Great Expectations of Candidates in 2023

Examiner reading a resume during job interview at office.

With the recruiting and hiring landscape seeing monumental shifts, it can seem almost impossible for your HR department to keep up.

From relatively steady employment numbers, to a total shut-down of our economy, to the Great Resignation and back again, the world of job-seeking looks a lot different today.

Fortunately, what we lack in fortune-telling abilities we more than make up for in data. As we enter the New Year, a few clear trends have emerged that can inform what to expect from job seekers going forward and best practices to keep up with in the everchanging world of recruiting.

Motivations are shifting

While compensation and flexibility remain at the top of the priority list for job seekers, opportunities for professional development, and flexibility on where and when work is completed continue to play a huge part and even rival salary demands.  

At TZR we’re seeing more than ever that talent is looking for purpose and an opportunity to take pride in their work. This also speaks to why our character over credentials method has proven so successful.

When preparing to fill new positions, employers need to have a clear picture of what they are willing to offer and where they can make concessions for the right candidate.

And you can’t just talk the talk – you must be prepared to prove that you share in these priorities and have a plan on how to implement them going forward. In an ultra-competitive job market, it’s not enough for a company to simply offer them. Recruiters must be able to quantify and communicate them as part of their value proposition. Adopt a sales mindset around these rewards. Understand their value to candidates and showcase them as part of your offer package.”

Candidates are invested in the process

In years past, the hiring process was often a mystery to applicants – lack of concrete timelines, or filled with last minute requests and unclear expectations for follow-up could leave many job seekers feeling in the dark. With advancements in technology and a shift in the power dynamic – especially for those candidates with sought-after skills and training – that can no longer be the case.

“Connecting with job seekers and understanding their motivations will be more important than ever this year. Take care to invest in the needs of candidates and deliver positive experiences for them. Work to shorten feedback loops, improve communication and collaboration, and engage with applicants more deeply within the hiring process.”

Candidates today expect an efficient and transparent process that includes them every step of the way, up to and even after they have been notified that they didn’t get the job.

It’s important to note that a poorly-communicated and inefficient hiring process can have a negative effect on your business – both by causing qualified candidates to bow out and causing damage to your reputation in the industry:

Nearly half (49%) of job seekers working in in-demand fields like technology say they’ve turned down an offer because of a bad experience during the hiring process.”

Technology has value, but it isn’t the be all – end all

It would be an enormous understatement to say that technology has changed the way recruiters and HR professionals manage the hiring process today. However, you may be surprised to hear that even with these advances, candidates only want the digital world to be a part of the process – and only in certain aspects.

So, while software/AI absolutely have a place in the process, be sure to pay close attention to where it’s appreciated and where it may, instead, serve as a hindrance to reaching the candidates you want. When choosing tech, do it with the candidates’ experience in mind. Recruiting technology is usually designed and chosen for the enterprise, not the candidate. So, choose tech that streamlines routine tasks or makes the hiring process easier for job applicants: 44% of candidates said they’re open to using automation and technology options for routine touchpoints and to get information during the recruiting process. And 65% of candidates said they would like organizations to have an application dashboard so they can see where they are in the process.”

That said, strategic use of AI can certainly aid in the hiring experience and help show candidates where your organization stands out among competitors. For example, one new way to use this technology effectively is to welcome candidates into your environment for a ‘test run’. But, when it comes to interacting with job seekers, personal communication is still the way to go. At TZR, we help our clients prepare for the dynamic recruiting landscape by staying on top of industry trends and guiding the process in a way that keeps top candidates engaged from start to finish. If we’ve learned anything from the past few years, it’s the importance of developing a strategic plan for filling key positions while remaining nimble in the face of an advancing world.

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