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Why recruitment is no longer a 'war for talent'

Recruitment is no longer considered by HR as a war for talent. The key to attracting good people is to make your workplace attractive to potential employees. We speak to Joanne Nugent of Parsons Brinckerhoff, Catherine Walsh of Australia Post and Joanna Price of Adshel for their thoughts on the hiring process.

Video transcript below:
 
Donna Sawyer, HC TV
Donna Sawyer:  Recruitment is a core function of HR but it’s time to stop referring to the hiring process as the ‘war for talent’.  
That’s the view of Joanne Nugent of Parsons Brinckerhoff.  She says rather than fighting for employees, organisations should start by making it an attractive workplace.
 
Joanne Nugent, Parsons Brinckerhoff
Joanne Nugent:  We all hear this phrase ‘the war for talent’.  I think if we approach it as a war, bad behaviours rise across organisations, across recruitment functions, agencies and the applicants themselves.  Everything feels like a battle.  I think if we take the focus away from this war for talent and just start building an organisation that people are inherently attracted to, it gives organisations much more power in that war to offer something more compelling for businesses.
 
Donna Sawyer:  Catherine Walsh says Australia Post has had to be innovative in the way it attracts new recruits.
 
Catherine Walsh, Australia Post
Catherine Walsh:  Sure, so recruitment is a huge focus for us with a big organisation that’s got a huge geographic spread across Australia, we face all the challenges that many businesses are facing across Australia.  So in WA and Queensland we obviously have the mining boom to contend with and the challenges there.  So we have had to be innovative in our approach and think of new things.  So we have gone more online.  Certainly when it comes to connecting with our graduates, we have used Youtube, we have used Twitter, we need to make sure that we are connecting with them the way they connect in their lives.
 
Donna Sawyer:  Joanna Price of Adshel says her team is about to embark on a large scale expansion project.  She says communication will be key.
 
Joanna Price, Adshel
Joanna Price:  We are increasing our head count by 100 people.  So first and foremost we have got a massive recruitment drive.  So it means we need to make sure that our recruitment processes are robust so that we are attracting the best available talent.  Secondly we then need to make sure that we are onboarding and training them in the most effective and impactful way, so they can hit the ground running and feel successful sooner.  Part of that too is 100 extra people on a business of a 100 people, 160 people means we need to make sure that communication is king.  It doesn’t matter what, how small the message is, we need to make sure we continue to talk to people through this process.
 
Catherine Walsh:  Across the board really we have an approach that says everyone must have a pre-employment medical as well as having a criminal history check.  And when you’ve got a business like ours, it is based on trust and making sure that parcels or mail get through to our customers, we need to make sure that we have got the right people undertaking that work and doing it safely, particularly as we go more and more into the parcels business.  When it comes to psychometric testing and psychological testing we sometimes undertake assessments for those really senior roles.  We want to make sure that we’ve got the right fit for our organisation, but we really do it on a case by case basis.  For me at the heart of it, is really good reference checking.  
 
Donna Sawyer:  This is Donna Sawyer reporting for HC TV.