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Blog : Purple: How to... attract future leaders, first time


Purple: How to... attract future leaders, first time

The competition for talented individuals has always been high, after all it was the 1980s which saw the phrase 'war for talent' coined. However, with the UK demonstrating growth of pre-recession rates, employers are looking for the individuals who'll help them ride the crest of the positive economy and ensure for business growth. The focus is on creating 'Future Leaders', something that the British Chamber of Commerce believes businesses need to do more of in order to ‘build and protect the UK’s success in producing world-leading thinkers, leaders and innovators’. 

Employers need to find talent that’s right for them, and the organisation needs to be a good fit for the employee, however one of the main concerns for employers when recruiting are skills gaps and attitudes towards work of young employees. Earlier this year the news was full of stories around the world is experiencing its largest skills shortage in 16 years. And the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) recently found that nearly a third of young people starting their working lives are not confident that they have the appropriate skills. Even 80% of our Purple: How to… readers felt young people entering their businesses didn’t exhibit the right employability behaviours.

Whilst there is a lot to do to resolve this dilemma (and the apprenticeships we spoke about in April’s edition of Purple: How to are a good method) we can start to change mindsets by focusing less on skills and more on attitude and in return widen our leadership pipeline. After all skills can be taught. So if you’re not one of the nine out of 10 employers who believe that having the right attitudes and aptitudes is valued above other factors such as having a degree, we suggest you rethink your recruitment process now.

Here are our other three tips on how to be a future leader magnet:

  • Employer brand – by delivering on a great people promise you are building a magnetic employer brand, it’s making sure that people promise is lived up to which enables organisations to manage their reputation. Now due to the internet and social media there is a greater level of brand exposure, and so anyone can see ‘how you do things’ and what your people think. It is vital therefore to create a credible and irresistible employer brand, with a clear people promise (what they are going to get from being in your business and the subject of next month’s mailing), resonating values, attitudes, and ensuring that employees understand their fit and part of the organisation. If you haven’t done already, check yourself out on Glassdoor – it’s the equivalent of TripAdvisor for employees…
  • Values – values drive the people promise and establish what makes you different and your culture unique. By having these clearly defined and easy to remember, not only will your people understand what you are all about, jobseekers will be able to check their values against yours and decide if they are right for your business. De Vere Hotels and Village Urban Resorts took this approach, making their communications hub available for all to see. They’ve since seen a 16% increase in quality applications.
  • Know exactly what you are looking for – no good can come from hiring someone just because you don’t have the time to look for someone else. Not only is it bad for team morale, but the CIPD found that the cost of recruiting the wrong person can be up to £12,000. So first establish exactly what you are looking for – this is less about skill and more about their personality and attitude. Using your values here will make it easier to pin point who is right for your organisation and the kind of person who would thrive. Then make these points stand out in your adverts, making it easy to attract and engage with your ideal candidate.


Finding leadership talent that’s right for your organisation can seem daunting and time consuming, but so worth it in the long run and means a future pipeline full of potential and success. 


If you'd like to know more about attracting and retaining talented individuals within your business, why not have a chat with Sally@PurpleCubed.com

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