What Battle are You Losing in the War for Talent? Talent Attraction

ML Talent Strategies  •   February 22, 2021

The War for Talent is a big deal in many industries despite higher rates of unemployment so it’s critical to win as many battles as possible. Talent Attraction is a tough battle and when it’s lost, it means companies aren’t bringing on the top talent necessary to grow or even sustain their business. ML Talent Strategies has experience helping clients win this battle.

Ambiguous Branding

Intentional or not, companies with branding that’s not precise and genuine make it difficult for the brightest and best-fitting talent to find them and get past the initial interview. It’s akin to online dating. People need a profile that both sets them apart and is authentic.

A foodie who prefers home cooking and the company of her dog must not only avoid saying they like the restaurant scene downtown but also vague language like “I enjoy unique food and long walks.” They’re better off sharing that they love making dinner from scratch in their gourmet kitchen and walking their dog in the park. The trendy, crowd-chasing singles will pass them by, but they’ll draw the low-key foodies who love dogs.

Organizations must be clear about what they offer and expect. If weekends during the busy season are mandatory, then define the busy season and state it clearly. If the company culture is heavy on the after-work socializing, let it be known!

Undefined Success Criteria

Is a person successful when they complete all their goals, work with little direction, or make only high-quality sales? Does it matter how a goal is completed? What qualifies as “little direction” or a “high-quality” sale?

Assumptions are easy. Defining success takes time and forethought but leads to consistent outcomes like attracting the right candidates. When a company doesn’t know what it will take for someone to be successful in a role, how can a candidate know if it’s the right role for them?


Yes, unemployment rates are high so scarcity may have some scratching their heads, but there’s more to it than quantity. Scarcity is exasperated by muddy branding and undefined success criteria because it can feel like the right candidate is simply not out there. Other ways scarcity impacts Talent Attraction are:

  • Competition: There are many industries, like engineering, where the demand is so high and from a diverse range of employers. Manufacturing, healthcare, banking, supply chain and tech industries are only a few of the many types of workplaces that need engineers and there are tons of employers in these categories.
  • Lack of Interest: The skilled trades industry is an example of where there hasn’t been as much interest in recent generations. Parents encouraging their children to go to college and not trade school has resulted in not enough skilled trades workers to replace an aging workforce.
  • Few Skilled Candidates: Competition and lack of Interest can both lead to shortages within industries that rely on talent with specific knowledge and skills. While there may be many people looking for work, if they don’t have the specific skills businesses in their area require, they aren’t viable candidates.

When branding and success are on-point, the recruiting and hiring processes can go much quicker and feel easier. Does your organization need some help with Talent Attraction? Let’s talk.