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How to Stand Out in a Candidate Driven Market – A Guide for Employers

  • May 18, 2022

With more choice than ever before, today’s candidates are finding themselves in the driving seat when it comes to their job search.

The candidate market has changed and it’s no longer simply the salary on offer or a company’s prestige or reputation that are the most important factors to consider.

Instead, they want their job to fit around their life and they want to join an organisation that values them, offers them career progression opportunities and that can demonstrate a strong purpose.

It’s meant that many companies are struggling to adapt and find new ways to attract and hire talent. They’re needing to review the way they talk about themselves, the way they engage with candidates and the way they recruit them in order to stand out in such a competitive market.

If growth is on the agenda right now and you’re looking for ways to stand out in a candidate driven market, then read on…

Focus on the candidate experience

Everything about your hiring process needs to be designed with the candidate in mind.

Slow processes, too many stages, indecision… these can’t exist if you’re to secure the best people for your business as they simply won’t hang around.

Be proactive, agile and above all, communicative. Accommodating and reacting to their needs throughout the process is key and you can’t underestimate the power of making great candidates feel wanted and like their time is valued.

It’s important to take some time to review your current internal processes and ask yourself where you think you might be going wrong or where you could do better if you keep missing out on landing your number one target.

Write job descriptions that engage

Don’t simply write a list of day-to-day tasks and requirements.

Instead, use the job descriptions (and any adverts you put out) to really sell your business, highlight the impact this person will make and what support, growth opportunities and rewards they’ll receive along the way.

Transparency around things like salary and benefits are important here, but it’s also good to be transparent around expectations. In being open about these important factors, people’s perception of your businesses increases.

Often, job descriptions can be missed opportunities to really bring your business to life and engage with great candidates early on. It’s important to get this right as there are plenty of businesses who won’t take the time to really consider what’s going to grab people.

When creating your job descriptions, ask yourself, “what would make me apply to this opportunity and what information would I want to know beyond the everyday responsibilities?” In addition, If you’re working with a recruitment agency on a role, challenge them to deliver an advert that’s going to make an impact.

Demonstrate what makes you you

What is it about your business that makes you unique? Why should people join? And what opportunities are there to grow and progress with you?

Defining who you are as a business and how you want your candidates to see you early in the hiring process will allow you to communicate this message effectively and consistently across all touchpoints.

Look at the language and imagery you’re using to highlight your company and make sure they’re a true reflection of you as a business and the people working within it.

Likewise, by showcasing your existing teams and bringing them and their stories to life, you give potential candidates a great insight into who they might be working with in the future, which gets them more bought in to the business.

Place more attention on the people within your business

The way you speak about your teams, how you look after them, how you champion growth and career progression etc. is a great selling tool when communicating with candidates.

If your teams are involved in the hiring process, and as a business you genuinely value their growth and wellbeing, this will no doubt become obvious when talking about the business to prospective candidates or answering their questions around, “what’s it like to work here…?”

Advocate for your employees’ mental health

After all the challenges and stresses people have faced over the past few years, it’s more important than ever that your employees’ mental health is taken just as seriously as their physical health.

Again, this goes back to demonstrating how valued your employees are to your business and the importance of the need to maintain healthy wellbeing and balance.

If you can show you’ve put the necessary support structures in place for your teams and how you’ve created a safe space for them to talk openly about their mental wellbeing, you’ll be an attractive proposition to candidates.

Review, rework, repeat

It isn’t enough to make tweaks to your hiring process or the way you communicate with your candidate network if you’re not open to finding out if it’s actually working.

Taking stock of what’s going well, and where changes still need to be made (e.g., every 6 to 12 months) is a great way to ensure you’re still maintaining a competitive advantage.

What’s most important to candidates and drives their decision making will be forever changing and being open to change and adaptable won’t compromise your ability to engage and recruit top talent.

Asking for feedback from successful candidates, those that didn’t make it through the interviews and indeed, from your teams involved in the hiring phases, can also be an invaluable way to ensure you continue to stand out in a candidate driven market.