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Post-pandemic talent priorities

After more than a year of lockdowns, employees are on the move again. In fact, according to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, 41% of employees globally are considering a job move this year. In Australia and New Zealand where borders remain closed, this poses a challenge as employers compete for talent in a finite skills pool. Sova’s Abigail Scott recently joined TALiNT Partners' online discussion to talk about how employers can differentiate themselves in this competitive market.

At the online event hosted by Andy Daniel and Debra Sparshott of TALiNT Partners, Abigail joined panellists Antoine Honoré, Strategic Business Partner at MYOB; Anchal Saxena, Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Onboarding Platform at CBRE; Mike Beeley, CEO at Lightbox Communications and Loren de Laine, Head of Talent Acquisition at Allianz Australia.

The need for change

The pandemic has, in effect, created a talent backlog, says Antoine. Employees who were ready for a new challenge in 2020 didn’t make the move. Uncertainty around the future and recovery of the jobs market meant people stayed in their role for longer but as we emerge from COVID-19, there is a huge desire for change.

Antoine set the scene through his eyes as an expert in employees experience in Melbourne’s highly competitive technology space.

“The pandemic has created a need for change, the need to see something new, the desire to do things differently”. While people can’t travel, a new job can offer people the change they’re looking for through something new to put their mind to. This restlessness is posing new talent challenges in a market that is constrained due to a lack of immigration and global skills mobility.

In Melbourne, a major technology hub, competition for talent is at an all-time high as Australia and New Zealand’s job market rebounds post-pandemic. Within a small geographical area, ‘unicorn’ companies that compete for the same talent are finding that hiring for technologists is constrained:

“We are creating new graduates but other than that the talent market is locked. We are growing, as are other tech companies that are moving to Melbourne. This is creating a huge amount of competition.”

How can organisations compete for talent when skilled employees are regularly being approached by competition? Focus on employee value proposition is key, says Antoine:

“We work hard on what it means to work at MYOB. Being part of the adventure is at the forefront of our employee value proposition, our strategy and recruitment. What does it mean to be here? What are our values? How do we equip employees for a superior level of flexibility? What can we offer you in terms of growth?”

MYOB has chosen to compete for talent on proposition. On what it means to be joining a team of superstars, on the amazing things that employees can be a part of as the organisation grows, and how the company lives its purpose. This vision needs to be evident through all attraction, hiring and onboarding activity.

Abigail Scott, Managing Director of Sova in Australia and New Zealand offered advice on how employers can differentiate their proposition throughout the recruitment process.

Post-pandemic priority checklist

Over the past year, there has been a huge move towards fully virtualised hiring with the end-to-end experience now delivered entirely in an online environment. With borders potentially closed to new talent until 2022, employers will need to focus on getting better at identifying and attracting talent, and on growing their own.

In order to do so, Abigail provided a checklist of key post-pandemic priorities:

1. Focus on EVP: When you’re not bringing candidates into the office for interviews and assessment centres you need to think about how you help candidates understand who you are and what you stand for as an organisation. Including videos of your workplaces, team members and ‘a day in the life of’ during the hiring process makes a difference. Immerse candidates in your organisation’s culture throughout the process and offer a realistic job preview so candidates know what life will be like if they join.

2. Candidate experience: Employers that weren’t ready to deal with large numbers of candidates remotely have suffered during the pandemic. The damage done to brands during this time has brought about a revival in candidate experience. With the technology that’s available, all candidates should receive recognition of their application and feedback. Offering this helps to build trust between candidates and employers back up.

3. Bring focus to D&I: Using a wider range of metrics is becoming commonplace as organisations look to identify new sources of talent. For example, neurodiversity is very much in focus in the tech space. Ensure that your talent processes enable you to not only bring in diverse talent but to monitor and measure so that you can improve diversity. Think about how you measure campaigns, check for bias and analyse the candidates you attract from different talent pools.

4. Internal mobility: Talent acquisition is no longer just bringing people into the organisation. More and more, TA teams are working with HR colleagues to assess talent already in the business. Before the pandemic, we relied on buying in new talent but in a highly competitive market like Melbourne, we need to reinvest in building it too through better Internal mobility. Assessing your current talent pool will enable you to identify the gaps.

5. Connect data insights: Gone are the days of paper interview notes and scoring sheets. As a result of the move to online hiring and assessment, we have more joined up data. As assessors now use technology to record scores, we can link up date in a streamlined and simplified way that feeds through into onboarding and development. What works well in your talent processes and how can you refine it? Using one unified platform for the entire assessment process, talent teams can connect data and start to use it in predictive analytics.

Although moving online was a necessity in 2020, employers have seen the benefits through enhanced candidate experience and improved fairness as well as time and cost savings. Moving to a virtual environment has saved 40% to 50% of assessor and candidate time and organisations have saved 30% to 40% on costs. Plus, with a reduced carbon footprint and no geographic restrictions many clients as why they didn’t make the switch sooner!

Join our community

If you’d like to learn more about virtualising your recruitment experience, why not join the Sova Community? Our online forum is a place for learning, sharing of ideas and experiences, and a community of practice with the common goal of changing assessment for good. Our first online course ‘Digital Assessment for the Future’ is online now. This flexible online five-module course explores how you can virtualise your assessment process so that it’s fit for the future.

Thank you to TALiNT Partners for hosting this insightful event. On the 24th November 2021, we'll be joining TALiNT Partners and many more in-person at Post Pandemic Priorities: 2022 and Beyond at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney. Click here to find out more.

If you’d like to connect with Sova's Abigail Scott, you can do so at

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We launched the Sova Assessment Community earlier this year as a place for those interested in talent acquisition, assessment and development to come together, share expertise, explore best practice and network with HR professionals from other organisations.

We’ve created a FREE online course, “Equitable Assessment - why equality is not enough” for you and your team to upskill and make practical changes to your assessment and recruitment processes.

“The pandemic has created a need for change, the need to see something new, the desire to do things differently”

Antoine Honoré, Strategic Business Partner at MYOB

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