Across all levels and industries, recruiting the best talent remains a challenge in the current market. Tempting new employees while retaining your existing staff and keeping staffing levels high is ever-challenging. At the start of the pandemic, the quick reduction in workforce demand laid bare the fundamentals of the company and employee relationship. The subsequent quick market flip for talent put the power of choice very much at the heart of the employee. With the dynamic of the working environment changing and prospective hires being able to choose when and how they work, companies suddenly had to review every aspect of their business to compete – from mentorship and facetime policies to compensation and benefits – all these softer aspects of work have been turned on their head.
Many companies are now trying different tactics to attract new talent with limited success. The most obvious of these are to increase starting salaries, but some organisations are offering all kinds of perks and flexibility, and candidates are taking advantage of it. Candidates are able to actively pursue multiple processes and offers to figure out the best option for them and if it's not a significant bump aligned to their own drivers, then they will stay put.
But amidst all of these tactics and trying to understand each candidate's drivers, one fundamental key to successful hiring is transparency – particularly in the recruiting process.
What Candidates Want From You
The pandemic shifted the way that job seekers go through an interview process. They saw the volatility at which companies are operated at the start Covid-19 and they are now even more wary about longevity of a role and what a role will give them.
While trendy benefits like free food, amazing office spaces and "bring your dog to the office days" can add some shine to a job, they are not perks that every organization can or is willing to offer, nor at the heart of what a candidate wants. While reviewing your benefits can be beneficial, a frank conversation on the prospective company's direction and financial health can go a long way in convincing somebody to jump.
Ultimately they want to know that they will be looked after and mitigate some risk if they leave their current role. Often, the best candidates will be in secure roles already but keeping one eye on the future, so the unicorn passive candidate needs new opportunities to be enticing and take a lot of their boxes. This doesn’t always mean compensation – Millennials and Gen-Z are seeking other things in work such as mentorship, international opportunities and real progression.
The Importance Of Transparency
A hiring manager's priority in the new-normal era should be establishing stability and transparency in the workplace and recruiting process. A strong talent acquisition team that understands the candidate experience is key here.
Employers previously kept details about their workplace environment and policies close to their chest and often did not disclose them before employing someone. But times have changed and such transparency can go a long way in getting the candidate over the finish line.
Potential candidates will ask many questions about the company and work environment, and you will have to be prepared for these questions with real answers. Job interviews are no longer one-way streets where the employer tests the potential of an employee. Candidates know they hold the cards and their poker face is strong and with the ever-increasing presence of online company reviews and sharing of information, facing any issues head-on with a plan of action to facilitate change is key.
Information relating to compensation should no longer be a great mystery either. From the candidate perspective, they want to know what they are getting into before they start a process that requires their time and commitment. Even if the pay is below what is perceived as market, consider other ways that you can entice talent to continue the conversation – for example, is your culture King? Can you bring out the best people to interview the prospective hire and create a great candidate experience so they are eager to join a brilliant team? Or perhaps your secret sauce is the company’s strong mentorship program and access to amazing work. Along with your marketing team and other departments, develop a content strategy that highlights and showcases why somebody would be excited to get out of bed and work for you that day. The more mystery and uncertainty there is ahead of providing an offer, the more likely it is that they will decline joining you.
Making the Offer
Candidates want to feel special at this part and it's an opportune time to build on the excitement of the recruiting process. Often candidates want to hear from the key decision maker or their direct line manager, so it’s a good idea for them to give the candidate a call and deliver the good news when making the offer. The talent team can close the gaps later.
Brief your stakeholders to assess the candidate's reaction and address any issues head-on. Make sure all your documents are ready to go; there is nothing worse than having a transparent process and then adding a delay at the end of the recruiting process, just because you are waiting for a signature – it will make a candidate lose interest. Time still kills the process, and you can bet prospective talent you are looking to hire will also be talking to multiple companies at once. Your swiftness and efficiency will go a long way in getting that 'yes' your team needs.
By remaining transparent in all parts of the recruiting process and showing your company for all its good and bad, you are likely to attract and retain a talented group of professionals that fit culturally in your organization and add value to the company’s ethos and end product goal.
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