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In a candidate’s market – what can employers do to win over the best talent?

Date Posted: 25 May, 2022


If you’re struggling to find or retain the talent you need, you’re not alone. There are global skill shortages across multiple sectors, and the recruitment market is ablaze with hiring activity. Companies are locked in heated competition over the best people, offering increasingly high salaries and benefits to keep an edge over their rivals.

All of this means that candidates can afford to be picky, especially if their skills are in demand.

So, how can you win them over? A good recruitment strategy for 2022 is to put some work into understanding what candidates actually want. Hint: it’s not all about money.

Flexibility is top priority

A plethora of recent surveys have shown that what candidates prize very nearly as much as an eye-watering salary is flexibility. The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken us right out traditional ways of working, and transformed candidate expectations.

According to LinkedIn, there’s been a massive 83% increase in the number of job posts which mention flexibility. And here’s the compelling statistic – those posts are receiving 35% more engagement than ads for roles that stick to the 9 to 5, office-bound week.

Not every candidate wants to work from home all the time, but research has shown that around 58% are looking to make it permanent. A further 39% were looking for a hybrid arrangement, which could be a good compromise for employers who still need face-to-face time with their teams.

Candidates want to join a positive, caring and inclusive culture

Employers are increasingly starting to recognise that company culture is everything when it comes to attracting talent – and crucially, for retaining it.

For some candidates, culture matters even more than salary. According to LinkedIn, job posts on the platform that mention culture have a 67% increase in candidate engagement – so this is something that candidates are clearly interested in.

Building a caring, inclusive and diverse culture where employee wellbeing is a priority isn’t easy, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. There’s also the challenge of marketing your culture to prospective candidates, to boost its value as a recruitment tool.

But all that hard work can seriously pay off, and not just to meet urgent skill shortages right now. It could also be important for building a sustainable strategy for recruitment and retention in the long-term.

LinkedIn has found that employees who feel cared for at work are over three times happier in their jobs. And crucially for the success of employee referral schemes, they’re also four times more likely to recommend working for your company to people in their networks.

The top three things people want in their next role

So, in a nutshell – what do candidates want? The LinkedIn research pulls out three golden criteria that most of its jobseekers are looking for. In order of preference, these are:

  1. Good work/life balance
  2. Strong compensation and benefits
  3. Excellent colleagues and culture

So, if you can score highly on all three, you have the best shot at securing the talent you’re looking for. But don’t worry if you can’t always compete on salary, as offering two out of the three could mean more than money to the candidates you’re targeting.

Need help hiring the talent you need? Work with our candidate sourcing specialists here at RGH – get in touch to start your search.   


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