The state of today’s workforce is characterized by chronic understaffing and challenges attracting and retaining talent and it’s keeping our leaders up at night. In November 2021, Tourism HR Canada reported “unprecedented job vacancies,” with nearly 200,000 vacant jobs and 14.4 per cent of industry jobs understaffed.

With the rise of new COVID-19 variants, our colleagues nationally and globally are once again experiencing mounting uncertainty and new sets of restrictions. Although we may not know what the coming months will bring, we know we must look ahead for solutions with new, flexible and agile recruitment strategies to support recovery.

A Strategic Mindset
‘The Great Resignation’ made headlines in 2021, with record numbers of employees quitting their jobs in search of greater flexibility, autonomy, belonging and purpose. But what if we shift our mindset to view this as an opportunity for ‘a great acquisition?’

Acquiring talent starts with a strategic plan that lays out the course of action for identifying, recruiting, hiring and retaining talent. The most effective plans think beyond past practices of “post and pray” and instead deploy sales, marketing and digital-marketing approaches to capture talent market share. This includes developing a compelling employer brand which highlights organizational mission and campaigns directly to the ideal target candidate. If you are re-defining your employer brand, be unique and inclusive, but also genuine in what you’re offering.

The Employee Experience
Today’s employees are subscribing to a new set of ideals, including an employee experience that will enhance their life and align with their values. Job descriptions remain a key touchpoint with prospective candidates and should be a thoughtfully crafted part of the marketing campaign. Your job descriptions should be a communication piece that speaks to your candidates about mission, leadership philosophy, opportunity for growth and contribution, and paints a clear picture of the employee experience. Most importantly, you should re-write job descriptions in a way that welcomes diverse groups and speaks to candidates’ purpose as a member of your team.

Build a Talent Community
The key to finding candidates is to cast the net wide. The best way to do this is to establish an expectation that everyone in the organization has a role in recruitment. Some of the best candidates are lingering within your employee’s networks and social-media feeds. Looking at ways to activate these networks to build a talent community of passive candidates should be included in your recruitment strategy.

Leverage the Power of Social
With so many social-media outlets, it is difficult to know which is the most effective for attracting talent. Although LinkedIn and Indeed are the most common go-to’s for recruiting, Facebook groups allow employers to engage in genuine conversations with candidates. Videos on LinkedIn and Twitter are effective in discussing a job role instead of reading a standard job description. YouTube is valuable to leverage your employer brand and allows you to upload videos, build walk-throughs, employee testimonials and other content to showcase your employee experience. Short videos on TikTok are ideal to attract new workers, interns or graduates. Twitter is best for engaging millennials, while Instagram works to attract candidates seeking creative jobs.

Moving forward, we need to recruit with a strategic mindset targeting passive candidates and highlighting the employee experience. Employers will need to act quickly in today’s competitive recruitment market.

Cayley Dow is the founder and CEO of Thrivity Inc., a human-resources consulting and coaching firm that helps service-oriented businesses to thrive in the ever-evolving world of work.


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