What Do Candidates Really Want to Know? 3 Key Factors Revealed

Ange Connor

We all know it’s been a candidate short market for a while now. It’s been a candidate job market; they have had the choice and the negotiating power. And while we are starting to see a little more movement from candidates, in most sectors I’d still describe the job market as candidate short. Candidates still have choice, there are still plenty of jobs being recruited for. Candidates still have the negotiating power when it comes to not just salary, but perks as well. In a candidate short market, how do you ensure you have the best chance of filling your vacancy? More than ever, you need to stand out from your competitors (the other businesses who are trying to recruit the same skill set) and you need to convey to the candidates that you are trying to entice, exactly what they want to know.

What do candidates what to know in this market?

What will I get paid?

While it’s not just about the dollars, the dollars are very important. Especially now that people are starting to feel the pinch of rising interest rates and increasing living costs. What you are offering in terms of pay needs to be competitive if you have any chance of attracting high calibre candidates for your vacancy. We have found in recent months that putting salary information in job adverts and job alerts, and being very clear about the salary from the first touch point with the candidate has resulted in increased interest in roles compared to roles where the salary isn’t disclosed until later in the process. Being vague with statements such as ‘will be negotiated based on skills and experience’ without any range, we have found, is deterring candidates. While you may not want to give an exact dollar amount, having a range is definitely beneficial.

Remote Work Options

Can I work remotely / from home or how many days can I work from home or do I have to be in the office is still one of the first and most popular questions we are asked by candidates about roles we are recruiting for. The whole work from home debate is a hot topic of conversation and whether you do embrace it or you don’t allow it may significantly impact the volume and calibre of applications you receive. Being able to clearly articulate where you stand on the work from home – flexible work arrangements topic is key so there is no confusion with the candidate. Explaining why you require people on site is also important as sometimes when the candidate understands the why they may be willing to negotiate or agree to your requirements.

Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

It’s a term that has become pretty popular and the focus of many businesses over the last couple of years. It’s all about why a candidate would choose your business to work for. It encompasses what you offer in terms of perks and benefits, its about your why, mission and values and the overall experience you provide to the employee. I have seen businesses lose candidates through the recruitment process because the business hasn’t been able to clearly articulate their EVP. Your EVP doesn’t have to include expensive perks and benefits. It’s the little things that are important to the candidate. They want to know:

  • What’s the culture like?
  • What’s the expectation regarding overtime / additional hours – does the business focus on work / life balance or am I expected to be on call – checking emails, responding to the boss’ emails after hours and on weekends?
  • What does professional / career development look like? What kinds of training and upskilling will the business support me with?
  • How is my performance assessed, are performance reviews conducted regularly and how does the business provide me with feedback to grow and develop?

While these questions might be asked by the candidate as they go through the recruitment process, they will also be gathering information on your EVP from other sources such as your social media channels, your company website, your reputation and the feedback they get when they talk to others in their network, maybe even your previous employees. What would a candidate find and what might their perception be of your EVP if they researched your business? Would it align with what you tell them in the job advert and in the interview? If it doesn’t, it might be time to do some work on your EVP and how it’s communicated in the market.

Making sure you are providing the information that a candidate wants to know will give you the best chance of capturing their interest (creating that hook) that motivates them to enquire and find out more or submit an application. Chances are if you don’t capture their interest enough, they won’t be motivated to make the effort to find out more unless they are seriously dissatisfied in their current role. In a candidate short market, sharing the information important to the candidate is critical to give you every chance of filling your vacancy with the right candidate, and not just the best of a bad bunch.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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