Employer Branding and Talent Attraction in Open Talent Economy

First things first! Before we jump on to discuss how critical it is to attract and retain talent and how your employer brand is significantly connected with it, let’s understand the term ‘open talent economy’.

Coined by Deloitte, open talent economy is a way to work or conduct business in a borderless and technology-enabled market. Precisely, it’s a marketplace where businesses and professionals seek each other out to collaborate for a particular project or achieve specific, pre-defined business objectives.

Open talent economy allows people to switch roles freely across geographical boundaries. It’s the arrangement that has brought employers and employees on an equal platform, ensuring equal rights and opportunities like never before. The open talent economy is an assortment of independent contractors, freelancers, employees, consultants and temporary workers. In fact, the fastest growing population is of virtual employees who don’t have formal ties with any business. It allows free flow of people and services across borders.

Change in the Work Environment/Structure

Talent attraction is critical for companies to gain a competitive edge. In fact, it’s as important as any other aspect of their business. It means that this particular aspect needs to be looked after regularly, on an ongoing basis. Recruitment, development and retention are not one time processes.

The change in the work environment and structure has been a constant concern of employers. However, the major concerns in an open talent economy are the complexity and pace of change. So, what’s driving this change? What’s compelling businesses to seek out professionals, and create and maintain a wider talent pool?

There are a number of factors that are responsible for the change in the work environment. 24/7 connected market, mobile technology and ease of personal mobility allow people to move freely within and between organizations and countries. There are more work opportunities for them than ever before.

  • 24/7 connected market: Talent market has a global access. There are new means of hiring. The ideas travel openly. And most importantly, people are interested in traveling to different parts of the world.

  • Mobile technology: This is probably one of the most important forces driving change in talent market. It has made collaboration easier and faster in real-time. The work can be done from any location for any company.

  • Personal mobility: Making career moves has become easier than ever. However, people require skills and technical know-how to remain effective while on-the-move.

  • Social Media: Social platforms are not only to connect with friends. These can also be used to establish dynamic professional networks and employer brand. It’s now that most organizations are experimenting with social media to raise awareness and convey branded messages.

Therefore, it’s time for organizations to think about talent again and in a different manner. Acquiring talent is no longer a business expense; rather it’s an investment. And like any other investment, it has to be strategically planned and the output needs to be measured in terms of ROI.

Talent Attraction on Open Talent Economy

The open talent economy lays emphasis on having access to talent rather than owning the talent. And this is not possible if businesses continue to confine to age-old tried and tested hiring practices. In fact, they will need to shift gears to catch up with the latest trends in talent attraction.

  • Look beyond the office walls

    Broaden your horizon and look beyond the office walls to communicate with broader communities. Ideally, employers should have a mixture of full-time, contractual and freelance employees. Open talent economy brings huge opportunities for everyone. Tap innovative ideas and help people realize and launch their ideas. This not only strengthens your employer brand but also helps build a pool of talent who’s interested in associating with you.

  • Don’t be dependent on in-house employees

    It’s important to break the monotony and streamline the flow of human resources. Companies need to overcome their unidirectional state and make an arrangement in which they can reach out to an external pool of resources whenever required. In fact, the business model should be such that internal and external teams complement each other. The future lies in collaborating with different people and establishments outside of your organization.

  • Utilize the Power of Crowd

    Crowdsourcing is a combination of crowd and outsourcing, which means getting work done from crowd or a large group of people. This is an online work arrangement of obtaining ideas, services and content by soliciting contributions from a community of people who are not employees of the company. The benefit of this model is that it combines the intellect, ideas and efforts of contributors from the different parts of the world. In fact, this is considered one of the best ways to tap into the skills and capabilities from around the world.

    Another fascinating aspect of Crowdsourcing is that you create awareness about your business on a large scale. Plus, it builds your employer reputation and gets more people knocking at your door.

  • Recruit talent oversees

    The biggest advantage of the connected world is that you need not restrict to 9-5 office hours. Rather your employees must be free to work during their most productive hours. The open talent economy not only makes this possible but also gives access to resources in far flung areas. The benefit is that you can have somebody working for you round the clock. Work out a combination of resource pools that can give you competitive advantage in the long run.

Remember that each of your actions makes an impact on potential talent. Being careful in what and how a message is conveyed when you invite people for your upcoming project. This makes or breaks your reputation as an employer.

Building Employer Brand and Talent Attraction Strategy

No matter how unwilling businesses are to adapt to this change, they ultimately will need a strategy for a continued access to a large talent. However, before creating a talent strategy, it’s important to find answers to these questions:

  • What’s your talent vision ?

    A strategy can be defined only when you have a pre-defined set of objectives and vision. Think about ‘before’ and ‘after’ of your talent strategy. It means understand your current status and the ideal state once the strategy is implemented.

  • Who’s your target audience ?

    Of course, not everyone on the planet earth has the skills to work on your upcoming projects. Nor every professional is your audience. Find out who can your important workforces. What skill set they must possess?

  • What would be the ideal talent program for your business ?

    It’s not necessary that a particular method will work for you, if it has worked for your competitors in the past. You can have multiple arrangements in place; however, you will need to select the top few in which you would want to invest as you progress.

  • How are you going to ensure quality ?

    A business defines its talent strategy in an open economy by setting quality standards. Active planning, sequencing of activities, industry benchmarks and review processes must be in place to ensure that your talent strategy is helping obtain a competitive advantage.

Open talent economy introduces new models of talent attraction. But like any other model, it has its cons. The result depends upon the way you plan and implement your talent strategy.


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