Four things job applicants look for in an employer

Need to fill a vacant position and want to attract the best possible candidates? Here are four things job applicants look for in an employer.

When recruiting for a vacant position, the balance of power is often perceived as heavily tilted towards the employer. After all, it’s you who may have dozens, hundreds, or thousands of candidates to choose from for the position you’ve advertised.

But, in reality, you need to find the perfect person to fill your role, and you’re competing against other companies for a small pool of the very best talent. So the job application process is as much about you courting the employee as it is about the employee wooing you. 

When you advertise a vacancy, candidates will assess and make judgements about the position and your company as a whole. And the best candidates will only apply for the vacancies they feel are right for them – and the companies they want to work for.

So, to help you find the best possible talent to fill your vacancy, here are four things candidates consider when applying for a position or evaluating a job offer.

1) An impressive online presence

It’s not enough today to simply have a website and social media accounts – pretty much every business has them. If you want to impress a potential candidate you need an online presence that’s attractive, interactive, engaging, exciting, relatable and detailed.

Your website is the first place today’s candidates will go to when they want to learn more about your business. So you might want to consider having a careers section that gives them an idea of what it’s like to work for you, and lists any current vacancies.

Make sure, too that your about page is inspiring. Explain your mission and vision – why you exist and what your business does and wants to achieve. Demonstrate that you’re the kind of organisation they’d want to be part of. And that people who share your values and beliefs will connect with.

A regularly published blog with news and industry insights will also show that your company is thriving, with talented, ambitious people with good ideas that are celebrated and shared – exactly the kind of company someone who is ambitious would love to work for.

And finally, ensure that any social accounts your company has are updated regularly. That you share interesting information and ideas, and engage with other companies and people.

2) A quick and straightforward application process

Research has shown that as many as one in three online applicants for a position will abandon the process if they find it’s too complicated or lengthy.

Ao, when developing your online application process, think about it from the candidate’s perspective. Assume that the person applying is the perfect candidate for the job. You’d want to take them through the process quickly and smoothly so you can get them to the interview stage before they change their mind. 

To achieve this, ensure that your job application portal is intuitive, navigable, and mobile-friendly. It should be underpinned by an elaborate applicant tracking system that makes sure vetting and shortlisting candidates is efficient and streamlined (take a look here to learn more about application tracking systems).

3) Timely and regular communication

Choosing the successful candidate is ultimately at your discretion. You are not under any obligation to announce your decision within a particular timeframe.

In practice, however, prompt decision-making is definitely an advantage for you. It’s unlikely you’re the only company that your candidates have applied to, and if you delay your decision too long you could find that the best candidates have been snapped up by your competitors. 

So respect candidates’ time by moving as quickly as possible through the various hiring stages. Minimise ambiguity and demonstrate predictability. Make it clear how long it will take for you to let them know whether or not they’ve made it to the next stage. And if a candidate has not been successful let them know as quickly and respectfully as possible, to they’re not left in limbo, second-guessing their fate.

4) A realistic snapshot of the job

Of course you want to attract the best possible candidates for your position. And in your enthusiasm to make your qanat position or company as a whole appear desirable, you can be tempted to paint an unrealistically rosy picture of it.

But, while this might work in the short-term by getting the top talent interested, it could ultimately be catastrophic for your business reputation and brand in the medium to long-term. 

Many prospective candidates will assume that, if you cannot be sincere about that particular job, how anyone they trust anything you say about your business?

So be as transparent as possible about the role – both the positive aspects and the less appealing realities.