Attracting talent in 2023: A candidate’s perspective

Attracting talent in 2023: A candidate’s perspective

Angela Lin
Angela is a Data Science and English major at UC Berkeley who juggles interests in machine learning with short fiction. Outside of writing blog posts, she can be found painting Bay Area views or trying new recipes.

A inside look into candidate experience

Imagine you ask your friend about their favorite movie and they tell you this:

Diverse casting. Engaging visual and audio effects. Compelling emotional story.

No one talks like this. No one tells stories like this. But if you look at any job board, you’ll probably see generic bullet points and one-size-fits-all descriptions. These don’t offer candidates a clear picture of what the role or team is actually like. A startling 72% of employers create new job postings by reusing old ones. If your job description looks the same as every other position, how will you stand out?

In today’s market, attracting talent is all about the candidate experience. This includes the first impression of seeing the job posting, the interview stages, the onboarding process, and everything else in between – every step of the way plays a part. To make your candidate experience as positive as possible, start with these five steps.

1. Write specific job descriptions

Attracting talent starts by showing candidates what’s in it for them. Is it career growth? Flexible hours? Write job descriptions that emphasize the human aspect, rather than just the technicalities. One way to do this is by showcasing your culture and what the people on the team are like. Overall, a good job description should give candidates an initial impression of what it’s like to have that job in the company. 

In the podcast below with Chelsey from Motus, she shares what collaboration looks like day to day and how it’s different from other companies. 

When it comes to the requirements for the role, focus on the most relevant and essential points. A Harvard study found that only 21% of employers reported that all recent hires met every requirement listed in their job postings. We’ve all had the experience of reading a job description, applying, and then when you get to the interview, it feels like it’s for a totally different role. To avoid this, chat with your hiring manager and make sure the job description lines up with what’s being asked in interviews. The effort is worth it for getting more relevant applicants and making it easier for candidates to prep for interviews. 

2. Efficient and transparent hiring process

If you’re competing with other companies to hire talent, speed matters. 67% of jobseekers have abandoned a dream job because their employer took too long to make a hiring decision. That means that a key focus of securing talent should be reducing your time-to-hire. 

One effective way to do this is with structured interviews. This means that before you talk with candidates, have a plan of what questions you’re going to ask ahead of time. This not only reduces bias, but also results in faster and more efficient interviews. You should also plan a consistent way of scoring candidates so interviews have a fair and easy way of making decisions.

3. Communicate clearly and frequently

Good communication is the backbone of a great teamwork, positive culture, and a supportive work environment. As a recruiter, you have the chance to set the tone for the candidate’s first impression of what it’s like to work there. If you fail to communicate with candidates, what does that say about your company? On the other hand, prompt follow-ups and consistent feedback signals to candidates that your company appreciates them and values their time. 

Here’s a few ideas of what you should communicate to your candidates: 

  • Timeline of the recruitment process and what each step looks like
  • Who they’re going to be interviewing with 
  • What they can do to prepare 
  • Personalized feedback from the team 

4. Prioritize company culture

If you’ve ever been a recruiter or talked with candidates, you’ve probably been asked: what’s the culture like? 77% of candidates consider a company’s culture before applying. It’s one of the main factors in determining employee happiness – people want to work with people they trust and can be friends with outside of the workplace. 

So how do you answer this question? The most important thing is to highlight how your culture is unique. Instead of relying on common buzzword descriptors, it’s more memorable to share meaningful examples and personal stories. For instance, if you describe your culture as being fun and engaging, talk about what kind of weekly or monthly events there are. Or, if you’re emphasizing inclusivity, share examples of your diversity initiatives and employee resource groups. 

5. Offer competitive pay and benefits

If you want to attract top talent, pay them what they’re worth. Inflation and concerns around layoffs has made stability and salary the highest priorities for emerging job seekers. Employers need to be transparent and fair about benefits and compensation. Reading about what benefits “may include” is not very helpful. Neither is a wide salary range of 90-900k. 

Instead, research salary benchmarks and review different forms of compensation like stock options, retirement plans, and PTO. Ask current employees what they want and build customized packages that fit their priorities. For more on this, check out our blog on creating a compensation philosophy. 

Make hiring more human, with Puck

At Puck, our mission is to make hiring more human. We believe that people and their stories should be at the center of your employer brand strategy. Ask us how we can help you find your people below.

Book a Demo

Hear from our customers