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  • Writer's pictureEva Balúchová

The Talent Gap: Why Companies Are Failing to Hire and Keep People and How to Fix It

What is important for talent nowadays, and how do companies position themselves with regard to these aspects. In this article, you will hear about three challenges companies are facing and three pieces of advice on how to tackle them.


When it comes to talent, today's companies face numerous challenges. However, we can all agree that some of the most common are: difficulty finding qualified candidates, offer rejections, difficulty meeting diversity goals, nurturing talent over time, an inefficient interview process, low retention, and more...

So, what is happening in today's world that is causing these difficulties?

1 The Greatest Pay Bumps

Big companies and other internet titans pay well and have large recruitment teams. Remote work has opened the talent market. US companies began employing overseas and they provide lucrative packages. Brexit brings more positions to Europe.

That's a massive increase in competition and demand. And we all know that increasing demand equals increasing salaries.

But lucky for you, compensation is just one data point – talent is not weighing just the salary but other essential things like professional growth, autonomy, mentorship, working directly on a product, work-life balance, and the things that matter to them.

2. The Great resignation

Increasing compensation isn't the only thing that talent wants. Besides other factors, the "Great Resignation" forever changed our workplace and talent preferences.

Although some businesses are booming, they have difficulty keeping their employees. Retention is the key to success!

During the epidemic, we could recognize four signs: a backlog of resignations, widespread burnout, people rethinking their relationship with work, and the possibility of remote employment. So when the pandemic faded, it was natural that people kept their intentions to resign.

People rethought what work means to them. And that created a significant gap between what employees want and what organizational leaders expect.

3. The generational shift

A lot of change is happening, and companies have a hard time keeping up. Most companies forget to prepare for the next phase, where we will welcome up to 25% of gen z into the workplace. And to mention that already the main workforce consists of Millenials.

This will significantly impact the company's culture and policies, and not adjusting is a threat. Companies need to adapt to the generational shift and start speaking the language of the generations they're hiring. Otherwise, they will keep losing their talent. These generation talents have different needs and demands.

From what we can see, the job tenure drops from 5 to 8 years to 1 to 2.5 years. Generations are moving from prescribed paths in lots offs different ways. That means that giving options to your talent is now essential. New generations want to feel unique, heard, and seen. They don't care about buying a home or having a good pension. GenZ barely has enough money to pay bills, student debts, and rent. They want to feel the experience now, and they want to believe in the cause! If your attitude stays with boomers and X-ers, you have already lost the talent war. Change your value proposition and stop spending money on strategies that don't work. (source)

Advice #1: Encourage new loyalty.

No longer are companies in the position where they can say this is what I have to offer - take it or leave it.

The new loyalty sounds as: "I will give you 100% while I'm here. But if the business doesn't allow me to have meaningful work and lead a life important to me, then I won't stay very long."

Use your time efficiently with your talent; don't get stuck in nostalgia. Build loyalty by matching talent attitudes, behaviors, and needs.


  1. Give your talent options on different paths – remote, flexible hours, autonomy on their schedules.

  2. Cut traditional benefits that have a long-term vest (On average, young people work 1 to 2.5 years. Make it count. You can't have 4-year vesting equity, stock option, or pension benefits...)

  3. Mirror performance in your reward system. The shift you must consider includes pay programs. Annual pay increases will not work; consider shortening the cycles. Take that same money you got for that increase and break it into more frequent increases mimicking ownership and performance. Make people feel like owners, support gig & experience economy behaviors, and reward them instantly. Additionally, you may want to consider retention raise.

  4. Define career paths - build tailored programs. If you want people to stay longer, define their career path from the very start and give them the tools to stay. Build tailored programs where training will take the center of your strategy. Deliberate growth will keep your people and attract new talent.

  5. Offer personalized experience and help your employees navigate through life. Companies I see that don't do very well are companies that offer standard experience. Instead, guide your employees. Help them buy a car, pay off student loans, or pay bills such as internet or phone. Support work-from-home or contribute to childcare costs. Help them to travel, with a mortgage, or with rent. Consider a person's overall situation and needs. Believe me; this makes them feel unique and seen. The key is to offer benefits that match every employee's needs. And yes, it's hard, but nowadays, benefits platforms such as Your Campus, Benify, Thrive Pass, Thanks Ben, or Worksmile platform can help you offer personalized benefit programs. You set the budgets; the platform takes care of the rest. It can be easy. (source)

Remember: Inclusive, supporting organizations gain a competitive advantage.

Advice #2: Invest in storytelling and visibility

We all have this common perception that "quicker we do it cheaper is for anyone." But the talented people don't think like this: "OH, I need to rush my next career move, so let's just apply on the first "we are hiring" post, I see." The truth "we are hiring" posts on social media won't get you noticed; that's not enough. There are so many activities that we don't know what candidates do before applying. Because candidates are like consumers, they use the exact search and scanning tactics for looking for the job. They plan where and how to look for a job. They search and collect info. They compare it all, and they apply.

A company's mission, culture, and values are more important to candidates than ever. Showcase it! Many of the best job candidates make important career decisions based on how socially online an employer is and how much engaging information candidates get. To attract top talent, you must clearly define and plan every point of contact with the candidate market.

Companies need to learn to own messaging as the brand and learn what it means to craft compelling copy that doesn't just engage and hold attention but also builds brand value and reputation. You need to understand your audience, what they do, where and what they like, and how to convey your message to them.

Understand that the candidate journey is an information journey; candidates are looking for answers to their questions in your messaging. What's the leadership, hiring manager, recruiting process, product, client, and day like - help talent decide whether your organization is a good fit. Remember: Trust is built these days differently. It's built through online visibility and reputation.

Advice number 3: Increase the impact of employee voices

The most effective way to convince new talent that you're the right employer for them is via the recommendations of your existing employees. You can encourage this further by implementing an employee referral program. In addition, don't be afraid to let your team share their experiences on social media. Opposite, encourage it. This is a fantastic way to spread the word about your business while giving your people a sense of unity.

Final words:

I believe we all clearly understand what "differentiation" means and what your company stands for. These factors can help you compete with other organizations. It's all about using your imagination and common sense. Try new things, and highlight the uniqueness of your company's story. It's a candidate market; talent has the upper hand. Talent gets to choose whom they want to work for. To stay relevant means proactively engaging and attracting the right people on the proper channels with the right message. Waiting for applications just doesn't cut it anymore.

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