Open Season: How to Attract New Candidates

Posted November 1st, 2021

As the world shakes itself from post-Covid gloom, it feels like a very exciting time to be a job seeker. Right now, there are high numbers of vacancies but not enough candidates to fill them. An incredible 54% of companies globally report a talent shortage; the highest figure in a decade.

And this is only set to rise, with as many as 77% of companies expecting to encounter a talent shortage as economies reopen. 

The odds are currently stacked in the candidates’ favour as they ask themselves: who is offering the best package? Does my ongoing job fulfil all my needs or should I go elsewhere?  

It’s time for recruiters to work harder than ever at attracting candidates and ensuring that job packages sufficiently meet their requirements. A lot of thought and action is needed to make sure you hire the best – and keep them. 

What makes candidates look for a new role? 

After many months of adjusting to ‘WFH’ during the pandemic, it should come as no surprise that many job seekers want the option to work remotely, or at least to have flexible working opportunities. According to Slack’s Remote Employee Experience index, 72% of knowledge workers now want a mix of in-office and remote work, while only 12% said they wanted to return to the office full-time.

And a PwC study found that nearly a third of U.S. office workers never want to go back to the office. 

But it’s not simply about where they are located while working, candidates are also concerned about their overall job satisfaction. A recent survey by Prudential Financial revealed that 1 in 4 workers is preparing to look for new opportunities post-Covid. And of those, 80% are doing so because they are concerned about career advancement. 

Naturally, salary enters into the discussion at some point. From our findings in the DaXtra U.S Market Research Report, we discovered that 70% of candidates not actively looking for a new job would be most tempted by a higher salary. 

However, a healthy mind is just as - if not more important than - money, with candidates calling for benefits that allow for an equitable work/life balance as well as nurturing good mental health. A recent survey by Joblist revealed that just over 30% of workers said they’d give up part of their pay for a better work-life balance, with parents willing to take a 5% pay cut.

Lastly, candidates are looking for a positive and supportive culture when at work, particularly in times of stress, with potential access to therapists, allocated time off for mental health, or even access to apps or other tech that can be used for wellbeing.

Some dissenting voices in the recruitment industry would have us believe that candidates are trigger-happy about switching jobs due to the ‘death’ of company loyalty. But actually, our research shows that this is not the case. As Colleen Barraclough, VP of Operations - North America, DaXtra Technologies writes: 

“It would be unfair to label young workers as disloyal because our research has shown that they do have a desire to stick with companies once they’ve been hired. But they are definitely quicker to move on if they don’t like the company they’re working for, and this is likely driven by the fact that they know they can get jobs more easily.” 

To round up, DaXtra’s US Market Research Report found that the following reasons could convince a candidate to change jobs: 

  • More money  
  • Flexible working/working from home 
  • Better healthcare benefits 
  • Better location 
  • Better long-term career progress 

What’s happening in the global jobs market?  

A similar recruitment picture is being painted across the world. Globally job markets are recovering post-pandemic, with plentiful vacancies springing up across the US, UK and APAC. In the United States, a country hit extremely hard by the health crisis, there were a buoyant 10.44 million vacancies in August 2021, from a high of 11.1 million in July.  

And in the UK, as of September 2021, there was a record high of around 1 million open vacancies. Meanwhile across the world, job ads in Australia were up by 91.6% in June 2021 when compared to June 2020 (year on year), but applications per job are close to the lowest they’ve been since 2012. 

So, the global situation is looking rosy, with the economic wheels beginning to turn, but how can you translate this into attracting the very best candidates? 

How to attract and keep the best candidates 

The good news is that there are very simple practical steps you can take to attract top-level candidates to your business. It’s a question of making the whole package appealing, not simply the financial bottom line, but also in creating a positive environment, flexible (and possibly remote) working conditions, a substantial openness to diversity and inclusion, and a clear career path along which the candidate can see their job, responsibilities and satisfaction increasing exponentially over time.  

Our findings have shown us that some possible steps you could take include: 

  • Offering flexible/remote working 
  • Providing candidates a clear path for growth and career opportunities.
  • Providing benefits that focus on work/life balance and career development e.g. a professional development budget for employees. 
  • Having a strong company vision and an inclusive company culture.
  • Focusing on skills-based hiring 

As Terry Bustamante, Sales Director, DaXtra Technologies writes in the DaXtra Market Research Report, 

“Is it a surprise that money remains the main motivator for candidates to move jobs? No, but it is interesting to see how important flexible working is becoming in the minds of candidates, more so than improved healthcare benefits or even long-term career progress.” 

Yes, younger workers tend to job hop more than previous generations. But this has nothing to do with the ‘death’ of company loyalty. Employees are making job decisions based on income, flexibility and whether they feel valued in their role. They are just as concerned about their mental health, their future and their work/life balance as they are about salary.  

In Summary 

The time we’re entering is full of incredible opportunities for recruiters. While the jobs-to-candidates balance currently weighs in favour of job seekers, this does of course mean that candidates can be pickier about where they go. But it is simply a question of being attentive in the hiring process and making sure that you’re offering a holistic package that covers all of the candidates’ needs, from salary to work/life balance and career path. As Terry Bustamente concludes in our Market Research Report, 

We’re definitely seeing a shift towards a better work-life balance and the ability to not have to travel into an office to work. With technology enabling this kind of working, this is a trend that is going to continue.” 

The future is bright. For candidates and recruiters alike. So, it’s time to get out there and get busy! 

To discover more about what candidates are looking for in a new role, download our US Market Research Report.

Tags: DaXtra Blog, recruitment, Candidate Experience