Do You Know What the Job Seeker of Today is REALLY Looking For?


There was a time before job sites and social networks when hiring was done completely in the dark, and the hiring organization held all the cards. Nowadays job seekers use sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to not only search for job offers, but research the hiring company, compare average salaries, and get the inside scoop on culture from their social networks.

A revealing survey by Indeed showed that 65 percent of all employees look for new jobs within 91 days of being hired. Job seekers are more prepared than ever, and recruiters are finding it more and more difficult to attract top talent, let alone retain the talent they have amid such stiff competition and a glut of job search options.

Fast Company noted that we may very well be heading toward an economy where professionals hold multiple smaller jobs and parallel careers as opposed to a long-term career with a single organization. The decreasing need for employees to be physically in an office is accelerating this trend.

Yes, the rules have changed

The rules of the hiring game have changed, and those doing the hiring can’t afford to be slow to adapt. Applicants of today need the real scoop quickly because interviews happen more quickly, and they have no incentive to stay interested in a company that is dragging their feet with pertinent information they need to make a decision.

With that said, here’s how you can update your hiring tactics for the job seekers of today:

  • Don’t engage in “salary cloaking.” In the days of blind applications, discussing things like salary and working hours was considered taboo during an interview. Today we have job sites that give applicants upfront compensation details. Salary cloaking, or the art of writing “DOE” on the “salary” line, causes great consternation among applicants, and for very good reasons. If you think doing it will get you more applicants, you are correct – but they will be unqualified applicants because they won’t know what the salary requirement is. Time is money, plain and simple. Posting a salary range with your job listing sets an unmistakable tone of transparency and mutual respect.
  • Look at your social networks first. This is probably fairly well-known by now but it bears repeating: you will most likely find more qualified and vetted applicants within your social network than you will by throwing job offers into the void. Use LinkedIn incessantly to browse a plethora of potential applicants, connecting with them instantly to gauge interest. Post your openings casually on Facebook and ask for referrals. These don’t seem like Earth-shattering tips but you’d be surprised how many hiring managers overlook the recruiting power of their own networks.
  • Embrace Big Data. Data mining is a great way to eliminate the guesswork from the recruiting process, and can be an essential tool. Heather R. Huhman writing in Entrepeneur magazine explains:

Job boards collect huge amounts of data, such as the best day of the week to post a marketing position in Chicago. If an analysis of current efforts revealed that a posting wasn’t resulting in enough qualified applicants, the employer could adjust the hiring strategy accordingly, using insights provided by a job board such as choosing a better day to post or different keywords. Additionally most job boards allow employers to tag parts of a job listing providing important information. This, in turn, allows human resources professionals to target sources (websites and social media) that could bring increased traffic to the job listing.”

  • Provide a hiring incentive and discuss company culture up front. Keep in mind a higher salary is not the silver bullet it once was. Since applicants can afford to be pickier, a company’s internal culture can be a deal-breaker, and avoiding discussing it in an interview will only signal that you are not sure about it, or worse, that you don’t care. Go into detail and share how you celebrate success using specific examples. Give the applicant a clear picture of how her accomplishments will be rewarded, and provide a hiring incentive as a formal introduction to the culture. Applicants of today are more inclined to work at a place they feel will give them more recognition and respect above a higher salary.

An investment in their success

In the past, the onus was almost entirely on job applicants to sell themselves to the organization. Those roles are slowly but surely reversing, and we are seeing organizations under more pressure to sell themselves to applicants.

More so than ever before, workers possess the tools to create the careers they want, and as a result won’t settle for a lot of subterfuge in the hiring process. Captivate them before they pass you up by showing them how much you’re willing to invest in their success.