Dominating the “war of talents”

Human research

Dominating the “war of talents”

The oft-reported skills shortage means that those in recruitment have to think how to compel applicants to change their job and take interest in “their” company – an aspect that is often overlooked.

If we look back over many of the instances of contacting applicants during the past year, there are a range of reasons why applicants considered changing jobs. Here are the statements we heard the most on a day-to-day basis when talking with candidates, the reasons for the change having changed and continuing to change over time in connection with social, societal and macroeconomic changes:

  • New professional challenges
  • Assumption of more responsibilities
  • Current company offers too few opportunities for development or further training
  • Higher income
  • Less decision-making and more streamlined work structure
  • Dissatisfaction with current managers
  • Shorter distance from work
  • Search for a new position as they have been made redundant

As one can see, this list does not include reasons such as shorter working hours, less overtime, support with sport activities, gym membership, fruit baskets and the like. Many companies are now talking about what must be offered in order to be one step ahead in the “war of talents” and appear to be an attractive employer. Many arguments come into play during the application process and when making a decision about a role – yet only once the fundamental reason for an application or a change has been satisfied.

(Image: Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH)
(Image: Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH)

In recruitment, this means that there are no standard claims or solutions. The advertising company is increasingly required to individually prepare for the task of filling a vacancy, with the corresponding applicant target groups and individual candidates in mind. Offering a complete work-life balance solution does not help if the potential employees are not paid market-standard salaries that match their performance and responsibilities, if the company is in a position of economic crisis or if the company does not offer employees any prospects. 

To be able to influence the real reasons for change, it is first necessary to find out what those are. This brings with it intensive, time-consuming processes and discussions. The results are often unclear, as a candidate’s decisions and considerations throughout the entire application process are subject to different influencing factors that can never be fully identified and controlled, such as life partners suddenly no longer wanting to relocate, hearing negative statements about the company from acquaintances or receiving another offer. This also means, for instance, that the longer the decision process in the course of the application, the greater the risk there is of the candidate no longer being available. Yet with a modern and integrated recruitment process, it also means that it is possible to increase opportunities and to compete better in the “war of talents”.

“Successful recruitment now also means closely assisting candidates throughout the entire course of the decision process to identify changes in candidates’ considerations in good time and to react to them if necessary.”

Udo Wirth, Director of beratungsgruppe wirth + partner


  • Human Resource Management