The data points are clear: candidate expectations today have evolved, and if you’re not staying on top of those changes, you may be missing out on the very best talent in the market. Based on our proprietary research from more than 2,500 candidates in the last two years, here are four practical things you can do that align with what candidates are looking for in a hiring process today.
- Give them a reason to care. In an experiment with job ads, we found that two-thirds of candidates preferred advertisements that pointed out the social impact or broader mission of the company, not just a generic statement of the industry. Talk about how their work will make a difference in the world, and you’ll have their attention from the very start (bonus: the cost is free!)
- Video is good, but… In general, video is a great medium for sharing information. But not all video is created equal. Candidates told us in the research that they wanted to see the hiring manager or someone in their role more than anything else. The video that ranked dead last? That generic corporate culture montage. In this case, immediacy and authenticity matter more than polish and perfection.
- Talk flexibility in their terms. Candidates want a company that offers flexibility, but that does not necessarily have to mean work from home, especially in frontline industries and roles. Flexibility can be a flexible schedule, options to make decisions or suggest new ideas, options in training and growth opportunities, and more. Take a broader look at flexibility and you’ll stand out from the sea of sameness.
- Weave each of these into your communications, both written and verbal. Candidates say in the research that they want to know more about the companies they are considering, including culture and values, what the job application process looks like, how to be successful within the organization, and more. Using all of those communications from early ads and job descriptions to interview confirmation messages and one-on-one discussions helps to paint a clear picture of how your organization is different from the rest.
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Ben Eubanks is the Chief Research Officer at Lighthouse Research & Advisory. He is an author, speaker, and researcher with a passion for telling stories and making complex topics easy to understand.
His latest book Talent Scarcity answers the question every business leader has asked in recent years: “Where are all the people, and how do we get them back to work?” It shares practical and strategic recruiting and retention ideas and case studies for every employer.
His first book, Artificial Intelligence for HR, is the world’s most-cited resource on AI applications for hiring, development, and employee experience.
Ben has more than 10 years of experience both as an HR/recruiting executive as well as a researcher on workplace topics. His work is practical, relevant, and valued by practitioners from F100 firms to SMB organizations across the globe.
He has spoken to tens of thousands of HR professionals across the globe and enjoys sharing about technology, talent practices, and more. His speaking credits include the SHRM Annual Conference, Seminarium International, PeopleMatters Dubai and India, and over 100 other notable events.