We are witnessing the rise of the ‘empowered candidate’ in the recruitment industry, and it’s a trend your business needs to know about if you want to ensure you’re attracting and hiring the best talent. There are a number of important factors that contribute to this shift in power balance between candidates and employers.
Knowledge is power
Candidates are conducting their job searches more thoroughly than ever before. Technology not only lets users find jobs in seconds according to specific search criteria, but thanks to social platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, it’s easy to find reviews of potential workplaces and even who your boss might be.
Gartner estimates that 80% of candidates will look at external sources of information about employers before they even apply for a vacancy. Knowledge is very much power in this scenario, and potential employees can easily build up a detailed picture of what it’s like to work for you. You can make the best impression on empowered candidates by ensuring your social profiles are up-to-date and relevant.
A candidate-driven market
Another reason for this candidate-driven market is the UK’s historically low unemployment rate. Candidates tend to make multiple job applications and will receive a number of job offers. No longer are they likely to accept the first job offer they receive – they are much more likely to shop around for a job that is the best match for them. That puts the onus on the employer to offer a high-quality employee benefits package, so you’re attracting the best staff.
Employer brand matters
Brand image is becoming more critical than ever for employers, especially for competitors in the same sector. Quality standards and employer awards like Investors in People and the Sunday Times’ Best 100 Companies to Work For give your organisation an edge when it comes to a potential employee deciding on whether to choose your job offer over another. It pays to remember that in many cases, your candidates are also your customers, so you need to behave professionally and manage your recruitment processes impeccably.
Candidates are now considering factors other than just salary when it comes to choosing a new job. A company’s culture, its training policy, benefits package and whether it offers flexible working or not are all drivers in a candidate’s decision about which job offer to accept. Millennial talent in particular – who make up a third of the workforce – value benefits over pay rises, according to research carried out by glassdoor.com. This means it’s more important than ever to present an attractive and coherent employer brand throughout the entire candidate experience.
Don’t delay hiring
The speed with which you conduct your recruitment process matters. In a candidate’s market, where individuals are making multiple job applications, long recruitment timeframes may end up costing your company valuable employees. If a competitor employer is quicker off the mark than you, it’s possible you will lose out on the most highly-prized candidates. Companies can no longer expect interviewees to be available for long. To avoid disappointment, you need to make decisions quickly and follow up with an offer of employment as soon as possible once you have found the right candidate.
Engage your employees-to-be
Further into the recruitment journey, how you handle pre-boarding and onboarding can make a major impact on your success rates. In a marketplace that is ultra-competitive, aiming high with your candidate communications could make all the difference. Keep your candidates informed of where they are in the process and what happens next. Your application tracking system should help to automate some of this communication. Even when a job offer is made and accepted, keep the employee-to-be interested and engaged with your company. Are there videos, policies or details of benefits you can share? Don’t forget that your new member of staff may have other job offers and you’re still potentially competing for their commitment at this stage. Entrepreneur Gerritt Brouwer puts the number of new starters looking for jobs within their first few weeks at over 30%.
The good news is that there are steps you can take now to improve your talent management strategy. Overhauling your employer brand, reviewing your benefits package, improving pre-boarding and onboarding, recruiting with speed and streamlining communication – are all measures that will help improve candidate and internal engagement.
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