The Best Strategies to Attract Top Talent in 2019

With the role of technology increasing in the recruitment sector, it's critical for HR to be agile and forward thinking

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By Pooja Singh


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The year 2018 was all about what kind of a candidate would be suitable for a particular job. In the new year, the focus will shift to companies and their change in mindset when it comes to finding, evaluating and paying their employees.

So says Jeanne MacDonald, global co-operating executive and president of global talent solutions for Korn Ferry’s RPO and Professional Search business. “To succeed in attracting, developing, and retaining top talent as we head into another year, it’s critical to be agile and forward thinking.”

The management consulting firm recently released its “Emerging Talent Trends 2019” report, which was based on interviews with talent acquisition specialists, compensation experts, and human resource (HR) professionals from across the world.

Here are some of the trends:




Career breaks don’t matter


Whether you were on paternity or maternity break, or simply taking time off to take stock of your life, a hole in a candidate’s resume has always been not appreciated. Not anymore. The Korn Ferry study suggests that an increasing number of organizations are realizing that those holes are there for legitimate reasons. “Many firms are now actively seeking out people with these types of gaps,” MacDonald says.


Artificial intelligence becomes smarter


The presence of artificial intelligence, or AI, is growing steadily in the recruiting department. However, experts worry that its “intelligence” could create a lack of focus on diversity and inclusion. The report notes that even when resumes are made anonymous by removing candidate names, AI often can figure out a candidate’s gender by analysing the phrases used. For instance, “takes charge” and “tough task master” are often associated with men, while “leads persuasively” and “committed to understanding” are often used by women, it notes.

The survey suggests that going forward companies will feed AI with non-partial data, such as assessment results, to help reduce such risks. The AI also needs to be trained to look more for the skills needed for a specific role instead of focusing on subjective modifiers, says George Vollmer, Korn Ferry’s vice president of global account development.

Custom-made salary


At present, there are four generations in the workforce, and each has a different set of priorities, expectations, experiences and talents. Companies will tailor the compensation and benefits package according to the individual.

The report says, “Forward-thinking firms are using social listening, focus groups, and surveys to figure out what each generation actually wants. With that information, they are able to tailor rewards packages, offering different mixes of pay, flextime, paid time off, international assignments, student loan repayment, and other benefits.” 

Ongoing performance review


Out with the annual performance review meetings. Companies now want to focus on ongoing feedback to help employees develop professionally, stay engaged and learn more. 


More diversity and inclusion


With the dialogue on diversity and inclusion getting louder by the day, companies are ready to go the extra mile to ensure their workplace is more diverse and inclusive. The report points out that diversity should be in all areas, including women, people of color, disabled persons, and LGBTQ employees.

Pooja Singh

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific


A stickler for details, Pooja Singh likes telling people stories. She has previously worked with Mint-Hindustan Times, Down To Earth and Asian News International-Reuters. 

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