15 things candidates look for in their choice of companies

Candidates want to know all about your company during an interview and anticipating the needs of your workforce at the right time ensures you attract the best talent.

According to a survey by management consulting firm Robert Half, 35% of professionals in the U.S. and 40% of professionals in Canada said they wouldn’t accept a job if the organizational culture is not a right match for them. In the current talent acquisition landscape, age-old perspectives of employees being individual knowledge and service providers are changing and giving way to looking at integrating talent that supports the organization’s macro, long-term goals. Equally important to determine today is how well a candidate fits the culture.

The changing dynamics of the global workforce

The present workforce of young professionals is becoming increasingly more aware and mindful of the organizations they want to work for. Company culture and opportunities for career growth and leadership are key parameters, marking a huge shift from looking at careers beyond the fulfillment of physiological and safety needs alone to self-actualization, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Therefore, when choosing an employer, the current generation of candidates looks at many essential things that ultimately influence the organization they go to work for.

What candidates want from employers?

1. Company culture

It is not hard to guess that candidates look for employers that offer a positive, supportive, and enriching culture. For the millennial and Gen Z workforce, your organization’s social media presence is a key barometer to assess employee engagement and extra-curricular opportunities for employees to interact. But company culture is also about the organization perceives its employees, how proactive they are in improving the employee experience. This can be gauged from how the feedback or communication loop works and how much access employees have to the leadership to convey their concerns and challenges and have them addressed.

2. Company background

Just as a company may perform a background check before deciding to hire an employee, today even employees spend enough time researching the organizations they apply to, before signing on the dotted line. Some aspects like the organization’s clientele, recognition through awards or media coverage, experiences of ex-employees, and more considerations factor into a candidate agreeing to accept a role. In short, candidates look at your brand, which means companies today need to increase their focus on managing online reputation and brand perceptions.

3. Job requirements

When an employee applies for a job with an organization, the first interaction between the two is the job description created. It is entirely based on the job responsibilities and expectations laid out in the description that helps candidates decide whether submit the job application or not. Not all candidates will wait for the interview to understand the job and its demands. Some of them might be considering multiple organizations and may need to close an offer within a specific time. Hence, it is extremely important to create detailed job descriptions that attract the right people for the role and so that promising candidates do not slip through the cracks due to inadequate information or unclear expectations.

4. Hiring process

Much like the job description, the actual process of hiring is often the stage where employers lose out on promising candidates. Broken communication chains and long-drawn-out processes before or after the interview take place can put off candidates from continuing the process. Moreover, you run the risk of attracting negative reviews from candidates on third-party platforms such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, or even Google, which as a result, will deter candidates from applying. So make sure the hiring process is transparent for the candidate from the very beginning, and that outcome of the process, whether successful or otherwise, is communicated properly.

5. Honesty

Once you have locked a candidate(s) for a role, the next important discussion between the company and the candidate should be the offered salary and other benefits. Now, given the increased awareness levels amongst the current workforce, no candidate is willing to settle for less than what they deserve based on their experience and skills. Thus, it is better to set clear expectations with the candidate regarding compensation and benefits to allow them ample time to make the final decision.

6. Scope of growth

Gone are the days when salary packages were the only incentive required by employees. Today, potential workforce candidates are actively looking for jobs and companies that highlight a visible scope of growth for the employee, in terms of both personal and professional levels. The need of the hour is continuous improvement and so no one wants to settle for a job that does not push them to grow.

7. Communication systems

Most times, the communication flow for any company is dependent on the levels of hierarchy and how centralized or decentralized the decision-making is. But today, professionals prefer open communication across different departments and levels of employees. Smooth communication makes the employees feel wanted, increasing the level of satisfaction and improving their overall efficiency.

8. Transparency

Every organization has pre-determined goals and targets and thus expects the employees to contribute and work towards the company’s long-term, macro goals. However, in order to align the team well with the company’s strategies and goals, a level of transparency is necessary, which is another important factor for potential candidates before choosing an employer. Candidates expect to be informed of their role in the organization beyond their day-to-day responsibilities with clarity on the collective goal they working towards.

9. Recognition

Without appreciation and recognition, employees cannot attain satisfaction from their job and stay motivated enough to add value. Potential candidates would want to know about a company’s culture of reward and recognition – monetary or non-monetary – in lieu of their performance or extraordinary contributions.

10. On and off-the-job training opportunities

Employees today seek continuous opportunities to learn in order to perform their jobs in the best possible way. Thus, it is very important for candidates to know they will have access to knowledge and skill-building opportunities through on-the-job and off-the-job training programs.

11. Scope of internal growth

The job markets are getting increasingly competitive and switching jobs from one company to another can be difficult for people, even though they may wish to enhance their profiles and challenge their comfort zone. So, the candidates looking for jobs today would prefer to join a company that offers them opportunities for internal upward movement and professionals with certain skills or credentials, a path to leadership positions.

12. Diversity

Personal growth and increased awareness about other cultures are very important for the present generation of professionals. But moreover, various studies are now proving that a diverse workforce allows for the sharing of different ideas and perspectives, which can ultimately help organizations significantly in improving their brand and building an inclusive culture. General intelligence Thus, most employees today are looking for companies that have a diverse workforce to incorporate increased respect for different cultures while increasing learning opportunities for all.

13. Work-Life balance

Today’s generation of professionals expects more from a job than just monetary compensation. They want an employer that enables work-life balance for them to manage their personal life and work commitments without one encroaching over another. Companies can do this by providing employees with the flexibility to choose their working hours on certain days, paid holidays, remote work opportunities, other benefits, etc.

14. Support for health and well-being

Monetary benefits over and above salary such as health insurance coverage for employees and their spouses or dependents, for instance, is a great way to show proactive support for employees’ health and providing them safety against unexpected and expensive medical expenditures. Financial concerns due to medical emergencies affect employees’ mental health and add tremendous stress. Companies that offer employees such additional benefits are valued more by their workforce and can build great loyalty among employees by showing they care.

15. Stability of processes

Positive and cordial relationships and interactions amongst team members are critical for employee productivity and larger business outcomes. For this, it is essential that candidates have clarity on the organizational hierarchy. The main reason behind this is that candidates will be more assured of their role when there is a stable and pre-determined flow of processes and feedback loops.

It is not easy to ask to keep up with the changing needs and concerns of the modern workforce. Especially now, when the pool of potential employees is growing at a fast pace, it can be beneficial to seek external support from domain experts with the knowledge and experience to handle the complex talent needs of new-age companies. VBeyond Corporation is a diversity-focused global recruiting firm serving customers across industry segments and domains. We help you find the right fit with our methodical approach and vast multi-sector candidate pool to effectively meet your talent and business needs.

Get in touch to consult us on strategy and execution for your recruitment and staffing needs.

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