Even with remote working becoming a global norm, every industry will have specific roles that require them to be based at certain on-site locations and only a limited number of qualified individuals will be able to perform them. So how do you successfully recruit for these positions? Here are some top tips on how organisations can ensure they secure and retain the people with these elusive sets of skills:  

  • Conduct a detailed talent/market mapping exercise 

Understand the markets you are hiring in and the competitor landscape. You can do this by conducting a detailed talent/market mapping exercise. Defining which skillsets to focus on as well as the geographical scope of the mapping is imperative to the success of this exercise. 

  • Tap into talent in other geographies 

Searching for talent should not be limited to a specific location or speaking a specific language. Letting go of these limitations will open the door to untapped talent pools. We return to the importance of understanding the talent market, you need to know where the talent is located and create your plan to reach out into those locations. What is critical when tapping into talent in other geographies, is to support candidates and their families with comprehensive relocation packages including supporting them in obtaining the right to work in the relevant country. 

  • Have a good story to tell - get the business involved 

Work closely with your business to identify strong selling points that will resonate with the target group you are trying to attract. The more detailed and specific the selling points are for the role, the better the results they will generate. It is important to develop a list of selling points that you can equip your talent acquisition team with. Every candidate is looking for something different, therefore the recruiters need to be able to select the right USP for each candidate. 

  • Leverage the power of employer branding 

Having the power of your employer brand supporting your recruitment efforts can be very powerful. Make sure to equip your recruiters with brand content. This can include: infographics providing details about locations you are recruiting and key job profiles, employee testimonial videos, material promoting your CSR activity and detailed explanations of your location specific benefits. Tying all of your external promotion with your Employee Value Proposition creates a strong message to your candidates and creates a picture of your organisations culture, vision and values in an authentic and transparent way. 

  • Open offices in new locations - team solution 

Talent with niche skills is not evenly spread across the world. There are always hubs where the amount of people with the desired skills is above average due to the education system in that area or simply another competitor’s organisation being located in that region. Keep that in mind when thinking about your long-term strategy. Perhaps it makes more sense to open a workplace in a new location where the talent is based instead of insisting on trying to relocate people to your existing locations. Prior to making such a decision, detailed talent mapping is hugely advised.  

  • Build a talent community 

Every day recruiters have contact with candidates who are perhaps not interested in the role they have to offer at this moment in time, candidates decline job offers or withdraw from the process for various reasons. The question is – what are we doing with these candidates? The best answer is to build a talent community they can become part of and to continue to engage with them. To do this successfully, you need to have engaging content to share and ideally the capacity to create two-way communication. Content may include case studies, day in the life testimonials, important business news and new product information. Here is where cooperation between talent acquisition and marketing will play a crucial role. Think about the whole candidate experience and how you can help the candidate understand that the organisaton may be a great place to work in the future. You must think long-term when hiring for niche roles. therefore, you have to find ways to stay in touch with them over the long term.  

  • Focus on talent assessment  

How to best assess candidates is critical in maintaining a good candidate experience and achieving process efficiencies. What is sometimes forgotten is how to assess candidates in a way that they will have a positive experience even though the outcome may be that the candidate is declined. This is especially critical when hiring for niche skillsets where talent is scarce. A good starting point is to consider these three aspects:  

1) have clearly defined roles within the assessment team 

2) create consistency when it comes to questions asked during the interview    

3) deliver a personal touch. There is real reputational risk should a candidate who has had a bad experience share their experience across their network – or wider. 

  • Offer support for candidates who relocate 

We have talked about being open minded to hiring candidates from abroad. What is equally important is to be able to offer such candidates and their families/partners a seamless journey when relocating from A to B. A decision to relocate from one country to the other is usually a very difficult one and is linked to a lot of uncertainty and stress for the employee and their families. Having a comprehensive relocation package which includes support with all the administrative tasks and accommodation searches will allow the employees to focus on their onboarding and operational tasks. 

  • Help to increase the amount of available talent by offering internships/graduate roles 

Offering internships, summer jobs for students and graduate jobs shouldn’t be just a short-term tactical approach. With every internship or graduate job, you are helping the entire industry to expand and increase the supply of available talent. A robust early talent programme can be a good way to increase talent in skills areas where skills are lacking – creating a defined training programme and development path can result in fantastic quality candidates filling niche roles for the business meaning the business can hit their objectives now and in the future. 

The talent market is highly competitive, so every interaction with a potential candidate is vitally important to create differentiation and to attract top talent to your organisation. Using some or all of these top tips will help you achieve the talent your business needs. 


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