Recruiting in a candidate-driven market

The candidate-driven market is here to stay

In a post-pandemic world, candidates have more power and choices than ever before. With time to reflect during extended lockdowns and the rapid increase of net-new jobs in the market, candidates are approaching their career choices in fundamentally different ways, making it even harder to attract top-tier talent. At HiredHippo, we are seeing the number of companies struggling to attract and retain talent rapidly increase, as recent shifts are creating an ultra-competitive, candidate-driven market that isn’t slowing down any time soon. 

How do you recruit talent in this new market?

It’s simple: Companies need to reconsider their traditional recruiting processes. One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when hiring talent is using out-of-date and ineffective recruitment strategies. Nine out of 10 candidates we interact with at HiredHippo say they are open to hearing about a new role but do not enjoy traditional application and interview processes.

Candidate-first recruitment practices to implement in your recruitment strategy

Recruitment is no longer just about the candidate winning you over; it’s a two-way street. Much like an effective customer-acquisition strategy, companies need to create a process that makes candidates believe the role you’re offering is the best opportunity for them. Think of recruitment as a “sales cycle” for talent, and create an experience top talent cannot resist.  

Spend time getting to know your target candidate

Knowing your target candidate and the market around them will help you design a candidate-centric experience and become the foundation for your hiring and retention strategies. Here’s how you can get to know your target candidate.

  • Interview existing employees or candidates in similar roles to understand the candidate’s perspective: What drew them to work for your company? What elements do they look for in a new opportunity? What are they motivated by at work?
  • Research your competitors and their offerings: How are they addressing candidate needs? Are there trends in competitor offerings you haven’t considered?
  • Stay current on market trends and adopt new practices ahead of the competition. If you’re slow to adopt new trends and perks, they will no longer be seen as perks, and you’ll be simply offering the norm. At HiredHippo, we are seeing a huge influx in demand for flexible working hours and location, and the upward trend of competitive total rewards packages

Source and interview for alignment

In this new market, candidates are more likely to accept a job offer and stay at a company if they feel connected to their work. A 2020 LinkedIn study found that more than ever, candidates are being drawn toward companies that have a clear mission and actively express their stances on social issues. Here are ways you can attract candidates who believe in your mission

  • Promote a clear and defined mission that sparks interest for prospective candidates. Make sure the messaging is consistent across all channels.
  • Use employee testimonials to help candidates envision themselves working at your company. Showcase the genuine enthusiasm your current employees have for your company and their work. 
  • Ask intentional questions that help you identify alignment. Ask open-ended, behaviour-based interview questions designed to assess value alignment. Examples include:
      1. What excites you the most about working with us?
      2. What kind of team do you work best on? 
      3. What do you value in a company environment?
      4. What are your top three wish list items for your next role?

Think about the candidate user experience

The recruitment experience and how you interact with candidates can be a make-or-break factor in any recruitment process. Here are some easy ideas you can implement to optimize your candidate experience.

  • Review your application process and identify friction areas. Consider what information and steps you need to evaluate candidates effectively. For example, do you require candidates to submit a cover letter? Based on market trends, cover letters are becoming an optional part of the application process, as many companies and candidates find little value in them. Instead, you can use sentence prompts and pre-screening questions for candidates to complete. 
  • Provide timely and frequent updates. Stay connected with candidates throughout the process, and involve leaders in outreach, interviews and follow-ups to show candidates they are a top priority. At HiredHippo, hiring managers who respond to a candidate quickly significantly increase the chances of successfully landing them. 
  • Provide a two-way opportunity at every stage. Invite candidates to ask questions throughout the process and prepare yourself and your team to answer tough queries transparently and authentically. 
  • Be mindful of the candidate’s time when making decisions. While you don’t want to rush the process, taking too much time to make decisions or provide feedback increases your chances of losing candidates to competitors.

Ask for feedback and iterate

Perfecting your recruitment process is more of an art than a science. You should be continually reviewing what’s working and what’s not in preparation for your next hire. Use feedback data to understand how you can improve your process. 

  • If anyone on your team has been interviewed recently, ask them to describe their experience. Ask them how they heard about your opportunity, what went well and where your process could improve.
  • Send out post-interview surveys to candidates you interviewed but didn’t end up hiring. 
  • Monitor online reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed to understand how your company and recruitment process are perceived.

By crafting a compelling and exciting candidate experience that is transparent for candidates and authentic to your purpose, you can more easily identify and attract the right talent to build your dream team.