The professional services sector faces an intense war for talent, with the competition motivated by the fact there is a high demand on the seemingly ever-growing industry, while the pool of qualified candidates is notoriously small. Below we outline some practical, evidenced methods for arming your recruitment team up for the talent war.

Work on your employer brand with different types of talent in mind

Candidates are diverse and unique individuals, and so no one kind of employer brand will appeal to all. For example, you may see applicants come in who are seasoned professionals in a different sector looking to make a career switch. For these kinds of candidates, offering clear Learning & Development pathways, performance management processes, and opportunities for them to get stuck into their new industry will likely be key in catching their attention.

Meanwhile, Gen Z have been making headlines for their refusal to apply to jobs that don’t advertise salary upfront, and Oliver Wyman’s poll found an estimated 85% of Gen Zers prefer a hybrid or remote work pattern. Therefore, prioritising values of transparency and flexibility in your employer branding efforts and graduate recruitment processes will be crucial to snapping up Gen Z talent.

Never stop nurturing your talent pool

Having warm candidates available when you know a job vacancy is coming around the corner can be a life saver in reducing interview no shows and feeling confident in the applicants you’re sharing with the hiring manager.

Hireserve ATS offers a talent pool management feature which offers every tool your team could need in this endeavour. You can create talent pools based on criteria such as skills, experience, location and more. This way when you have a vacancy or if you are looking to recruit new employees, you will have a database of candidates who are suited to your organisation’s needs. You can also build different pools for various roles or areas of your business to help you source talent more efficiently and cost-effectively and make recruitment better. The software also works to encourage speculative applications and engage passive candidates who might have an interest in your business.

Hireserve also allows you to set a data retention period and use the automated removal process to ensure you comply with Data Protection Act (DPA) laws around storage limitation, so your talent pool is always organised in the way it should be.

Tech which empowers efficiency

With so few candidates meeting the qualification criteria, talent needs to be snapped up quickly. For this to happen, recruitment processes need to be seamless, from end-to-end.

Hireserve ATS provides candidate screening which empowers recruitment teams to cut their time-to-hire while simultaneously improving candidate experience. Some of the key feature include:

  • Pre-screening questions (known as ‘Killer Questions’) to manage high volume recruitment.
  • Create weighted ‘Job Specific Questions’ to assess candidates’ suitability for certain roles and manage applicant expectations.
  • View candidates’ suitability at a glance with the star-rated ‘Assessment Criteria’ tool.
  • Intelligent talent search with context to sift through candidates and identify the skills, experience and more that you need.

Hireserve’s self-select interview tool eradicates the dreaded interview admin and boosts candidate experience by allowing them to choose their own interview slot based on your businesses pre-uploaded availability – candidates can also rebook if their availability changes.

It’s a candidate’s market – so prioritise their experience

In his article covering the war for talent in consulting, Florian, a former McKinsey consultant turned coach for those trying to get a foot in at the top firms, shares how he has multiple experiences of his candidates choosing a BCG offer over McKinsey – which was unheard of when he was employed by the top consulting firm. Candidates fed back to him that the BCG process was more organised, they suffered fewer short-term cancellations, the interactions were more friendly, and more effort was put in to personalise the pre-boarding process to ensure a positive experience.

This goes to prove that regardless of what big names your recruitment team may feel are impossible to compete against when it comes to reputation and status, talented candidates do care deeply about how they’re treated during the hiring process, any many will choose the opportunity that made them feel respected and engaged over other highly coveted offers.

The market can be tough on HR and recruitment teams regardless of industry, but the professional services sector are undoubtedly facing unique and challenging circumstances. No matter the size or skill of your team, you need the right resources to support the way you want to recruit talent, including the perfect recruitment solution.

Hireserve ATS allows you to put your stamp on the hiring process and takes care of key obstacles from time consuming admin to strategic reports. Book a demo to speak with one of our experts and learn what Hireserve ATS could do for you.

About the author

Hannah Elliott