Why Middle Market Companies Focus So Much on Talent Acquisition
The importance of talent acquisition has grown significantly over the past few years. With the value of businesses shifting from having tangible assets to having the right human capital, companies are now largely focused on acquiring talent. If they want to increase their overall market value, companies have no other option than investing in human capital. But, does this apply to mid market companies as well? Of course it does, and here’s why.
The importance of talent acquisition for mid market companies
Just like small businesses, the success of mid market companies is based on growth. However, there’s a huge difference in the ways these two types of companies grow. In general, small businesses grow due to rapid changes and booming innovation. They need to experiment and take huge risks in order to keep their place on the market.
Mid market companies, on the other hand, have to work their way to maturity without dramatic innovations. Since stability is one of the most important aspects of these companies, they need to provide means for steady growth. Therefore, one of their biggest concerns is talent acquisition and retention.
Why is talent acquisition a challenge for mid market companies?
The greatest challenge that mid market companies are facing is funding and talent acquisition. Although businesses of all sizes are facing the challenge of attracting and retaining talented employees, mid market companies struggle the most. The latest research findings state that finding and keeping the best talent is a major challenge for 60% of mid market company owners.
Mid market companies have to provide opportunities for entrepreneurialism like small businesses do. At the same time, they have to provide the stability that large corporations offer to their employees. This idea of nurturing a spirit of entrepreneurship in the frames of a large business is called “intrapreneurialism”.
However, retaining this intrapreneurialism is not the only challenge that mid market companies are facing. As the mid market grows, the acquisition of the right people for the right job posts becomes more important than ever.
Moreover, mid market companies have to provide career development opportunities for these talented people. Otherwise, they risk being just a stepping stone on the employees’ path to jobs at larger corporations. Since they compete with large corporations for the same global talent pool, mid market companies need to be careful with what they offer to potential employees.
Today’s employees have higher expectations and demands than before:
In order to attract talent, mid market companies have to find answers to these demands. And they have to do it simultaneously with the efforts to grow and expand on both local and international markets. These companies struggle to find ways to maximize the potential of their employees for the good of the company.
Although fulfilling all the demands of today’s employees is not an easy task, mid market companies have some advantages over large corporations. Dealing with thousands of employees, enterprises simply cannot offer equal treatment to all of them. They do not have the time to properly evaluate each and every single one of their employees and answer all their specific demands.
The talent gap issue
When it comes to talent acquisition, the greatest issue of mid market companies is to close the talent gap. Talent gap refers to the lack of specific human capital that companies need in order to meet their goals. Although this is a general issue, mid market companies are again the ones most affected.
The majority of these companies is owned and led by people from the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964). So, the math says that most of those currently in leadership positions are retiring, or will retire over the next decade. With the retirement of key people, mid market companies are forced to take the talent gap issue very seriously.
This means that they cannot just sit and wait for talented employees to knock on their door. They need to undertake actions to get involved in the education process and contribute to talent development. This is the only way for mid market companies to close the talent gap and ease the talent acquisition process.
How can mid-market companies find talent?
Lately, talent acquisition has become a marketing endeavor. In order to set themselves apart from the formidable competition, mid market companies need to develop strong employer brands. They need to treat their current and potential employees the same way they treat their clients and customers. Companies need to leave an impression that they have a lot to offer. It will help them increase employee productivity and engagement, while decreasing employee turnover.
In order to develop their employer brand, mid market companies have to clearly define their mission and culture. This way, they can help both themselves and potential job candidates. They can ensure that they attract and keep talent with the right set of skills and knowledge that fits their culture and goals. Moreover, building a strong employer brand will help companies improve their overall market image.
If we accept the fact that talent acquisition needs to be treated as a marketing challenge, it is needless to say that it demands creativity. It’s good to see that many mid market companies are starting to come up with creative ways to find talent.
For example, social media is now largely used for building employer brands and referrals. Companies open groups and forums where their current employees can share experiences with potential candidates. Video campaigns are also greatly popular in the quest for attracting talent. Some companies have even gone further in their creative ideas and started using gamification to show all the positive aspects of being an employee of theirs.
At the same time, there are mid market companies that are very serious about talent acquisition and undertake more serious actions. Some make constant attempts to come closer to the specific talent they need by opening offices in talent-rich markets. Others are targeting acquisitions of smaller companies in their industry to get the key employees with the proper experience, ones that can help their business grow.
Companies that are aware of the fact that they need to invest in developing talent focus their efforts on sharing their knowledge and skills. These efforts range from internships and job-shadowing, to sending company representatives (as guest-lecturers) to top universities. Some companies even organize their own events for sharing expertise, getting in touch with potential employees and strengthening their employer brand.