The world of work is shifting. As a result, candidate expectations in recruitment have become more important than ever.
But what candidates expect has changed drastically in recent years.
Success in recruitment is about much more than just finding someone with relevant experience. If you want the talent you take on to stay for the long run, add value to your business and innovate, then candidate expectations should be front of mind.
But what do candidates really want from employers? And how do candidate expectations differ in the modern job market?
Here are five musts that HR, hiring managers, and recruiters should be thinking about:
- Clear progression plan.
- Listening and implementing.
- Working environment.
- Authentic values.
- Transparency and authenticity.
But, before we get into that, let’s talk about why candidate expectations matter so much in the first place.
Why are candidate expectations important in recruitment?
When a candidate gets a role that meets their expectations, they are much more likely to be satisfied with the job and stay longer.
It’s not hard to see why; when candidate expectations are met, there’s more likely to be alignment between them and the organisation they took a chance on. This is critical if both you and your new employee are to get as much value as possible when they’re in role.
You see, alignment and satisfaction don’t just encourage things like productivity, collaboration, and motivation. They also go a long way in maximising employee retention.
And how do we know? Because, here at Aspion Search, 96% of the professionals we place in new roles stay with that business for at least 24 months.
5 evolving candidate expectations in recruitment
It’s important to note that candidate expectations do not stay the same. As times change and the working world tries to keep pace, what candidates want will shift as well.
So, while expectations do vary from person to person, there are some general trends that you should be aware of.
1. Clear progression plan
Given the increased financial strain so many are facing, it’s more important than ever that working-age people know they can work their way up the ladder.
But it’s not enough to simply promise a candidate that you can offer career development. After so many years of companies overpromising and then underdelivering, professionals have grown wary of such assurances.
But what does a clear progression plan look like?
Well, it can take many forms, depending on the structure of your organisation. But, ultimately, it comes down to setting out clear triggers for promotions and salary raises from the outset. For bonus points, you could also offer support for self-development that will help your employees hit their targets faster.
For companies that already have this in place, ask yourself: do we communicate our progression path clearly enough to candidates? And: could we do more to shout about it when we’re trying to attract talent?
2. Listening and implementing
Generally speaking, people do not respond well to dismissive management styles. So, it’s important to instil candidates with the confidence that their ideas will, in fact, be listened to.
Simply put, people want to know that they’ll feel valued at work. As well as being good for employee satisfaction, motivation, and trust, this is also essential if you want your organisation to be truly innovative.
Unsure how to prove to candidates that your workplace really does value the ideas of its employees? Have examples on hand of employee ideas that were not just listened to but actually implemented.
3. Working environment
There’s no getting away from the fact that more professionals than ever care about their working environment.
Between this and the fierce competition for talent happening across market sectors, there are plenty of reasons to prioritise the working environment in your talent attraction strategy. And this applies whether your workplace is an in-person office or fully remote.
Just keep in mind that afterthoughts or tokenistic gestures are becoming increasingly obvious to job hunters. So, don’t try and pass off things like free tea and coffee as a big work perk.
Instead, focus on things that will encourage genuine team bonding and improve mental health in the workplace, for example:
- Improving manager awareness and mental health signposting.
- Introducing meaningful wellbeing initiatives.
- Scheduling and sticking to regular check-ins.
- Investing in personal development sessions.
- Supporting employees with self-help.
Is there anything we’ve missed off this list?
4. Authentic values
We live in an increasingly values-led world, and this has inevitably had an impact on hiring.
According to recent research by LinkedIn:
- 58% of UK professionals would not work for a company that does not share their values.
- Around 90% of younger professionals (i.e., Gen-Z and Millennials) would leave a job for another that better matches their values.
- Work/life balance (62%), career progression (43%), and diversity, equity and inclusion (37%) are the values that matter most to modern jobseekers.
With that in mind, it’s worth taking the time to reflect on the values at the heart of your organisation. Do you put time, effort, and resources into strengthening these values? If you don’t, now might be the time to start.
5. Transparency and honesty
This candidate expectation is harder to pin down because, if we’re being honest, transparency needs to inform everything you do as an employer.
And there are big benefits up for grabs for employers that are transparent with employees and honest in their initiatives. So, if you want your working environment to be collaborative, your office communication to be open, your culture to be positive, and your reputation to be as attractive to top talent as possible, then make transparency and honesty a top priority.
It’s something that candidates will be looking for throughout the hiring process, as well as on your website, social media pages, and in employee reviews.
How to manage and meet candidate expectations
Of course, it’s not always easy to keep tabs on changing candidate expectations. It can be even harder to make the changes necessary to match expectations within your hiring process.
That’s where we come in.
We are recruitment experts, specialising in Transport & Logistics, Shipping, Sales, IT Sales, and Metals across multiple sectors throughout the UK and Europe. In other words: we understand your industry, and what it takes to attract leading talent in that sector.
Whether you want to supercharge your talent attraction or set up a non-committal process review, get in touch today:
Call us: 0151 209 2050
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org