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Enticing Talent

Engaging & Enticing Talent

For this guest blog, we’re welcoming Euan McNair from Standard Life to share his expertise in talent attraction. Here, Euan offers his views on how it’s all about the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition – and what constitutes a really effective strategy. Wise words worth reading…

It is probable that you have heard that there is a “War on Talent” (too) many times now, but what can we do as talent acquisition professionals to ensure we are always in the best position to engage and entice talent then ease this talent into their new roles.

You will have noticed I said talent acquisition rather than recruitment, for me, there is a clear difference. Recruitment is the filling of a need, an immediate requirement – talent acquisition is the effective process of engagement and future proofing business requirements by filling roles with one eye firmly on future needs. It is filling roles with the best there is rather than who applies to our job advert in a specific 14 day period, its strategic, it’s exciting and it’s NOT recruitment.

We acknowledge that it is a candidate driven market, but as talent acquisition professionals, do we adapt our approach successfully to suit this? Simply put, do we listen to our candidates, do we know where they are and do we speak the same language? In short, have we evolved with the times or are we still hunter gathers chasing down CV’s like animals for a meal to gorge on rather than using just eat or deliveroo!?

Still with me!? If so, I want to look at some areas that will see us use true entrepreneurial spirit when we talk about talent acquisition. Entrepreneurial spirit is a mind-set. It’s an attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change. It’s a mind-set that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service and continuous improvement.

For me, its simple, significant power lies within networks. Networks are data. Data is powerful. Data is essential. Data is money. Simple. On that note, how can we tailor our approach to engage, entice and ease the transition of talent into new roles, roles we find for them.

We love a quick win, so where can we find these; I think they can be found using Social Media and referrals effectively.

Social Media

Facebook has over a billion monthly active users, LinkedIn has 400+ million & Twitter has 320+ million – so use a blended approach to Social Media to have a multi-channel conversation with your talent pools.

“You won’t find a Head of *insert job title* on Twitter or Facebook” – a statement that I am sure many of us have heard, my response, is simple…of course you won’t if you have no effective presence. I am sitting next to a “Head of” right now who is active on the platform, so it is entirely possible.

These platforms provide a unique opportunity for you to do something that is historically difficult, you humanise the company, highlight the employer brand rather than corporate brand & can effectively link the two! You can show, using your own employees what it is truly like to work there, rather than marketing campaign…honest…transparent…powerful! I call it Talent Transparency & it is great for employee engagement as well as Talent Acquisition.

Talent have an expectation for you to be on these platforms, your competition are, so start to engage with talent, build a bond, a following, it will increase the knowledge of prospective candidates, enhance employer brand, increase the quality of applications & lead to an increase in referrals…These are the results I have found. Remember, your reach, communities & data are all worth significant £. This approach ensures that TA goes from being a cost centre to one that delivers significant ROI.

Remember, the basic functionality on these platforms is free, so, why not try it out, gather data, evolve your approach, I am confident you will find there is a value add.


For me, the vast majority of recruiters & companies globally, the strongest indicator of a good hire. Use your talent to attract new talent…seems pretty simple really.

Using the strength of your talent network to attract additional talent is an exceptional way of recruiting; you need to ensure however that the policy is attractive to employees & easy to use.

How to make this work, mention (where possible) hiring managers in updates, showcase the people within the team, highlight that behind all this activity, behind the corporate brand, there are people, humanise the application process & the role.

Again, networks are £, this is the best way to engage with these communities, so use current employees & EXTERNAL networks to increase roles filled this way.

If you employ the above blended approach, it works, it is as simple as that – please let me know how you get on with your blended approach to engaging & enticing talent.

Just drop me a line here.

Euan McNair - Talent Attraction Expert

Euan McNair

Talent Engagement and Global Talent Brand Lead
Standard Life

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