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Developing a winning strategy in the competition for top talent

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Published:

September 7, 2022

By Stella Malle, Head of Talent Acquisition and Engagement – EMEAA

With the Great Resignation still in full swing, hiring has never been more of a head-scratcher than it is right now. How can recruitment teams win the competition for top talent and develop a robust engagement plan that will encourage employees to stick around for the long haul?

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink our approach to recruiting. Now, the latest post-pandemic era trends in talent acquisition are providing us with the opportunity to reevaluate it. At Dialectica we hire 40+ new team members on a monthly basis. In our team we know well that staying relevant and ahead of the competition means constantly rethinking our strategies and adjusting them to the new market, global economy standards and expectations of the talent we look to bring onboard.  

Which aspects do you need to take into consideration to evolve your talent strategy to boost your acquisition and engagement strategy and drive business success?

Values-based hiring

Hiring goes hand-in-hand with engagement, in other words employee retention. Prioritize and focus on a values-based hiring approach. Look for people that match the values of your company and who could potentially help you to evolve your workplace’s culture in the future. 

On your next interview, remember to provide insights about your company’s vision and culture, workplace environment, professional growth and learning and development opportunities. At the same time, discuss what the candidate desires, what priorities they have set for their next career opportunity and what they value more at this stage in their career. The outcome of such a discussion will be mutually beneficial. 

At Dialectica, we recently revamped our talent scorecard. We assessed and put more weight on our talent pool against our company values and ways of working; from teamwork and caring to quality and ownership. Some of our job openings can be good for almost every candidate with the right skillset, but not everyone is a match for a company or a specific team, and that’s okay to acknowledge after or during your interview assessment.

Measuring quality

While ROI and keeping track of metrics is always beneficial, successful hiring is not just about numbers. We often talk about “making a good hire” vs. accepted or rejected offers figures, cost-of-hire and time-to-hire calculations. However, these are all very different things.

Instead of going by these traditional evaluations, we’ve introduced quality-of-hire metrics; tracking the retention of our employees and our new hires’ tenure and conducting regular 1:1 meetings with our hiring managers. This helps us to assess and evaluate our hires, understand which recruiter works well for each team and who is spot on at bringing on successful hires for each department… and the list goes on.

From transparency to engagement and growth

Establish a strategy that includes candidate feedback surveys, first month check-in surveys and 1:1 meetings between the talent team and your new team members. Capture feedback from the very first stage of their career journey within your company to gather unbiased, actionable insights. An early on anonymous employee survey is key to this.

Similarly, you also need to stay open and honest in your communications from day one and in the long run, by providing your people with updates on what is happening in the business across locations and teams. Establish a partnership with them and become their trusted collaborator. Staying open and encouraging them to speak transparently around any concern that they might have, by doing so yourself, is crucial. 

Take our case as an example. On some occasions and over the course of time, employees have shared with us that they might love working at Dialectica, but at the same time they feel the need to have a new life experience. And this is only natural.

The skyrocketing growth of our business has enabled us to offer candidates and existing team members relocation opportunities and internal cross-team mobility options. We also constantly evolve our career pathways to help them to achieve their shifting career aspirations and increase their professional competencies.

Making benefits a conversation, not a transaction

Feedback from candidates and team members can also trigger a valuable, positive change in your business and the rewards and benefits you offer.

As the talent market continues to challenge employers, employees become increasingly open about the benefits and perks they want. We often hear candidates sharing personal priorities. For example: “I am up for a new challenge and I wish to join as a Principal Software Engineer with additional paternity leave benefits”. That helps us to understand each candidate’s core priorities and hire people for the long haul, creating a win-win situation for both the candidate and our company.

Find out what really matters, and don’t simply make a promise that you will implement or change a process: act on it.

A year ago we introduced a revamped Wellbeing Program for our employees across all our locations. Feedback received over interviews with candidates as well as internal surveys and focus groups helped us to understand that benefits such as flexible days, volunteering days, discounts on wellbeing activities and additional parental leave weeks are what we needed to offer to our people to keep them healthy and help them flourish. 

It is time for all of us to rethink and give up our one-size-fits-all approach to sourcing and retention. The workforce is changing. To find the quality of hires we all want, we need to see how today’s changes need to influence the way we find talent and keep them motivated.


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