A strong majority (88%) of U.S. and U.K. CEOs surveyed by Glassdoor say their most desired quality for top job candidates is an understanding of what their company is about. That sentiment is also reflected by CEOs of companies selected in the job site’s 2018 Best Places to Work list.
Respondents, a group composed of HR professionals, recruiters and those with hiring responsibilities, said informed candidates weren’t just interested in salary, but also in the organization’s culture.
Top candidates also come to the interview with ideas; are a good company fit; have passion, drive and talent; are motivated, compassionate self-starters; and can come onboard ready to work right away, the survey showed.
Useful as this tidbit may be, the true challenge is living up to your employer brand authentically. An Addison Group survey found that, after salary, job seekers want to work for employers that value workers. However, in another survey, only 19% of employees believe their employer’s brand matches their work experience.
Being true to your brand is a must for employers, or else you risk losing workers’ trust and, ultimately their engagement and retention. Incidentally, online reviews tend to be accurate, one study showed — all the more reason to improve the experience of current workers.
Candidates who show they’re informed about a company have always had an edge over less knowledgeable candidates in the recruiting process. Their familiarity with an organization shows they’ve taken time to do the research needed to understand what it does and whether or how they might fit in. But, first, make sure candidates know what your organization’s values, mission and purpose are, which requires marketing your brand in job postings, just as your organization does in ads for its products or services.
Also high on employers’ list are candidates who “fit the culture.” An Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report shows that turnover is drastically higher in organizations with weak cultures than those with strong cultures. But for some recruiters, “cultural fit” is less about an organization’s values, or brand, and more about weeding out people whom the majority of employees might find unacceptable for reasons other then their ability to do the job. Recruiters need to check whether their own biases are excluding otherwise eligible candidates.