THIS is Just as Important to Candidates as Their Starting Salary

Hiring the best candidates in the marketplace is not an easy proposition. Not these days, not in this current candidates’ market.

Once upon a time, if an organization wanted to woo a top candidate, that organization used the prospect of more money to do so. Things are not nearly so simple today. Money is just one part of the equation, and if employers ignore the other factors in play, then they’re at risk for missing out on the best candidates.

Brand-tracking firm Morning Consult recently conducted a survey of more than 220,000 professionals in the United States. In that survey, those professionals were asked about their top priorities in terms of finding a new job. So what were the top priorities for these professionals?

Well, money was right there at the top of the list, with 71% of the survey participants listing it as important. However, another consideration was also deemed as important by 71% of the participants. That consideration was “job stability.”

What candidates value the most

In fact, below are the top five considerations that professionals deemed to be most important in terms of a job search:

  • Salary/pay—71%
  • Job stability—71%
  • Benefits—67%
  • Career advancement—57%
  • Vacation/sick leave—56%

Also cracking the top 10 were a company’s reputation, how rewarding the work is and the candidate’s opportunities to give back, and the office culture. The results of this survey were roughly in line with the results of an employment survey that The VET Recruiter conducted last year. The conclusion is the same: pay is important to candidates, but so are other things.

Conclusions and concrete action

So what does all of this mean? What conclusions can we draw from this? First, money alone will not convince the best candidates to accept your organization’s offer of employment. That’s because these are the best candidates. They already command top dollar in the marketplace. More importantly than that, they know they command top dollar.

More than likely, they’re entertaining multiple offers. In fact, I was working with a candidate earlier this year who went on seven interviews and received seven offers of employment!

Second, you must identify whether or not your organization offers the other things that candidates want most in an employment opportunity. Can you say with confidence that your organization offers job stability? How about a great company reputation? Where does your organization stand in terms of company culture? What would you say about each of these things if a candidate were to ask you about them? Your answers to these questions could very well determine whether or not you’re able to hire the candidates that you want to hire.

Third, once you’ve identified these other things, you must communicate that value to candidates who are part of the hiring process. If you don’t communicate it, then how are candidates supposed to know that you offer it? As I’ve stated on more than one occasion, the hiring process is NOT a one-way street. While you are evaluating candidates, those candidates are evaluating you. Just because you have an open position does not mean that you’re in the “driver’s seat,” so to speak. You have to sell yourself to candidates, especially top candidates, just as much as they’re attempting to sell themselves to you.

Two simple but important steps in hiring

There are two simple but very important steps involved in a successful hiring process. Those two steps are as follows:

  1. Identifying the best candidates in the marketplace
  2. Recruiting those candidates for the open position

As I’ve stated before, you can’t hire the best candidates unless you know who they are. However, just knowing who they are is only the first step. Then you must convince them to consider your opportunity and recruit them for the position. Just because you know who they are and they know about the opportunity does not mean they’re automatically going to be interested. It’s imperative to create interest, not only in the position, but also in the organization.

The second step is the most important of the two steps, and knowing what candidates value the most in a new job is an integral part of that second step. Sure, pay and benefits are important, but that’s just the starting point. To hire well and to do it consistently, an organization has to offer value beyond just money. As with most things, hiring boils down to motivation. To hire the best candidates, you must know what motivates them and then you must offer what it is that motivates them.

The results of both the Morning Consult survey and The VET Recruiter survey illustrate what things are currently motivating candidates. Now it is up to you to both offer what motivates them and also communicate to them that you offer it.

This is also where a search consultant can help. A recruiter’s main skill (and the main value that they provide to organizations) is their ability to recruit and land talent. An experienced recruiter working in your field has the expertise and experience necessary to convince candidates to consider your opportunity and then to successfully recruit them for the position.

They might use pay and benefits to do it. They might use the prospect of job stability. They might use your company’s reputation. They will probably use all of those things and more.

The bottom line is this: without the key ability to recruit top candidates, you dramatically reduce the chances that you’ll be able to hire those candidates. And by engaging the services of a search consultant, you ensure that you have the ability to recruit—and hire—the candidates you want.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.