Why your company needs to adapt to the candidate-driven market

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Welcome to a brave new world

Whether you notice it in your results, in the replies to your listings, or in the demand from companies, there’s no denying that the recruitment landscape is changing around us. It’s becoming harder for job boards and recruiters to attract the talent they need for their clients, who themselves are struggling to get the application they want as well. Why is that? 

Well, there’s no easy answer, but we’ll say this: we’re moving from a job-centric to a talent-centric market, and it’s affecting all sides of the recruitment game. Let’s have a look at exactly what’s happening and how you can use this evolution to your advantage. 

The death of the job-centric market

What’s changed? What’s making recruiting so hard all of a sudden? Well, it’s the end of the world as we know it: the job-centric market that we’ve known for so long has ceased to exist and has been replaced by a talent-centric market. That’s right: the candidates are in charge now. 

Let’s have a look at how this happened: a good thought to start from is that applicants are your customers. And these customers expect certain things from your services that closely follow what they’re used to from other markets. Consumers have it very easy these days: a few clicks, a quick scan of a bank code, and your goods are delivered to your door. A completely frictionless experience, that they’ve come to expect in other areas as well. 

Relationship between consumerism and recruitment:

First, let’s have a look at today’s retail shopping experience: 

  • Customers are less likely to visit physical shops, they’re used to finding everything they need online and having products come to them. 
  • They know what they want and which brands they like. Ads that are not tailored to their needs and wishes are ignored.
  • Social media reviews and recommendations heavily influence customers’ behavior. 
  • A company’s brand makes all the difference: people identify with brands and will pick the ones they like over others even at a higher cost to them. 
  • If there are too many steps in the process like having to perform too many clicks, then the consumer will simply find a simpler alternative. 

We can roughly spot these same characteristics in their job search behavior:

  • They’re not reading print ads or websites such as Indeed or Monster like they used to. Interactions with recruiters mostly take place through social networks or mobile apps.
  • Top candidates will determine which employer and job they want, and then shoot for that position directly. They’re no longer browsing job boards to see what happens to be available. 
  • Review websites such as Glassdoor influence their decisions. Negative reviews are publicly available, and if all of them echo the same thing then that carries a lot of weight. 
  • They don’t just want a job, but are looking for a connection with a company’s culture. 
  • If there are too many steps to go through with too many clicks, then your candidate might not finish the process. 

As you can see, these evolutions haven’t come out of nowhere. Our society has changed and so has the way we expect things to work. Candidates expect the same processes and possibilities from you as they do from other industries. If you fail to deliver, then they’ll be quick to turn their backs on you. That’s why you need to adopt an approach that closely resembles sales.

It’s also important to make your process as frictionless as possible. Reduce the number of actions required from job seekers. Even something as simple as asking for a CV can discourage a prospective candidate. Ask yourself for every click: would this be enough to deter my target audience? Can I make it simpler somehow or reduce the number of steps? This way you’ll end up with a process that gets you applications. Once you have those it’s easier to select and trim the applicants anyway. 

So all of the above sounds logical and all, but you’re probably wondering: how do I turn this into action points for me? What can I change today to start getting these candidates that I want? Let’s have a look at the most important steps to take. 

Catering to the candidates you want

Let’s look back at what candidates value. They like to be able to contact you quickly, they know what they want, and they’ll do their homework when it comes to your company. There are numerous sources that will tell them about who you are and what you stand for, it’s your job to make sure all of these align. 

That takes us to the first step: employer branding. Without a clear voice and message, candidates won’t know what you stand for. Define your style, who you are, and what you bring to the world. Are you a remote or hybrid company, or do you want to create some form of office culture? Defining a mission statement, and with it, culture is an essential step in attracting candidates who share your views.

Don’t be afraid to make hard choices and choose a direction, it’s important not to be too middle-of-the-road. You’ll get exactly the type of candidate that likes what you stand for, and they’ll be genuinely excited to work for a company that thinks the same way they do. Speak about hopes and dreams instead of salary and positions. Gathering candidates based on this principle will automatically grow a group of like-minded people and organically grow a culture. Aspects like interpersonal communication, ways of working, and employee freedom will start to match what this group signals they need to do their best work. 

Once you’ve set this up, it’s time for step two, which is more of a continuous process. Treat your candidates as if they are your customers. Every CV you receive should be treated with the same respect, and every interaction with prospective employees should match up with the values you want to exude as a company. That may mean not looking at their CV at all: if you’re looking for that perfect culture fit then judging candidates by their CV feels off, doesn’t it? It will feel that way for candidates too, turning CV’s into a massive conversion killer. If you run into leads that may not be the right fit, ask them for referrals instead. A candidate who isn’t hired but has a positive experience may recommend your company to others.  

Lastly, make sure your job advertisement strategy is on point. Go out and find your candidates where they are: on social media. Targeted social media ad campaigns have become an invaluable weapon in the fight for the ideal candidate. Speak to them in the right spot with the right message and you’ll be able to persuade the passive candidate, the top individual who is not interested in anything less than the best. 

And not only that, job advertisements will bring traffic to your website. If you’re a job board that’s mostly relying on active candidates, then job ads are an essential weapon for the diversification of the type of applications you’re getting. You’ll be noticed by far more people than just the ones you usually get… and be able to offer your clients a more varied package of candidates as a result. 

How to set up an effective social media ad strategy

Setting up social media ads is a lot of work: you’ll have to go into ad managers on all major platforms and produce a number of ads that fit their requirements, then adjust your targeting for the candidate you want, and follow up afterward to see if your strategy worked. This requires a lot of iteration and is a full-time job. Time that would probably be better spent engaging with prospective candidates and building your network. 

Wonderkind has the solution: we’ll build custom targeted social media ad campaigns using your input. Just provide us with a text describing the job opening and who you want to attract. Our powerful technology automatically selects the right images, sets these up for all the different channels, and runs the campaign for you. You’ll be able to follow up on every step and see the results in an easy-to-use dashboard.

Ready to turbo-charge your talent sourcing? Check out how Wonderkind works or see it in action. 

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