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4 Areas of Focus to Boost Your Candidate Attraction Efforts

Changing the way that you interact with candidates in your selection process is crucial to your organization’s future success.

Talent shortages are growing around the world. The global unemployment rate has dropped to 5%, the lowest level in a decade according to the latest ILO World Employment and Social Outlook, and the current unemployment rate in the United States is near a 50-year low. While this is great news for workers, it is challenging for employers. There are fewer candidates actively searching, yet companies have many openings to fill. The pendulum has shifted, and candidates can be selective.

Optimizing the candidate experience while collecting rich candidate data is critical. This will allow organizations to acquire the talent necessary to achieve business objectives. The candidate attraction lens can be applied in four highlighted areas of the six-step selection process to provide a more compelling candidate experience.


Area #1 – Areas to focus on in your candidate attraction strategy

Often, a candidate’s first interaction with your organization will be through online job postings, job descriptions, and online company reviews. A negative first impression at this stage can be a lasting one for candidates. Creating clear, consistent, and authentic brand messaging across all platforms is key. Make sure your culture, purpose, and values are clearly stated in addition to the details of the role. This enhances candidate perceptions and drives candidate engagement throughout the selection process.

Area #2 – Realistic Job/Culture Preview

A realistic preview of your organizational culture and the role allows candidates to evaluate their own fit. It also gives your organization the opportunity to share your unique value proposition. These previews should be transparent, highlighting both the opportunities and challenges. This affords candidates the opportunity to decide whether to continue the selection process. It also provides the candidate with a positive impression of your organization.

Candidates who drop out of the selection process at this step are “good drops.” The company has saved both time and money by not assessing, interviewing, onboarding, and training someone who wouldn’t have been a good fit. Plus, the candidates leave the process with a positive impression of your organization. They are more likely to refer others or reconsider your organization in the future.

The candidates that continue in the selection process should be more committed. The realistic preview gave them a better understanding of the corporate culture and the role.

Area #3 – Assessment

Assessments allow candidates to demonstrate their experiences, skills, abilities, and preferences. Assessments can also be used as an opportunity to attract candidates. Candidates have positive impressions of organizations when assessment content is job-related. They interpret interactive and visually appealing assessments as signs of an innovative employer. Mobile assessments allow organizations to meet candidates where they are – on their smartphones. They also showcase the organization’s commitment to technology.

Area #4 – Interview

Interviews are often the first personal interaction that a candidate has with an organization. This can be a make-or-break interaction, and it’s critical that your interview process aligns with your talent strategy.

An interview that is more of a “meet and greets” with the candidate adds little value. It provides an unclear message about the role or your organization. Additionally, it doesn’t produce very useful or reliable decision-making information. “Meet and greets” are a missed opportunity to gather good candidate data and to sell your organization to the candidate.

A highly structured interview collects great candidate data but can be too structured and rigid for candidates. Moreover, these types of interviews don’t provide insight into your organization’s culture. Candidates often leave without establishing a relationship with your organization.

It’s critical that your interview process aligns with your talent strategy.

Candidate-centered interviews allow you to gather all the data needed to make a selection decision while creating an engaging experience for the candidate. The interview questions are consistent and job-related. They also help candidates envision themselves in the role at your organization. When conducting an interview, keep candidate attraction in mind. This promotes genuine, intentional conversations with candidates. It also conveys your culture and generates excitement about working within your company.

Looking at each of the steps of your selection process through the candidate attraction lens allows your organization to obtain the data you need to make the right decision about a candidate. It also allows the candidate to make the right decision about working for you.

Learn about how you can quickly assess and select the right people for roles and provide an engaging candidate experience.

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Rob Shepard

Rob Shepard is a former Senior Talent Solutions Consultant at SHL, specializing in pre- and post-hire assessment, job analysis, workforce analytics, competency modeling, and assessment design. Rob holds an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and has over 11 years of experience partnering with clients, in a wide variety of industries, to improve individual and organizational performance through better talent management.

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