How Employers Can Stand Out in the Current Job Market

Kate Conroy
March 21, 2022

The pandemic has changed the landscape of the workforce permanently and opened our eyes to the potential and productivity of remote work. Employees and job seekers put a greater emphasis on remote work flexibility, competitive pay, and workplace culture. Workers are leaving their employers to seek out opportunities that match their needs more closely. Job hunters are being more selective with the professional opportunities they take next. 

The result? The “Great Resignation” and a job market where employers are competing for candidates, rather than job seekers competing for jobs.

The Climate of the Current Job Market

The current labor market feels completely flipped upside down and can catch an unprepared hiring manager off guard. Many workers have seized the “Great Resignation” as an opportunity to look for something new and better. This has led to more open positions and fierce competition to find and hire top talent to fill the gaps that have been left behind. 

Employers are finding their job postings attract fewer applications than in previous years. Hiring managers are having a low response rate when they offer interviews to candidates who applied. Candidate salary requirements are bold and higher than ever. Perhaps most shocking, candidates ghost, suddenly stopping all communication, after scheduling an interview, and even after receiving a job offer.

Tips For Employers on How to Stand Out in the Job Market

Navigating this new talent market is essential for employers to thrive in their recruitment efforts to build their workforce. Standing out as an employer may be challenging, but it is far from impossible. In fact, it is possible to take an approach that not only will allow you to find top talent but will better prepare you to find the best fit for your organization.

Standing out in a competitive job market requires employers to take the candidate’s point of view and tailor the experience to meet their needs. Of course, this doesn’t mean sacrificing your opportunity to learn what you need to be confident in making a job offer. The ideal recruitment process is built with both perspectives in mind.

Building your recruitment structure to meet this challenge won’t just help you get over the current hurdle, but will build the foundation for long-term success. It’s not easy, especially when your staffing needs are pressing and the number of vacancies can be overwhelming. This can be challenging and the HR consultants at Red Clover can help.

Craft the Right Job Posting

Your job posting is your opportunity as an employer to create a first impression on potential candidates. Ever toss a candidate’s resume in the recycling bin after noticing typos and errors? Your posting makes a similar statement. Beyond being free of errors, your job posting should be clear and concise. Consider the following when crafting your job posting:

  • Job Title: The job title needs to be accurate and clear. It is most likely going to be the search term your target candidate types into LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed or Google.
  • Responsibilities: These bullet points should be clear and focus on the main responsibilities of the role, not necessarily an exhaustive list of everything the person will be doing in the course of their work.
  • Qualifications: What are the essentials that someone needs to be successful in this role? Critically review your qualifications and limit them to what is truly necessary. Although it’s tempting to require someone who has essentially performed the same job elsewhere, think about this from the candidate’s perspective. Why are they leaving their current position? Often it is because they are ready to grow and they want to increase their earnings. If you look for someone who has done the job before, expect to pay more and have them looking for their next move sooner, rather than later.
  • Location: Be clear about if the position is remote, onsite, or hybrid. What are your expectations? You’d expect the candidate to tell you if they couldn’t report in person. Let them know what your workplace plans are. Offering remote or hybrid opportunities can put you ahead with candidates who are looking for more flexibility.
  • Salary: Bring salary into the conversation as soon as possible. If your hiring salary range is not posted in the job description, then discuss it in the first interview. Avoiding the salary talk wastes time for you and candidates who are not able to accept your range. Stuck on how to figure out what your hiring salary range is? Look to benchmarking what is out on the market as well as where you are internally with similar roles. Having a salary structure in place to guide your decisions removes guess work and bias.

Communicate The Company’s Brand Identity Effectively

Beyond having a clear understanding of the job and knowing they could be a fit, candidates want to know what it is like to work for their potential employers. Being able to communicate your workplace brand is essential.

  • Company Culture: What is at the core of your organization’s values? Many organizations already have core values in place. If this is the case, showcase them on your job posting, include them on your LinkedIn profile and other social media. If this isn’t the case, a Red Clover HR consultant can help you explore what is at the core of your organization’s values and the culture you want to continue to build.
  • Research: Make this easy for the candidate. Is your organization a household name? No? Then your candidates are probably more interested in the specific role than in working for your specific organization. Make it easy for them to find your website and social media. Link it on the job posting and on your organization’s LinkedIn profile. If there is information you’d expect them to know in the interview- make sure they can easily find it!
  • Tone: Is your workplace fun and casual? Serious and down to business? Consistently communicate your company’s tone, attitude and approach to work throughout the entire process – from job posting to candidate interviews. This will set their expectation for what it is like to work with you.

Focus on Candidate Experience Throughout the Whole Recruiting Process

The candidate experience doesn’t end after they apply. The entire recruitment process is a two-way street: As you try to decide if the candidate is the right choice for you, they are making the same judgments about your company as their potential employer. Think of each candidate as your new team member. Whether or not they eventually become a member of your team, the way you communicate with and treat candidates during their interview process will set their expectations for what it is like to work with you.  How you treat the candidate in the interview process is a good indicator of how you’ll treat them as an employee.

Keep the process simple and intentional. The number of interviews should be kept to a minimum and should be planned in advance. Does your controller need to meet the graphic designer candidate? Probably not. When planning the process, ask yourself what you hope to gain from each interview. This should be your foundation for who will be involved in the interview and what questions you’ll be asking. 

Think about where your interview will take place with regard to how the candidate of choice will be working. If someone will be beginning remote or hybrid, let them interview via a video call. If someone will be working in person, limit yourself to one in-person interview for the finalist, the rest can take place on the phone or via video call. 

Start your initial interview by giving them some background information. Odds are your candidate is interviewing for multiple similar jobs, so help them get into the right mindset for your conversation. Build rapport. Treat the interview as a conversation, not an interrogation. 

Next, be intentional about the interview questions you ask. As I mentioned above, these should be planned before you speak to your first candidate and should be focused on what you hope to learn from the candidate. Do you ask questions that are intended to trap or trick candidates? I recommend cutting those out immediately, as they will leave a negative impression even if a candidate navigates them correctly. Instead, at Red Clover, we are big fans of asking behavioral interview questions, as past performance is the biggest predictor of future behavior.

Finally, when you know for sure someone isn’t a fit, let them know. Plan out how you will communicate updates, so regardless of whether you extend an offer or not, you treat your candidates with respect and are demonstrating you value their time. Let your candidates know when they can expect to hear back from you and account for delays when you provide that timeline. Once you know a candidate is not being considered, thank them for their time and let me know you are moving forward with candidates whose experience is more aligned with the demands of the role. Did unexpected things come up that delayed your process? Let them know that too! This will keep candidates engaged if your process moves slowly and will help build your reputation as an employer.

Are you Having Trouble With Recruiting in the Current Job Market?

Gone are the days of candidates jumping through hoops just to have their resume reviewed. And, that’s a good thing. However the challenge is real and if you have been feeling like you’re jumping through hoops just to get someone to apply to your post, Red Clover’s HR consultants can help! 

Whether it is building a recruitment process from the ground up to meet the demands of the current market or full interim HR management, Red Clover has your back! Contact Us to start the conversation.

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