does nothing to encourage the rest, and can work against it”. And even though you are a shining star of talent in your organization, that doesn’t mean you can seriously hurt your team’s culture. Robert Sutton, a Stanford University professor, highlighted the impact of a miss-behaving performers in his book with a star salesman who also had a bullying problem, which eventually led to legal troubles, hurting morale and employee retention.

TOP 5 trending recruiting strategies

Here are five trending recruiting strategies to help you make a truce through the war for talent.

1. Measure your KPIs.

Not only do Key Performance Indicators (KPI) help recruiting teams manage costs and evaluate efficiencies, but they also help staffers find what’s working or who needs to pull their weight. So, note your time-to-fill, conversions, turnover rates, net promoter score (NPS), revenue per customer, and engagement rates.

2. Work smarter, not harder.

Utilize tools that make sense for the money you are putting in to them. Yet another metric to consider, this ensures you are cutting costs when necessary and spending the time and budget where it matters.

3. Hire and promote from within.

Refocus your hiring efforts (especially for tough positions) on internal candidates. Leverage internal mobility, which can also be a hiring benefit for new candidates, and reshuffle employees who are feel burnt out in their current role.

4. Use employer branding tools.

Reaching passive candidates is a common recruiting them this year. Make sure that you current employees are also low-key recruiting by making sure your employer brand is elevated online and uniform across the board.

5. Be more transparent.

Specifically for salaries or compensation, pay transparency has become the cool new thing as companies intend to be more progressive in hiring. It benefits demographics that are generally underpaid, and those job openings could also receive more clicks in comparison to your competitors.

So, is it really the war for talent? Or do we need to widen the requirements and get more people in to get the job done? Both the government and industry need to buy-in to these ideas. But even more so, we need the next generation of talent to be motivated to join the ranks.




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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸