The hiring process is very different from how it used to be. In the past, you would put a job posting in the newspaper or on your website and then the applications would flood your inbox. Not today. It takes a lot more deliberate planning to hire the best talent. Believe me, the candidates you want are out there but you must put forth more effort to connect with them. Candidates have higher expectations of a company at all stages of the hiring process.

Professional networking powerhouse, LinkedIn, recently surveyed 14,000 professionals from around the world to find out their attitudes and habits when job-searching. The study identified statistics of how they find jobs, what motivates them to pursue opportunities and what they want from the employer throughout the process. Here are some of the key takeaways that you may want to consider for acquiring talent in the future.

Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

Candidates Want to Hear From You

Job candidates are a lot more open to learning about new opportunities, even if they aren’t the best fit for them. Candidates suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) even when searching for jobs.  Therefore recruiters should not shy from cold contacting potential candidates to share information about opportunities or just to learn more about the individuals. Candidates really appreciate it and are highly flattered when recruiters reach out to them. It makes them feel in demand and boosts their ego while job searching, which can be a very daunting task.

Open communication is key in many aspects of business, especially in the media-driven world we live in. Hiring managers and recruiters need to be connected in their community to make themselves and their companies more visible. This may include going to a Chamber networking event, chatting with strangers at your neighborhood coffee shop or posting updates on LinkedIn. Share news about yourself and your company, especially when looking for new talent. Post job listings on multiple platforms and give detailed descriptions of the position.

Tell Candidates What They Want to Know

A candidate’s job search starts well before their first contact with the organization. Candidates spend 1-2 months, on average, gathering information before ever applying. Having a solid online presence is key for a company.  If your website looks dated, doesn’t have recent information, or is less than aesthetically pleasing, you may have just run off your ideal candidate. Word of mouth is important, but it doesn’t compensate for a poor virtual image.

To ensure that your online identity is adequate and appropriate: Google your business and job postings. Are you having trouble finding your business or job in the search engine? Imagine that potential candidates are probably having difficulty as well. Also, make sure that your job descriptions are optimized with good keywords.

Utilize social media to not only expand your virtual presence, but also to share information about new opportunities. Many of your followers are likely following you for research purposes should you ever have an opening. Posts about new hires and employee success stories help potential candidates see themselves in your organization.

Candidates Want the Interview Process to be Brief

For some companies, maneuvering the hiring process is like being hazed to join a secret society. Nobody talks about it but we all know it is happening. Long, drawn-out processes are tiresome for all involved, especially the candidate. On average, candidates have three interviews over a two to three month period. Anything beyond that is likely too much, depending on the position. Keep the process as short as possible but ensure that the time spent is valuable for you and the applicant.

Keep the candidate informed and make sure they know what to expect. They want as much information as possible about the application and interviewing process, as well as the responsibilities of the position. Surprises can be off-putting and send the wrong message. Also, candidates greatly appreciate office visits and opportunities to learn about company culture. It helps them determine if they are a good fit for the organization.

Overall, it is important to always imagine yourself in your candidate’s shoes. What information would you like to know and what experiences would provide you the most value when looking for a new opportunity. Whether the candidate is or isn’t chosen for the position, have honest and open conversations about how they thought the process went. The more you know the better you can make the hiring process for the next candidate.

For reference and further reading, access the “Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate” report by LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

Triad Talent is a blog series by Walter Farabee, Director of Talent Retention and Recruitment, covering issues related to developing the talent pool in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. He’s a part of the collaborative working group, Piedmont Triad Talent Alignment Strategy.