Navigating Talent Scarcity

2 Feb 2021
By Madeline Luck
Beat the executive talent shortage.

Small changes, big results

We set out to make the change, we wanted to see.

6 years ago, our Directors Abbi and Laura created Acacia, a search consultancy determined to change the perception of recruitment.

They did away with outdated practices and designed a customer focused model that continues to attract and retain the right one, every time.

We are known for our ability to navigate talent short markets. This guide was designed to help you do the same.


Articulate success

Traditional position descriptions and role profiles are redundant.

  • An 'A' grader's interest is not sparked by bulleted day to day responsibilities. They want to know what success looks like.
  • Instead of responsibilities, tell them what outcomes or milestones they need to meet in the first 6 - 12 months.
  • Articulating this sets the expectation from the get go; helping you and your candidate assess whether they are a good fit for the role.


Market creatively

Don't waste a valuable opportunity to promote your business.

  • Great candidates aren't waiting for your opportunity to appear on a job board. They're busy, doing a great job for someone else.
  • Use the opportunity as a branding exercise to promote your business, project and work environment. Get in front of passive candidates in their down time.
  • Be creative in the way you communicate.
  • Leverage your social media networks and test different mediums like video. Try advertising in relevant industry publications that your dream candidates read.
  • Give your future employee and potential investors the best possible introduction to your business.


Understand your ideal employee.

Technical skills are only a small piece of the puzzle.

  • What are they motivated by? What are their career ambitions? What experience will they have and what can be taught?
  • Are they extroverted or introverted? A visionary or an operator? What personalities will they work alongside?
  • These are all key contributors to a person's successful match with a business and how long they stay.
  • Know the profile, so you can target the right people.


Pitch it.

Why would someone want to leave a great job to work for you?

  • Top performers are usually well rewarded. What will set your opportunity apart from the one they are already succeeding at?
  • Perhaps you offer flexibility, incentives or are able to fast track their career progression. Perhaps you are an innovator, doing something completely new. Perhaps this is a turnaround story, rich with challenge and name making potential.
  • Highlight the things that make this opportunity, THE opportunity; then go sell it.
  • Approach great talent directly, rather than waiting for them to find you.
  • Headhunting tells your future employee, you mean business. You know what you want and you aren't scared to go after it.


Assess for previous success.

Test their track record and ability against what they will need to achieve.

  • Design your assessment around the outcomes of the role. They should be reflected in the questions used during interviews and reference checking.
  • Past performance is a great indicator of future performance. The right one will be able to provide detailed examples of how they have achieved similar outcomes in the past.
  • Pair this with a quality, tailored psychometric testing and you will have an objective and well rounded understanding of your future employee.


Maintain pace.

Momentum is everything. Your time is valuable, but so is theirs.

  • Candidate experience is everything. Particularly when a person is deciding if a company is right for them.
  • A well paced and deliberate process will ensure you minimise the risk of losing out to your competitors and give your new employee a great brand experience.
  • Keep the communication lines open. If a key decision maker will be away during the process - set that expectation as soon as possible. When the candidate knows what they are waiting for, it makes a world of difference.The better option - map out your process on a timeline and have your key decision makers commit to meeting each milestone.
  • Indecision and delay in recruitment never reflect well on a business.


Know their close.

Your assurance they'll sign on the dotted line.

  • It is pivotal to ask the uncomfortable questions about salary, other opportunities and role logistics early on.
  • You can use this information to 'trial close' and test their commitment, before you make the final offer.
  • By the end of process you would have completed thorough due diligence and have a firm grasp on their motivation.
  • If you understand what in your pitch sung to them, you can hone in on this to close the deal.
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