To Have and to Hold (on to!): Attracting and Retaining the Right Events Talent

Gone are the days when employers held all the power. In fact, to think of recruitment in the context of power dynamics and Taylorist principles will likely lead the best talent to run straight to your competitor, and yet those two forces are still prevalent today in our industry. Given the second biggest issue identified in the employee engagement literature is that of management – specifically micromanagement – creating a match heading for the divorce courts is an easily predicted outcome.

Each generation has different expectations, different ideals, and approaches the world of work in different ways. You can actually fit a round peg into a square hole, and if you’re looking for positive disruption to drive change, you might be looking for exactly that. The question as to whether the gaps at the corners matter is secondary to the questions:

  • Can you deliver on the promises you have made to your choice candidate?
  • Can you attract the right talent and make the love between you last beyond the honeymoon period?’

The social media ‘brand wagon’

Your brand isn’t just about the cool logo and awesome website that fronts your image. Employees have a route to get their bad experiences aired to the world, and often think nothing of doing so.  In fact, according to a study on worker-related word of mouth on the internet, employer review websites are the preferred channel to express this type of information. People talk to each other – they always have – but social media enables those conversations to be heard more widely and with greater impact. And, once your brand is muddied…it really does stick.

It’s not just ex-employees you need to worry about, either. Research from The Talent Board’s recent Candidate Experience Report revealed that 33% of candidates with a negative experience planned to share it via social media. When you consider that 3 out of 4 jobseekers consider an employer’s brand before applying for a job, and 55% say that if they read a negative review it would prevent them from applying…it’s more important than ever to get it right.

‘There is NO way I am working for…’

We’ve had candidates apply for a great role, but quickly backtrack once they hear who their potential employer would be.  While there may be two sides to every story,  imagine how we react when we hear the same feedback from 5, 6, 7+, candidates with respect to the same company?

Your brand reputation is absolutely representative of where you sit with your competitors, and perception is what matters to candidates when they are looking for an organisation that is going to add value to their career. Does that mean you have to please everyone? Of course not, but the cost of leaving a good taste in the mouth of those who exit is worth more than you might imagine.

We can offer helpful insights to candidates – how your company has been evolving and changing, recent successes, and our own personal experience with you. We will represent your business brand with professionalism as if it were our own. And yes, we want to fill the roles we are working, but not at the cost of a mismatch. The cost to us, our reputation and any future business is at stake here, too!

Getting it right, really does matter

Did you know the cost of bad recruitment, according to the REC Perfect Match report, can be as high as three times the salary! Yes, you read that correctly – for a £50k role, that’s a hit of £150k – and that’s not counting the intangible cost that comes with the impact to the psychological contract of those remaining, the productivity costs, the social media impact and all of the other intangible effects! Getting it right really does matter. And, getting it cheap, could be costing you more than you think…

The steps to getting it right are simple…

  • Be very clear about what you want
    Recruiting like for like can lead to repeating the same problems that the business had before the last person left. Hiring the wrong person could create problems in the long run, so it is better to spend a bit more time to find the right person.
  • Look beyond what you think you want
    It may sound like a contradiction to point 1, but it’s too easy to recruit for a role rather than recruit for learning, growth and career development. Hire for potential, not necessarily just for experience. Think outside the box to add strong candidates to your talent pool.
  • Look for candidates who match your company’s core values
    Make sure your culture, management structure, processes, and systems are in alignment with the expectations of those you hire. This is a tough challenge, but critical to employee retention. The promise of learning and growth replaced with the harsh reality of operating in a rigid structure and micromanagement will kill your chances of a love match in an instant.
  • When all else fails, and divorce is the obvious solution…
    Do it with grace and good will.

We can help you find your perfect match

As expert Events Industry matchmakers we know our clients very well.  We know their history, their strengths and weaknesses, their challenges and industry and global influences, and we know the type of person that is going to make the perfect match with them, too. These matches are based not only on experience and skillset but shared values and attitudes – and with a long-term plan in mind. This fundamental, close understanding of our clients’ businesses is what sets us apart.

With tfconnect, you can be assured of a confidential service, honest feedback, and a partnership arrangement.  The result is that our clients feel empowered to make decisions that will drive their businesses forward.

Contact our Events Talent Experts for an informal chat and discover how to attract and retain the best talent for your business.



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Attract, Develop and Retain, Events Careers, Talent Insight