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3 strategies to build your winning workforce from Europe’s TA experts

February 29, 2024
6 min read

iCIMS’ customers came together this January for our inaugural EMEA Customer Advisory Board, learning new tools to build on their success with iCIMS and shape their winning talent strategies from some of Europe’s top TA experts.

From employer branding to AI hiring methods, Europe’s talent acquisition leaders have a lot to say about the way we recruit today. Learn how you can attract, engage, hire and advance the best talent with strategies from three of Europe’s experts.

1. Create a powerful employee value proposition (EVP)

Takeaways from Vicki Saunders, Founder of The EVP Consultancy & employer branding expert

Employee expectations are evolving, and unlike in the past, your people want more than just a paycheck. We know that the younger the candidate, the more they look for in an employer. To be successful, your EVP must encompass four key elements:

Graph from The EVP Consultancy


Not everyone who joins your organization will share the same values as you and your business. And that’s why understanding your employees’ wants and needs is so important. Industry, position and region are all important factors to take into consideration when it comes to understanding your employees and why they want to work with you.

Employers hire people with diverse views and values, but something needs to hold them together. Finding that and embedding it in your business – is key to attracting and retaining them.

It is critical to look further than the functional rational drivers of what people want from an employer but consider how those factors make them feel. For instance, feeling supported and secure in their role. Considering the subconscious as well as the conscious can often be the most important factor in an employee’s decision-making process.


The way we trust is changing. In the past, trust fell on politicians and the media. Today, trust in society is falling across the board, and employees often expect CEOs to speak on societal issues as well as business matters. Trusting you and your values is more important than ever, and can make or break how your employees feel about working with you.

One of the most important ways to build trust at your organization is through advocacy. But advocacy only works when your employees are talking about something they are passionate about. That’s why authenticity across the organization is so important.


Understanding how you differ from others in your space is key to creating a powerful EVP. What are your values and purpose as a business, and how do your employees align with those?

In today’s digital era, it can be easy for employers to steer towards the same channels of communication while trying to out-compete one another in our methods. Be strategic in which channels you choose. For instance, you might consider jumping on the TikTok bandwagon with its rise in popularity over recent years. But it’s important to consider whether this is the channel your employees really use. Showing up in interesting ways and truly understanding your audience is essential.


Your EVP acts as a compass for decision-making and should be crafted with the future in mind. It goes further than planning one year ahead and looks at the trends that may affect us for years to come.

A powerful EVP should be measurable and adaptable to internal change while evolving with external change. Customer value propositions sit at the center of a commercial strategy and employers need to make sure EVP sits at the heart of people strategies.


2. Use responsible AI hiring methods for the future

Takeaways from Andreea Wade, VP Product Strategist, iCIMS

A human-led approach

Companies hold the responsibility of balancing risk and governance, and this means prioritizing a people-orientated approach to AI hiring.  All of the things that make us human, like problem-solving, creativity and leadership are key in enhancing how we work with AI.

AI can augment human intelligence but it will never replace it. Prioritizing a workforce with not only technical proficiency in AI, but also the soft skills needed to develop and use it is essential in ensuring that we bring the safest results for all involved.

Data preparation is essential in eliminating bias

Data preparation is the process of selecting which attributes you want your algorithm to consider. Whether it’s gender, education level or years of experience, the attributes you consider or ignore can significantly influence your model’s prediction accuracy.

But while its impact on accuracy is easy to measure, its impact on the model’s bias is not.

Algorithmic bias occurs when systematic and repeatable errors in a computer system produce unfair outcomes, such as privileging one arbitrary group of people over others. Bias can emerge due to many factors, such as: the design of the algorithm itself, unintended or unanticipated use, and decisions related to the way data is coded, collected, selected or used to train the algorithm.

Put simply, AI is a mirror that reflects the values of society, and it knows only the information we feed it. Bias can be caused when training data is either unrepresentative of reality, or it reflects existing prejudices.

Leaders must look closely at their data and how they use it. Humans play an important role in AI, and when designing an algorithm, it’s important that we label the data and input the goals that we want the algorithm to achieve to avoid bias in our hiring.

Applying AI in a way that works for you

A successful AI strategy must always trace back to the fundamental question: “Why do I need AI?” Leaders should not adopt new technology for technology’s sake. Rather, they must identify the true potential benefits of AI, and more importantly, align those use cases with their organizations’ long-term goals. As employers seek to understand how AI can create value for their business and what skills are needed to support the adoption of the technology in their workplace, they must pay attention to the application of AI in the HR function.

Discover iCIMS Copilot, the GenAI-powered recruiting assistant purpose-built for TA to increase hiring velocity, reduce costs and gain competitive edge.


3. Devise a game changing digital talent strategy

Takeaways from Mervyn Dinnen, HR tech expert & influencer

The new talent journey

Before technology, people were used to waiting for information. And it wasn’t uncommon to wait several days to receive a letter by mail to find out whether you got a job. From how we get our news and consume media to the way we communicate with candidates post-interview, technology has created a culture of instantaneity and talent is no longer willing to wait for information.

Nevertheless, many organizations don’t operate in this way. Candidates often hear nothing after a job application or interview. Candidates expect a streamlined journey, and employers need to ensure they have the right technology in place to facilitate it.

Infographic of 'The new talent journey'

Micro-experiences throughout the talent journey

Micro-experiences, or touchpoints, are everything in the new digital world. However, not every touchpoint your candidates have with your employer brand is going to be a memorable experience. To ensure talent has an overall positive experience, and perception of your organization, employers must maximize on micro-experiences.

Each touchpoint means something. While you may not be able to create a perfect experience at every stage, employers should aim to create as many positive experiences as possible throughout the talent journey.

You can provide a great place to work just by the experiences you offer people on their way in the door.

TA is the new concierge

For past generations, a job was for the long-term, and staying at a job until retirement wasn’t unusual. Today, employees are expected to change roles throughout their careers, and often move companies in search of better experiences.

TA needs to support candidates and employees on their journey.

Talent experience managers will soon be the new norm. TA will be more than hiring; will be about building relationships once employees are in your organization and maintaining an interest in their progress throughout their careers. The TA function is evolving, and retention will soon be the new recruitment.


Building your winning talent strategy

Building a winning talent strategy is different for each organization, and there’s no prescribed method. These tips and tools are here to help guide you in creating a successful strategy with your people in mind.

Read our blog post to discover how you can empower your candidates with effective HR tech.

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About the author

Rachel Findlay

Rachel is responsible for bringing the iCIMS brand to life with compelling copy in the Northern European market. Based in Scotland, Rachel has a knack for storytelling and enjoys writing global content. After earning her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh Napier University, Rachel spent a number of years marketing products and services in the tech and recruitment spaces leading her to iCIMS.

When not writing, Rachel enjoys playing trad music on her violin, learning new languages and spending time with friends and family.

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