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    What Candidates Want Most, According to New Research

    The labor market continues to favor candidates. With more than 11.4 million job openings and two positions for each unemployed person, according to the latest BLS data, most organizations are scrambling to keep up with the rapid volume of hiring. Workers are leveraging this power to secure new jobs, higher wages, and better benefits. According to Employ’s 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 45% of workers are actively looking for a new job within the next year and one-third feel comfortable quitting a job without having another lined up.
    With worker confidence at an all-time high, companies continue to see significant turnover and face a tight labor market in acquiring new talent to fill those open roles. Forty percent of workers have reported high employee turnover at their organization and the same number report increasing workloads as a result and higher rates of burnout.
    Employers must adapt quickly to this reality and align their workplaces with the expectations and preferences of job applicants today. Or they may struggle to attract top talent for their business going forward. According to Employ’s latest report, here’s what candidates want most from employers today.
    Higher Compensation
    Job seekers are well-informed and know what they want from employers. At the top of their priority list is higher compensation, with half believing they could make more simply by switching jobs. Applicants also want more transparency during the hiring process, so be open about the salary or hourly pay for a role. A whopping 82% of candidates reported that they wanted compensation listed in a job description. For companies that can’t compete on salary, stay competitive by competing on speed, transparency, and responsiveness.
    Remote Work & Flexibility
    The shift in the job market has shown that most candidates want the option to perform their jobs remotely, with 65% believing it’s important in their decision to accept or reject a job. The report also found that nearly half of workers are willing to accept a lower salary to work remotely, and 30% said their ideal workplace setup is 100% remote.
    Although there’s an increased desire for more workplace flexibility, company culture also remains critical. More than half of workers believe that culture is just as important in an increasingly remote work environment, and one-third of workers who left a job in the first 90 days said it was due to poor company culture.
    Overall, it’s essential to set the expectations for remote work policies at the beginning of the hiring process and reiterate them during each step—this helps to inform candidates to make the best decision for their needs.
    A Positive Candidate Experience
    High-quality talent is increasingly difficult to find, and it is even more challenging to convert top candidates into applicants. That’s why a seamless, positive candidate experience in every interaction is key to attracting and converting top talent. Candidates want an easy, fast, intuitive application process, and they want technology that will match them to the right roles and answer their questions throughout the recruitment process.
    According to Employ’s report, 35% said the most frustrating part of the job search was dealing with non-responsive employers and hiring managers. They also want recruiters to focus less on cover letters, resume gaps, and their social media pages, and work to shorten the feedback loop.
    In addition, candidates want an honest look at the daily responsibilities of the role, what the company culture is like, and how much the position pays. Increased transparency during the hiring process helps accurately manage expectations and can help more quickly find the right candidate for the role.
    Companies that fail to be transparent during the hiring process may struggle to retain talent. The latest Employ report revealed that one-third of new hires surveyed leave jobs within the first 90 days due to misaligned expectations, poor onboarding experiences, and bad company culture.
    Mental Health Support
    While the pandemic inspired 63% of workers to focus more on their mental health, employers have been scaling back on making these resources and benefits available to workers. In fact, only 40% of workers say that their employer provides mental health benefits or resources—the lowest level in the past three years.
    The need for mental health resources has never been greater. Increased workloads for employees, especially if they do not receive the compensation to reflect additional work, is taking a toll on workers. Companies must ensure they prioritize mental health resources and leverage them as a competitive differentiator as part of their talent acquisition efforts.
    Change Is the Constant
    In a labor market that’s constantly changing, it’s important to stay nimble, especially when it comes to attracting, nurturing, and connecting with candidates. And while adapting to this state of constant flux should come as no surprise, it can still feel daunting. The best organizations will continue to rise to the occasion by meeting the needs of candidates based on their own terms. Make sure to stay current on what workers are looking for, or risk losing out on top talent who will bolster the organization’s performance for the short and long term.
    By: Allie Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer, Employ Inc.
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    How Can Job Seekers Make Themselves More Attractive to Recruiters?

    Just as the labor market changes quickly and unexpectedly, so too does the recruiting industry. As the workforce rebounds from COVID-19 and unemployment rates continue to drop, job seekers have more options from which to choose, making hiring increasingly difficult for employers, and sourcing top talent more challenging for recruiters.
    Though job seekers may have more options than in the past two years, this doesn’t mean they will all be viable. The Great Resignation has made qualified candidates a rare commodity, making it even more important for both active and passive job seekers to showcase themselves in ways that make them attractive to recruiters when their skills are a match for open positions. Let’s look at some areas job seekers should focus on in order to ensure they appear on recruiters’ radars.
    Prioritize Personal Brand
    A strong personal brand is always an asset to a job search, and for some jobs, it’s essential. Recruiters want to see that candidates maintain a professional online persona. While most job seekers know to optimize their LinkedIn page for their search, if their other social media pages are filled with self-indulgent photos or negative or offensive content, this could be a red flag for recruiters who may be hesitant to submit such candidates to their clients. Similarly, it could be a turn-off to employers who may feel such online behavior shows immaturity or irresponsibility and doesn’t match their values. Despite the common belief that everyone should be free to express themselves, particularly on non-business-related sites like Facebook and Instagram, job seekers should take extra care to send a message of professionalism across all social media platforms.
    Focus Efforts
    It’s not uncommon for recruiters to receive dozens, if not hundreds, of applications for each of their open positions. Job seekers should be sure to only target those positions for which they’re qualified, and not inundate recruiters or employers with resumes for any and all positions to try to gain their attention. This approach may attract the wrong kind of attention, causing the candidate’s name to be remembered for always being unqualified. Instead, job seekers should focus on positions that relate to their skills and experience, and customize their resume for each position they apply to by including relevant keywords from the job description and supporting numbers and accomplishments. Also, candidates who don’t hear back from recruiters after applying should limit their follow-up to one time to avoid coming across as too persistent or aggressive.
    Demonstrate Knowledge
    Job seekers who use their spare time to share news, information, and knowledge with their networks will automatically have an edge over their competition. As recruiters scour the internet and resume databases for top talent, the more choices there are, the more they look for something in candidates’ profiles that makes them stand out. Those who write blogs, share articles, are active in LinkedIn groups, or network and interact with others in the industry make a far better impression than those who only appear interested in having fun online. While not all online activity has to be work-related, job seekers should try to maintain a healthy balance in order to send the right message to recruiters and potential employers.
    Stay Up to Date
    Few things are as frustrating to a recruiter as an interested candidate who has neglected to update his or her contact info. Depending upon whether there are ample qualified candidates to choose from, recruiters will either take time out of their busy schedule to source the candidate’s contact info online or just move on to the next qualified individual. Passive candidates with rare and in-demand skill sets may be indifferent to losing out on an opportunity or creating extra work for recruiters. But for job seekers with a greater sense of urgency, should ensure their contact info is updated and they are easily reachable and quick to respond.
    Continue Learning
    One sure way job seekers can endear themselves to recruiters and prospective employers is through a record of continuous learning. In addition to hiring for education, skills, and experience, most employers also want to hire candidates who are always looking to acquire knowledge. This may be more difficult for those currently employed in a demanding field. However, for job seekers needing to break up the monotony of a full-time search, taking a class or working toward a certification could give them an edge when competing with a number of other qualified candidates.
    Volunteer
    Regardless of industry, every recruiter and employer looks favorably upon volunteerism. During the hiring process, recruiters often take note of what candidates do in their spare time in order to determine how they may fit with a company’s culture. Those who donate their time to charitable causes while listing their volunteer activities on their resume or sharing them on social media show recruiters that they share values with employers committed to community involvement and that they’re interested in helping others and working for something greater than just a paycheck.
    The recruiting industry is constantly evolving. As decreasing unemployment rates have made sourcing top talent more difficult, applicant tracking systems, big data, and artificial intelligence have attempted to streamline talent identification, while also causing recruiters’ roles to change in the hiring process. In response, job seekers must ensure they remain adaptable as well. Though knowledge and experience will always be in demand, candidates must focus on those skills and attributes that will make them stand out among others with similar backgrounds, and how to showcase these to recruiters. Regardless of changes to the job market or recruiting technology, job seekers who do this will have the greatest success transitioning into the workforce.
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    5 Networking Mistakes Job Seekers Make

    Regardless of the role or industry, nearly every job requires networking in some form in order to be successful. No matter how talented a business owner is or how in-demand his or her products are, a company can’t succeed without reaching the right people. This applies to a job search as well, as those who have successful careers typically have strong personal and professional networks and vice versa.
    Though networking, both face-to-face and online, has become a necessary staple of the job search process, some job seekers still seem to get it wrong. Of course, there are some whose products or services are so in demand that they will make connections regardless of their actions. But for most of us, networking takes time and effort, and understanding how valuable connections are made and why they’re necessary will improve job seekers’ chances of achieving career success. Let’s look at a few networking mistakes job seekers often make, and how they can damage their prospects.
    1. The Hard Seller
    The goal of networking should be to establish long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with individuals with similar interests. These relationships can then be leveraged when seeking employment, referrals, recommendations, advice, or mentoring. Certainly, networking requires some self-promotion; otherwise, it would be nearly impossible to determine who has similar backgrounds and interests. Unfortunately, some see networking as an opportunity to take self-promotion to the extreme, giving everyone they meet the “hard sell.” The goal of these hard sellers is to try to impress as many people as possible by talking about themselves as much as possible. This often produces the opposite of their intended results, as many are turned off by braggarts who show little interest in others.
    2. The Self-Server
    While hard sellers will network with anyone willing to listen to them talk about their favorite subject (themselves), self-servers are only willing to network with those who they believe can help advance their careers. Once they target someone, they may also prove to be hard sellers. However, if self-servers discover that the person they’re speaking with doesn’t have the professional clout they originally thought, they won’t waste another second before abruptly ending the conversation and searching for someone with the credentials necessary to further their career goals.
    3. The Poor Communicator
    Communication is the backbone of nearly every job, and it’s rare to find a successful employee with poor communication skills. Therefore, when networking with professionals who can help launch or advance one’s career, it’s imperative to demonstrate strong communication skills from the first interaction. Job seekers who use poor grammar, talk too much or too little or appear socially awkward or reluctant to answer questions about their background may raise concerns about their ability to communicate with coworkers, managers or clients once hired. While socializing may pose a challenge to introverts, it’s only the first of many hurdles they must clear during the job search process.
    4. The Bad First Impression
    As the saying goes, first impressions last, and making a bad first impression can be hard to overcome when networking with well-connected industry professionals. Whether it’s right or wrong, many people judge others on their appearance, and job seekers who attend networking events dressed sloppily or inappropriately are starting off on the wrong foot. Attire and grooming habits are often taken into account, as is the ability to give a proper handshake and personal introduction. Also, if alcohol is served, overindulging can be seen as a red flag and could easily kill potential job offers. Job seekers should always be cognizant of how they’re being perceived by those with whom they hope to form lasting professional relationships.
    5. Failure to Follow Up
    Oftentimes, those who are in a position to help others with their career or business goals are willing to meet at a later date or talk by phone, and will end their initial meeting with a simple “call me.” Job seekers should consider this a test to see if they can follow instructions and are truly worth the effort. Those who fail to follow up, who call at the wrong time, or who simply forget to call prove that their reliability is questionable, and recommending them for employment becomes a risk if they were to show similar unreliability at work. Also, sending a thank-you note to those who go out of their way to help is always a good practice, whereas failing to acknowledge their effort may appear selfish or inconsiderate.
    Networking is often the first step in the job search process; therefore, it should be treated with the same dedication and professionalism as job interviews or work functions. Also, networking should be viewed as a two-way street. Each party should be willing to help the other, and today’s job seeker may be tomorrow’s employer or mentor. Just like a successful career, networking can’t be achieved overnight but requires an investment in time. Those who approach it with a professional, friendly, selfless, and persistent attitude will eventually see positive results.
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    Top 10 Tips to Avoid Ghosting Your Candidates

    A bad candidate experience can have a detrimental effect on both brands and those applying to work with them. During the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in volume of applicants for different positions. Rumors ran rife about being ghosted deep into the recruitment process. We wanted to investigate the scale of the problem and the damage being done, so we commissioned some research.
    The findings were shocking. 65% of people have been ghosted, according to our research of 2000 UK adults. 86% said their experience of being ghosted left them feeling down and 43% said it took weeks, or even months, to rebuild and move on. The damage to brands also became clear, with 94% saying it left them with negative thoughts or feelings towards the company they applied to.
    Most small companies manage with spreadsheets and simple trackers while large companies and recruitment agencies invest in technology, customized to their needs. Here are some tips to ensure your company can confidently avoid ghosting candidates.

    Get everyone on board. Recruitment is an area that most department managers get involved in as well as HR teams. Step one is to take the facts about the impacts of ghosting and educate everyone internally. Once you have company-wide support to ensure this doesn’t happen in your organization it’s time to make a plan on how you’re going to tackle ghosting head-on.
    Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. What sort of communication would you want at each stage? A quick email takes seconds and can really help a candidate.
    Set up automated emails. If you have one, use your applicant tracking system (ATS) to set up automated emails to candidates at each stage of the application process. This means they will always be kept informed of the stage of their application.
    Send updates promptly. No news is good news, except for when you’re waiting to hear about an application. As soon as you’ve made a decision, positive or negative, then let the candidate know.
    Make notes straight after a call or interview. ‘Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today’ as the old adage goes. Take thorough notes each time you speak to a candidate, this will make it easier to make a decision and also give you plenty of information to use when you go back to them.
    Use bulk email or SMS. Communicating with multiple candidates quickly and simply, a standardized message is better than no contact at all.
    Use your ATS reporting feature or keep a log. This helps to ensure that no candidate gets forgotten, know how many candidates have applied to each role, what stage they’re at, and when you last contacted them, save all that inbox searching time.
    Close down the role. When you hire someone make sure to go back and check you have processed and responded to all of the other applicants.
    Get feedback from your applicants. They’re the ones that have been through your process so can offer some valuable insight. Make sure you speak to both successful and unsuccessful candidates for a well-rounded view.
    Review and improve your process. There’s always room for improvement, ensure you revisit your plan and the tactics you’re using every few months to make sure they’re still impactful and to implement any new ideas.

    Telling candidates they haven’t been selected is a tough call to make, especially when you’ve been positive up until that point. But doing so quickly and kindly provides closure and allows them to move on with their career elsewhere.
    No one ever intends to ghost a candidate part-way through the recruitment process, but it’s important to acknowledge that it does sometimes happen. We need to tackle this problem together. By supporting this campaign and following the best practice guidelines, employers can show that they care about each applicant as an individual. We invite readers to join the campaign or share their stories at www.end-ghosting.com.
    By Neil Armstrong of Tribepad.
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    How Should Candidates Request Feedback from Employers After a Rejection?

    For many job seekers, knowing how to progress in a job search without employer feedback can be frustrating. Interviewing takes practice, and like any skill, how can one improve without constructive criticism? In addition to possessing the knowledge and experience needed to help an employer’s business succeed, the quickest way for job seekers to become employees is to make a great impression in the application and interview process. For those to whom this doesn’t come naturally, or who are up against the stiff competition, feedback may be required in order to land their desired role.
    The simple solution to job seekers’ feedback requirement is to just ask for it. After all, employers should respect an applicant who seeks criticism and takes steps toward self-improvement, right? But there are reasons why hiring managers rarely provide feedback to candidates, as well as best practices for obtaining it. Let’s look at a few of each.
    Why Are Some Employers Reluctant to Provide Feedback?
    First, it’s important to understand why employers may be hesitant to provide feedback to candidates who aren’t hired. One reason involves legal liability. Regardless of why an employer rejects one candidate in favor of another, if the candidate who isn’t hired simply perceives the reason to be unjust and files a discrimination lawsuit, it could result in thousands of dollars in legal fees, months in court fighting the charges, and irreparable damage to the employer brand just to prove innocence. Often, it’s easier to avoid the risk by keeping hiring rationales confidential.
    A second reason is the time commitment. An employer may be looking to fill several positions in the company. Depending on the nature of the positions, each may receive dozens, if not hundreds of applications. Providing unsuccessful applicants with feedback on why they were disqualified could add weeks or months to the recruiting process. Even hiring managers with the best intentions can only help candidates if their schedule and workload allow.
    How to Ask for Feedback
    When requesting feedback from an employer, timing is important. Job seekers should make a point of following up within one day (two days at the most) to reaffirm interest and ensure their application or interview is still fresh in the hiring manager’s mind. Candidates should also respond using the same method of communication that they received the rejection (phone or email).
    When posing the initial question to an employer, job seekers should never ask why they weren’t hired. Instead, they should explain that they are looking to improve in their job search, and are seeking constructive criticism. They should then ask if the hiring manager can pinpoint any areas in the application or interview process where they were lacking and if the manager has any recommendations on how to better showcase their skills and experience when applying to future roles.
    Ending on a Positive Note
    If job seekers speak to or receive an email response from an employer who is willing to provide feedback on their application or interview, they should always keep an open mind and respond positively. Candidates should remember that employers are under no obligation to tell them why they weren’t hired. Managers who offer suggestions on how applicants can improve truly have their best interest at heart.
    Under no circumstances should job seekers act defensively or argue with a hiring manager’s feedback. This won’t change the outcome of the hiring decision and could make the manager regret trying to help the candidate in his or her job search. Also, there’s always a chance that the applicant who was hired for the position won’t work out, and the employer will need to choose a second- or third-choice candidate as a replacement. Or, the company may be looking to fill a similar role in the near future. By reacting positively to the hiring manager’s feedback and showing appreciation for his or her time, candidates leave the door open to consideration for future opportunities with the company.
    If a job applicant lacks the qualifications and experience a position requires to be successful, no amount of employer feedback regarding interview preparation or self-promotion will change the hiring outcome. However, for candidates who just need a bit of guidance on interview etiquette or how to market themselves for a particular role, a few helpful tips on where they’re lacking could be all that separates a job search that lasts several more months from one that ends shortly after their next application. Though they should be prepared to politely accept “no” for an answer, job seekers shouldn’t be afraid to ask employers for feedback after a rejection and show they are always willing to accept criticism, continue to learn, and better themselves.

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    How the Pandemic Has Dramatically Shifted Candidate Attitudes

    New research by Jobvite suggests uncertainty, unemployment, and financial challenges will drive profound changes in the employer-candidate relationship. Unlike previous editions, the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report draws from two survey sets: one in February 2020 consisting of 1,514 employed adults and job seekers in the U.S., and one in April 2020 after the unprecedented […] More

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    What to Look For in a CV When Hiring a Remote Candidate

    Hiring a remote candidate is a little different from hiring someone to work in-office or on-premises. Remote workers have certain attributes that make them awesome at working independently and as any recruiter knows, there will be little “tells” hidden and sometimes not so hidden in a remote candidate’s CV. It’s often soft skills that demonstrate […] More