Sally's Insights - The challenge of recruiting talent today

The challenge of recruiting talent today.

I know I’m telling you something you’re already aware of, but

the well of potential employees is running dry. This is true for nearly every industry and service in Australia. I’m certainly hearing stories of skill shortages, very small applicant numbers and a general lack of enthusiasm for positions all around the creative industry.

This is not to say people aren’t available for work. It’s just that employers must try much harder to recruit the right applicants. They must change the way they’ve communicated, and change isn’t always easy.

This is why some still have the perspective that ‘it wasn’t always this way, so it’s sure to change back again’. This is living in hope, and it makes much more sense to deal with what is before us now.

 So, what can you do attract talented employees?


Don’t hide your light.

Lead with what’s exciting in your industry -why it offers more than it seems on the surface. There is much that is surprising and exciting to communicate.

When you work in a company that specialises in car wrapping, you might get to travel around the world with the Formula One circuit. I’ve heard examples of people who do.

Textile printers and designers are working with the fashion industry designing custom fabrics.

Teams of designers and printers are working on enormous, creative signage projects.

And there’s more hidden opportunity gems for creative and talented people – they just have to realise what’s available. It’s up to you to make them aware of it.

Never assume your potential employees know who you are and what you do.  Be clear about the challenges and excitement they’ll experience working for you.


Promote your business.

Every business needs to network and promote itself.

Create a plan of action that might hold you in good stead for the future.

High Schools, TAFEs, and Universities are always looking for professional input into their courses.

Get out there and talk about the breadth of activity and opportunity in your business.

Get an effective online presence – one that appeals to the age group you’re aiming for. A great social media presence is a very efficient way of communicating why someone would want to work for you. Be as modern and interesting as the technology you’re working with.

It’s important you really understand your brand to sell it in the job market. But we can’t be great at everything. If you don’t know how to sell yourself effectively, hire someone who does.


It must be more than a job.

This generation want to work for a business that shares their values. It’s not only about the money they can earn. They need to feel that what they’re doing is worthwhile and the company they work for is making a difference in the world. I believe this is the biggest trend to impact recruitment over the the last ten years.

It’s important all communication around your brand touches on your values and the philanthropic policies you have in place.

Employees also want to hear that there are endless possibilities for them to learn, express their creativity and grow within the business. This is a very attractive quality, and you can realistically offer it.  

Remember the printing industry and signage companies have the potential to employ multi-skilled people. This is a big advantage so make sure prospective applicants know this from the beginning.

These are the big picture issues, but an equal amount of attention must be paid once you have attracted applicants. Here’s some ideas to make that work for you.

  1. Make sure your application process is easy. If it’s unclear or cumbersome it becomes harder to make a good impression.

  2. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and seen as an individual.  A great interview invitation email will help set your business apart from the others. 

  3. Don’t give the successful candidate a chance to change their mind.


Consider creative ways to communicate your job offer. Perhaps a short video of congratulations as well as expressing your enthusiasm for what they’ll bring to the business.

This is a candidate’s market and we all must adjust to that.

Adopting all or some of these suggestions will help show your industry in the right light and help your business find the right person for job.

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