The pendulum has swung and the market has shifted. Candidates now drive the war on talent and are redefining the best recruiting practices. One of the by-products of this power transfer is an increase in competition for top performers. In fact, according to a 2015 LinkedIn report, 53 percent of US leaders agreed that competition was the largest hurdle to acquiring talent.

With everyone vying for the same people, candidates now have the power to be selective when determining their next employer. If your organization wants to be among the elite, then you'll have to focus on giving prospective candidates what they want.

First, before we discuss value-added experiences, let's take a look at the five recruiting bottlenecks, discussed in a 2016 LinkedIn Global Trends report, that drive candidates crazy.

  • Not knowing what it's really like to work for your company. Organizations have to move past the propaganda, be transparent and help candidates understand their culture.
  • Not understanding what's expected of the role. Vague and generalized job descriptions don't help anyone. If you want the best shot at hiring the right person, then you'll need to find sufficient ways to showcase the opportunity.
  • Not hearing back after applying to a company. This is a tough one. Providing follow-up is a daily struggle for every recruiter. There are a million things to do and touching base, unfortunately, takes a back seat to other mission-critical conversations. If possible, closing the loop ensures your employer brand stays in tack and increases the likelihood that candidates remain interested in your company. Whether as an applicant or consumer.
  • Difficulty negotiating salary, title, role, etc. Candidates know that this may be the only time they are able to influence their offer. If their concerns go unaddressed or are met with cynicism, it might raise red flags.

  • Unclear communication during the recruiting process. Unfortunately, some recruiting experiences can generate more questions than they answer. If you notice reoccurring instances of insufficient communication, try to eliminate them from your process.

If you want a shot at hiring top talent, then you'll have to find a way to address and prevent these five critical things from tainting your recruiting experience. On the flip side, according to the same LinkedIn report, here are the four value-added candidate experiences that make top performers come to you.

1. Career trajectory

No one plans to take a job and hold on to it for ten years. According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article, 40 percent of Millennials (roughly 50 percent of the workforce) expect a promotion every one to two years. If you want to recruit top talent, then you'll have to articulate your plans for them now and for the future.

2. Expectations and workload

Candidates don't expect a new job to be a cake-walk, but they do, nevertheless, want to understand what's required of them. If you can't paint a genuine picture of expectations and workload, then top talent will seek less ambiguous environments.

3. Day in the life

At the end of the day, work is work. A programmer can be a programmer anywhere. The companies that win top talent can differentiate their organization and show potential candidates why being a programmer for them is different. Good or bad, people want to know what life will look like once they join your company.

4. Employee perspectives

Job descriptions and information from recruiters are one thing, real-life testimonies directly from the horse's mouth are something entirely different. If possible, connect your prospective candidates to employees in the role so they can ask questions to better understand and relate to the position.

The recruiting process is a two-way street. It should be streamlined and optimized for your organization, hiring managers and recruiters. However, if these things happen despite the candidate's experience, it could be to your own detriment. Organization's that win the war on talent understand that the spotlight is also on them and design candidate-friendly recruiting experiences that strengthen their brand.

Published on: Jul 6, 2017