Triangle Talk: There’s a war for talent, but how to face it?

Triangle Talk: There’s a war for talent, but how to face it?

Speakers: de Belise Songa (Agile Master au BCIS) & Nathalie Alhadeff (Directrice Nationale Hays) 
It is clear that there is a talent war with a shortage of profiles and skills. That’s not quite news. But even though this situation isn’t new, companies do not always know how to deal with it and how to adapt to it. Should we start to focus more on attitude rather than the right skills, and then invest in training? Because yes, people are likely to leave again and then you have to start all over again. Or is it better to look beyond borders to secure new talent?

Belise Songa, Agile Master at BCIS and Young ICT Lady of the Year in 2022, and Nathalie Alhadeff, National Director at Hays, discuss the new labour market and how to win the war for talent. Read the summary and the most noteworthy quotes from this conversation below.

"Adapt your environment to the talent that's available."

Belise is convinced that there's a lot of talent out there: "Young people have the right mindset, but they need help to find their way. You just have to find the people with the right attitude, the open-minded people who want a challenge, the people who want to learn. Dare to step away from the job description in front of you".

"Be open to new people who have a different background, they bring a different kind of creativity to the company."

According to Nathalie, there is a significant difference between the education people have and their skills. "A degree is no longer the only thing that proves you’ll be the right person for the job. Your personality makes all the difference in the company." She adds that both parties need to put in the work: "Candidates have to dare to take the leap. We see candidates who give up as soon they get challenged, instead of just believing in themselves and give it a try. Sometimes a first work experience can be different from what you expected. But you still have to stay committed and learn the craft. From that, you can learn and continue to grow."

"Experience can only be beneficial."

The Young ICT Lady of the Year 2022, Belise, advises people to approach things like her and not focus too hard on one thing: "There’s an increase in career redirection. I went to law school and now I'm in IT and telecommunications. You have to be open to everything and it’s these flexible profiles that we’re looking for. Unfortunately, there are still many young people who are convinced that their degree can only open one door in the career they want. We can pat ourselves on the back with Hays Triangle Talk, as Belise confirms the importance of our platform: "we need these kinds of podcasts, social media, ... to open the minds of young people. It makes them see that if you have an opportunity in front of you, you should grab it with both hands." Nathalie admiringly says that it’s inspiring to see trajectories like Belise's. "Nowadays we're all looking for ways to further develop ourselves and it's great when we can find companies that support us in this learning process, but also in our overall career path."

"Are employers ready shift the focus to mindset, attitude and willingness to learn?"

"Yes," is what Nathalie would like to say, "but unfortunately we're not there yet in all companies. We live in a world where everything must go fast. We are victims of this new mentality."

"We sometimes invest a lot of time and money in people who after two years walk away with all the knowledge. Butt hose who don’t dare to take risks will miss great opportunities."

Time is money, as they say, and Belise has encountered many companies that want things done very quickly. "We have to take the time to train the right people to get good long-term results. Yes, it takes time, and very often we train people who leave after two years. But if I take my own example: I am a lawyer by training, but switched to IT. My employer invested in me and said, 'when she's ready, she can teach us something, she can help us, ...' and I did that for almost seven years." Belise was proof that their investment was worth it. "It gave them the idea to invest in other young people."

"The recruiter is also a coach now."

Nathalie notes that the shortage of qualified profiles is increasing fast, "so we have to be creative. It's not only your degree that counts!" No matter how we try to look at it, there are certain steps that are essential during a recruitment process, such as meeting each other, talking to each other to better understand someone's career path, etc. "It makes things unique and this interaction opens doors that we can't open without seeing each other," Belise explains. The recruiter is no longer the person who filters between a good and a bad resume. They are also a coach: "When the recruiter sees the candidate in real life, they can tell if the candidate is a junior who doesn't know what they want to do yet, and the recruiter will suggest the possibilities available to them. Everyone is looking for that right work-life balance. It's no longer a taboo," Belise continued. "We are not looking for someone with a resume that ticks all the boxes, but rather someone who has certain values, who can contribute something to the company and who really wants to be part of a team ", says Ms. Songa. With ChatGPT, you can have a perfect resume, but the person behind the resume doesn't always have the skills you're looking for....

Nathalie adds that finding someone who wants to invest in the future of the company, who wants to bring a touch of creativity, intelligence and loyalty, will have a positive impact on the entire company.
Nathalie's tips on how to avoid a bad hire: 
  1. Be as objective as possible when recruiting. (Several opinions are a must!).
  2. A mismatch is not a disaster.
  3. Make quick, but well thought out decisions, to minimize the negative impact on the team.
Tips from Belise to motivate new talent: 
  1. Encourage internships. (Not just for young graduates!)
  2. Bootcamps: give candidates a chance to live someone else's professional life for 24 hours
  3. A bigger effort from schools to talk about the world of work more with young people who are about to graduate (high school or college).

"Break down barriers and get the best of both worlds."

We are increasingly required to look abroad for new talent, and Nathalie doesn't really like this concept for one main reason: "we can't have a coffee together!" Belise only sees advantages to this way of working: "When you open your doors to other countries, you open the door to new ideas and other ways of thinking. Shared knowledge is one of the advantages of working together. It is so enriching".

It's really all a matter of attitude; everything else can be taught. A piece of advice for employers: it’s ok to make a mistake, but don't let that stop you from giving other people a fair chance as well. You can reject people combined with the right support and advice so that the next company gets the best candidate for the job.
If you enjoyed this recap, you can listen to the full episode here (in French). Subscribe to Triangle Talk on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify for more inspiring stories. Don’t forget to leave us a review!
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Benedicte Mbayi

Content Marketeer Hays Belgium

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