Leadership Blog

Posted By: Eva Grabner | on April 2 2019

The War on Talent

It is currently the most competitive job market in over a decade.  Are you, as an employer, prepared?  Do you have what it takes to win the war for talent?

I have written before about being an Employer of Choice and how important it is to create the right impression in the market so that you attract leaders to your business.  Hiring and retaining talent in a candidate-driven market has always been tough but today it is even more competitive.  Unemployment is falling throughout the country and we have experienced movement, especially in the Executive space, signifying a powerful shift in the job market.

Whilst a candidate-driven market is cause for celebration, too often employers don’t fully understand the implications of what it means to them.  With professionals in the driver’s seat, they are commanding more than just higher salaries.  Today professionals consider their careers an integral part of their lives.  In addition to getting paid what they know they are worth, they expect their job to provide professional fulfilment and meaning.  If your employees do not feel supported, are not learning new skills for the future, or are disengaged with their work, they will move on.


Why is hiring so difficult right now?

More competition – 55% of professionals were interviewed for 2 other roles whilst they were interviewing for their current position.

Recruitment is up – 62% of employers are planning on hiring new staff in 2019.

Compensation is increasing – 91% of professionals would change jobs if offered a significant increase in compensation.

Candidate shortage – In our recent client survey, employers cited a lack of applicants as their top hiring challenge.

We are seeing a significant amount of counter offers happening in the market place with over 56% of employers saying that they would extend a counter offer in order to keep their best employees.  However, 61% of employees said that they would reject a counter offer from their current employer.  A minefield during the offer stage that most employers don’t consider when recruiting themselves.


So how do you become an employer of choice in a competitive job market? 

Attract talent through a positive candidate experience.  I cannot stress enough the importance of using a specialist recruiter to guide this process ensuring each and every application is responded to and candidates treated like they deserve to be.

Prioritize professional development – Retain those top employees!  Communicate with your staff and stay ahead of the game.

Engage with and empower your employees – Do you actively promote from within?  Are there opportunities for professional development?  What other offerings do you provide to your employees?

Company culture – What are you projecting out into the workforce?  Do you keep up with ‘Glassdoor’ to read what past employees are saying?  Are you actioning issues before they get out of hand and do you promote a positive work environment with strong policies and communication in place?


We recently surveyed our candidates to gain a full understanding of what professionals are seeking in their careers and whether their employers are meeting those needs.  This allowed us to gain insight from Australia’s top professionals at mid-senior management levels and from different sectors on what they value the most in an employer and what they prioritise in their career.

And it’s not always about salary, many professionals said that a work/life balance, opportunity for career growth and company culture is more important than securing that top package.

So, do you have what it takes to win the war for talent?


Eva Grabner

Managing Director

Elite Executive