Candidate Experience, Candidate Pools & Proactive Recruiting

Recruiting the Modern Jobseeker in a Candidate-Driven Market

In order to attract the talent you seek, you must first understand what drives and motivates today’s average jobseeker. In a candidate-driven market, savvy recruiters and hiring managers who understand their candidates’ wants, needs, and expectations will reign supreme in the war for talent.


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Staffing firm Addison Group’s latest report “How Hiring Managers Can Navigate A Candidate’s Market” showcases exactly how to go about understanding today’s candidate-driven market and what you’ll need to do in order to stand out among competing employers that are eyeing the same high-quality talent.

“Unemployment is at an all-time low and so it’s vital that companies remain competitive in this tight market,” says Tom Moran, CEO of Addison Group. “Navigating the candidate’s market is new territory for a lot of hiring managers. If companies aren’t at least matching their offers, they risk missing out on top talent—an area that is crucial to the future growth and success of their company.”

Addison Group compiled data from a recent survey it conducted to create the new report. Survey data come from over 1,000 U.S. jobseekers in July 2018. These respondents were currently employed in either full-time or part-time positions and actively looking for a new job.

What Drives a Candidate to Look for New Employment?

According to 65% of respondents, jobseekers are confident that they’ll land a new job, but what’s driving them to look in the first place? You may or may not be shocked to learn that salary was the number one reason (59%) jobseekers claimed to be looking for a new role elsewhere.

Furthermore, it’s not just the fact the employees don’t feel like they’re being compensated fairly (46%); they can now prove they aren’t getting paid what they’re worth. With websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn that have “salary finding” features, all a jobseeker has to do is plug in his or her job title and see what he or she is supposed to be getting paid.

These salary finders show potential jobseekers their current wage compared to other workers in the same position and region as the jobseeker. Potential jobseekers can also compare their current rate against what others in the same role are making across the country. When your employees can easily find out that they’re making $4,000 less than the competition is offering down the road, it’s no wonder they’re leaving to go seek out their worth.

Recruiters and hiring managers should be consistently checking to see what other companies are offering for compensation. This way, when a candidate comes back with a counteroffer, you’ll know where he or she got that number from and how to play your next hand in order to “stack the deck” on talent.

According to Addison Group, 72% of employees are satisfied at work, and 55% of respondents claim the work they do has a strong impact on their satisfaction. Again, compensation comes into play here, as 50% of respondents say this has a strong impact on their happiness. Addison Group says that “satisfaction centers more around the work they do and having the right work/life balance, while the most dissatisfaction tends to be linked to salary and employee benefits.”

Understanding Today’s Jobseeker

Now that you know what’s causing employees to leave, it’s time to understand how modern jobseekers are looking, and applying, for new positions elsewhere. According to Addison Group, the top five ways workers find a new job are:

  1. Monitoring online job boards,
  2. Networking with peers,
  3. Working with staffing firms,
  4. Networking on social media platforms, and
  5. E-mailing a company’s hiring manager or Human Resources professional directly.

Addison Group says that digital options tend to take precedence when it comes to ways jobseekers search for new roles, but many jobseekers are starting to see the value in capitalizing on their current networks, as well as relying on the services of staffing firms, to help them land a new job.

Here are five stats to help you understand the modern jobseeker:

  • 70% of jobseekers will lose interest in a prospective employer if it takes more than a week to hear back after the final interview.
  • 69% have discussed increasing their salary with their current employer.
  • 60% have been looking for jobs for less than 3 months.
  • 41% say their current employers know they are actively job searching.
  • 30% have used a recruiter in their job search efforts.

As we can see from the stats above, jobseekers are actively looking for better opportunities, and their employers know this. Furthermore, jobseekers do not like to be kept waiting. If you’re looking to stand out among the competition, make sure your hiring process is quick. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing a candidate because he or she got sick of waiting.

If you can’t speed up your hiring process for whatever reason, make sure to communicate with the candidate at every stage possible. As Addison Group says, “Don’t worry about over communicating. More is better in this instance. Focus on staying top of mind with jobseekers, not whether or not you’ve reached out too much.”

Looking into the Future

As the modern candidate is helping to shape the current state of hiring, it’s always best to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for the “future” worker; Addison Group calls this candidate “Jobseeker 3.0.” And what does this worker want? It should come as no surprise that the future jobseeker is interested in better, more timely communications with hiring managers.

According to Addison Group, the fastest jobseekers have started a new job after applying is less than a week (45%) and less than a month (27%). And furthermore, 53% want to engage with a hiring manager on a weekly basis. The future jobseeker also prefers e-mail (57%) communication over phone (49%) and in-person meetings (45%). So be prepared to meet these jobseekers’ needs by responding back to all e-mails in a timely fashion.

Addison Group does add that “Jobseekers may hold all the cards in a candidate’s market, but don’t let them know it—remain selective and use discernment to find the best person for the job.”