A rising number of job-hunting candidates are turning down jobs offers because they’re not impressed with the company during the interview process, according to new research.
In such a talent-poor market, candidates have taken the seat of power and become more discerning about where and how they want to spend their working lives. Salary and traditional benefits such as medical insurance and pension contributions have lost their pull and are no longer the most important factors when selecting a new employer. Today’s candidates want a shared affiliation with a company’s values and mission, they want greater work life balance, to occupy inspiring environments that enable their work and build communities and they expect autonomy, choice and flexibility in how and when they work.
Now that candidates consider the interview process their opportunity to check that the potential employer can offer everything they’re looking for, there are six key areas of focus that every employer must address to come up trumps with the best recruits and present a forward-thinking, agile and people centric business. They are:
- Highlight the employee experience
If a prospective client was coming to visit, you would carefully orchestrate the experience, from an enthusiastic welcome at reception through to what they’re shown on an office tour and the quality of lunch provided. This same approach should be taken with employees – use the interview as an opportunity to curate the employee experience in your organisation. Take them on a tour of the workplace, highlight the innovate tools available, introduce them to the team they’d be part of, explain staff benefits and really sell the positive employee experience on offer. This approach showcases the culture of an organisation and the attitudes and behaviours of the people within it, helping to make sure that candidates understand the culture and whether they fit within it.
- Showcase the company mission and values
UK organisations need highly motivated, engaged, efficient and loyal employees in order to unlock the extra productivity growth needed to compete on a global stage. With that in mind employers must be willing and able to articulate their mission and values within the recruitment process. Today’s candidates want a clear sense of shared purpose and to understand their role within an organisation – make sure you can put the role you’re recruiting for into this wider context.
- Make the workplace and tools a differentiating feature
The workplace is a powerful differentiator in the search for new talent and many organisations can testify to the increase in quality applications following an investment in a new stand-out work environment. An office tour can be a powerful point of difference during candidate selection as it really showcases the quality of the workspace and the culture of the organisation. Highlight all the tools and working methodologies open to employees – perhaps it’s creative breakout spaces, start of the art technology that helps employees save time, client entertainment areas or the ability to work remotely.
It is important to remember that high performing talent wants to work for high performing organisations and they have highly effective, well-designed and people centric workplaces.
- Discuss career advancement and support
Newer generations entering the workforce are particular hungry for career prospects and advancement so it’s important to use the interview process to show them your organisation’s approach to their career development and extol the virtues of any in-house and third-party training opportunities. It’s equally important to highlight the culture of support and mentoring within the business too. If there’s an employee buddy system or concessions made to the working week in return for further training, these should be explained. Employees that feel challenged and developed are more likely to be motivated and loyal.
- Promote health and wellbeing
Increasing the retirement age means that many of today’s employees will be in the workplace for long than expected and as such health and wellbeing is an important part of the work experience. Use the recruitment process to show the value you place on employees and highlight the organisation’s commitment to health and wellbeing – whether its’ providing online access to doctors, running healthy eating courses, providing an on-site gym or investing in mental health with access to counsellors and mentors – the growing focus on work-life balance should be recognised.
- On-boarding all the way
Staff that feel engaged and connected with their employer’s goals and mission are more likely to stay productive and loyal. Use the interview process to highlight your commitment to staff engagement and communication by explaining how you keep employees motivated (perhaps this is incentives, staff away-days, additional days holiday) on an ongoing basis.
Remuneration and traditional benefits will always play a significant role in the recruitment process and whether the candidate says yes to the job – after all everyone wants to be paid what they’re worth. However, salary is not the only factor shaping the decisions of today’s job hunters. A recent survey by NGA Human Resources highlighted that 45% of candidates had turned down a job because the company didn’t meet their expectations. In particular 33% said it was because of the lack of flexible work options, 29% due to lack of a good benefits package and 27% because they didn’t think they were the right fit with their potential colleagues or culture.
Employers wanting to build dedicated, loyal and highly motivated workforces need to consider the holistic needs of their employees to come up with innovative ways to make themselves stand out during the interview process and, significantly, throughout an employees’ tenure with a firm. Talent is in short supply and today’s job hunters are not afraid to exert their power. It is those employers that really invest in their people and provide the right tools, environments and culture on an ongoing basis, that will fair best of all in the war for talent.