Hiring in Today’s Candidate Market: The Dos and Don’ts

By: Jessica Siudak


During this time of mass hiring, it truly is a candidate’s market. When making a career move, candidates have a lot of options. They are able to select jobs that best suit their needs, both personal and professional.  

If you’re looking to hire a top performer in a market like this, you need to be competitive and creative, both in your recruiting strategy and in what you bring to the table. So let’s dive in to what’s working in today’s market to ensure you’re hiring the best of the best and retaining them long-term.  

Ramping Up Your EVP 

Your “EVP” is your “Employee Value Proposition.” It’s what sets you apart from the competition, the reason(s) why someone would want to walk away from their current role and company to join your team. Before you even begin your search, establish what it is you have to offer top performers. 

The best and easiest way to uncover what’s so great about your company is to ask the people you currently have. What makes them stay with you? What gets them excited to come to work every day? Asking your current employees questions like these can provide you with the insight you need, while also showing them that you value what they have to say.  

When you are developing your “employer brand,” be mindful that employees are looking to work for people, not robots. A personal connection is key. Now more than ever, we all know important a good work-life balance is, what our needs are, and how we can see our work impacting our home life. Here are some things to consider to have a strong EVP. 

  1. Find ways to advocate for the needs of your employees.  

For example, can you provide some flexibility in when their work is accomplished? If an electrical engineer needs to come in two hours late one day and they are always getting their work completed on time, or they have stayed late a couple of times within the past couple of weeks, can you make the accommodation they need? 

      2. Think outside the box with your benefits. 

Most people are wanting to work remotely, at least in some capacity. How can we keep up if we need people onsite? Consider other benefits you can offer that your competitors aren’t.   

      3. Show appreciation.  

If your company cannot go the annual bonuses route, try to offer employees a smaller gift at the end of the year to show how much you appreciate them. Send them a gift card or something that they can use for themselves as a way to acknowledge how they have gone above and beyond. If a gift is also not an option, verbal or written appreciation can go a long way. Having someone on the leadership team hand-deliver a thank you note adds a special touch because it shows your employees are worth your time.  

      4. Other ideas to consider. 

In addition to the keys we discussed, here are several things you can do to bolster your EVP that help attract candidates and get them excited for your opportunity. 

  • Continuing education/education reimbursement  
  • Company culture and core values 
  • Longevity of employees and career growth opportunities within the company  
  • Growth of the company 
  • Fun benefits: your particular product, ways your company is giving back, onsite personal care, etc.  

Customize Your Outreach 

Now that you’ve established your EVP, laying a foundation for why someone would want to join your team, it’s time to begin pursuing candidates. At Titus, we believe the best approach is to actively go after top performers – identifying and targeting individuals that are currently employed, sharing “what’s in it for them” to help determine if this truly would be an advantageous next step in their career. 

As you reach out to candidates, customization shows that you want THEM and not just anyone with their skillset. If a candidate is passive, meaning they are not seeking employment, and they think a bot is automatically messaging them, they likely will not respond to your message… and you’ll be lucky if they even open it!  

However, if they see something about where they currently work, some skills they listed in their resume or on their LinkedIn profile, you are far more likely to get them to lean in. Maybe they have in their summary that they are big into automobiles, and you manufacture parts for race cars. Whatever it is, use their hobbies to highlight what would make this move worthwhile for them. 

Lay Out Your Interview Process 

With a seemingly endless amount of options on the table, it’s best to inform candidates on the front end what will be expected of them in your interview process. Laying out the steps of your interview process somewhere on your website can show candidates how long the process normally takes and can help them better prepare for interviews.  

Additionally, if a candidate is able to see in advance that the third interview is an in-person interview, they can work a couple of extra hours here and there to get a little more time off or potentially schedule a couple of hours for vacation time. Having that information on the front-end gives them the information they need to be prepared and avoid feeling blindsided or turned off by an unexpectedly in-depth interview process.  

So What isn’t Working?  

Unfortunately, it’s increasingly common for people to feel underappreciated for their work. Many are experiencing burn out and lack the motivation they need to jump into the tasks at hand. The feeling of being underappreciated can cause employees to have less job satisfaction, which makes them far more likely to look for work elsewhere. When you “ramp up your EVP” as we discussed earlier, you can help mitigate the chances of this happening for your people. Additionally, when your company has a reputation for truly caring for their employees, that will speak volumes to candidates.  

Internal changes are another area of concern for employees and candidates that can cause them to be hesitant to join your team. Especially in the wake of COVID-19, people are looking for consistency. Change in the workplace, just like in anything else, can be confusing. Without open communication, mistrust can grow. When change is happening in your organization, the best approach is to proactively and transparently communicate with your people. The same is true for candidates. Whenever possible throughout your interview process, demonstrate that your organization is committed to transparency and putting your people first, even (and maybe especially) in times of uncertainty.  

Finally, candidates are looking for a place with room for growth. We often hire for the need we have in the moment without mapping out the future trajectory for that role. This can be a quick turn-off for top performers who are especially aware of the growth they want in their career. In your interview process, or perhaps even in your EVP, find ways to outline the future for this role, whether that’s taking on a new territory or management possibilities.  

Each company has its way to get its gears to function correctly, adding some oil can always help each turn work better together. Find out what works and what your candidates want to see. Your allies are the ones who are helping your company run. If you are expanding, ask your current employees what they like about working there and ways you can continue to improve what you bring to the table. If you get stuck, Titus Talent is always here to help.  

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