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Do you have an understanding of what your job applicants are looking for? With online job boards and applications offering candidates countless job opportunities at the tips of their fingers, it’s more important than ever to cater to applicants’ preferences. Beyond this, we’re in the applicant economy: there are far more positions than applicants, meaning top job candidates can be incredibly selective when deciding on their next career move. Hireology customers receive thousands of job applications each week and we recently surveyed recent job applicants to learn what’s actually important in their job search.

Based on our findings, here are some recommendations for attracting strong candidates and hiring your best team:

Move the hiring process along quickly to keep top candidates engaged

The majority of job applicants (64 percent) only spend one to three months looking for a job. If you don’t move quickly, you risk lose quality candidates to other job opportunities with more efficient hiring processes in place. Another reason to keep the process moving is that candidates tend to get skeptical when they see a job has been posted for some time. In fact, 38 percent of respondents have chosen not to apply for a job in the past because the job was posted online for too long.

To speed up your time to hire, review each application in a timely manner and have a process in place to make sure you’re following each step of your hiring process.This includes the initial resume review, skill assessments, interviews, references, and background checks.

Using Hireology’s process, 70 percent of new hires are looked at within 12 hours of submitting an application. The quicker and more thorough the hiring process, the more likely you are to hire a strong candidate that is the right fit for your team. If your hiring process takes too long, you risk losing that top candidate to another company.

Refine your job descriptions

The top reason (53 percent) candidates applied for their most recent job is because the job description perfectly matched their skills and interest. Additionally, almost half of job searchers (47 percent) have chosen not to apply for a job because the job description didn’t match the actual job listed on the application. No matter the position you’re hiring for, the job description will make a significant impact on the quality of applicants you receive.

The goal of your job description is to get potential candidates excited about the possibility of working with your company. Focus on what you have to offer in addition to any qualifications of the job. When it comes to the position overview, highlight why the role is open, how the position will positively impact on the company and why candidates would want the job, including skills learned, culture, and benefits. 

Offer a comprehensive benefits package

Company benefits go far beyond salary. On your career site or directly in the job description, highlight the benefits your company has to offer employees to get potential candidates excited about the possibility of joining your team. Almost half of recent job applicants surveyed (47 percent) would consider leaving their current job to receive better benefits. Based on the study, some of top benefits today’s applicants are looking for include: health benefits, 401K and retirement plans, vacation time, comfortable workplace culture, and commuter benefits. Workplace culture in particular is key, as approximately two in five applicants (40 percent) have chosen not to apply for a job because the company website was too vague or didn’t describe the company culture.

Offer a simple online application process

Once you’ve gotten potential candidates on the hook and interested in joining your team, make sure you don’t lose candidates with a complicated application process. More than one-third (36 percent) of job hunters have chosen not to apply to a job because the application process took too long to complete. Additionally, more than three in five applicants surveyed (61 percent) applied for their most recent jobs via laptop or desktop computer, while another 12 percent percent applied via mobile device or tablet. With most applicants today applying for jobs online, make the application process as easy and seamless as possible. If a candidate looks like a fit for your company, you can always ask for more information throughout the interview process.

Your hiring process can ultimately make or break your team and the overall success of your company. No matter the industry, by understanding potential candidates’ job search behaviors and preferences, you’ll increase your company’s chances of long-term success.

Learn how to setup your recruiting and hiring process for success with our eBook: The 9 Elements of A Well-Oiled Hiring Process.

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