analysis

The micro details matter in any job change

Prospective employers shouldn’t think that fancy titles will entice candidates

By Ali Matar, Special to Gulf News
05:56 November 14, 2017

Being a great hiring manager is one thing — doing so for a company where the talent isn’t just found, but also retained for the long term, is another. While the former requires great instincts, to incorporate the latter requires insights — data-driven insights that allow you to go into a candidate’s mindset and understand what they’re seeking in a long-term partnership that is fruitful for both parties.

According to LinkedIn’s latest report, “Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate: 13 Insights That Will Make You A Better Hiring Manager”, socially-focused social networks inspire a fair amount of FOMO (that’s “Fear Of Missing Out”) among peers — 61 per cent of potential candidates feel flattered when recruiters reach out and they are indeed potential candidates, since the figures show that 94 per cent are open to new job opportunities.

The insight? That they don’t want to miss out on a dream opportunity, and that the outreach comes across as a compliment that makes them feel praised and favoured by those giving it.

As for who is giving it, this matters too: 58 per cent of people are more likely to respond if it’s coming directly from the hiring manger, with the report suggesting that this is thanks to the increased authority and decision-making ability of someone in that role. There is so much truth in this that the report even gives valuable advice for those seeking jobs, not just those seeking to fill them.

It suggests that job-hunters “power their outreach” by building stronger relationships directly with hiring managers, contacting and tapping into people with more senior titles — be that senior recruiters or in-house hiring managers — and boosting their own authority by building a personal brand and establishing themselves as an expert, so that more people will take notice and reach out.

What’s in that message is just as important as who is sending it — as well as what’s not in that message. While the study shows that 88 per cent of people want job details, 75 per cent need to know the salary range, and 72 per cent would like to have the job title presented upfront.

Other important categories include the company overview, company culture, company mission, and why they fit — in that order. Giving them everything they want allows them to make a decision without opening a line of communication. However, LinkedIn’s experts suggest that to begin that conversation — which is where the make-it-or-break-it moment can happen for both the recruiter and the candidate — recruiters should leave just one piece of information missing, while giving them enough of the rest to intrigue them and leave them wanting more.

Personalisation and connecting with people on a more human level were also recommended for candidate messaging. Both when it comes to reaching out to candidates as well as the information put out there for potential talent to approach, from a company’s website to their social media — and the increasingly important role that that can play in driving more applications through search.

After all, the study found that 63 per cent of people follow companies on social media to stay aware of jobs — 38 per cent alone said that LinkedIn played a significant role in their job switch — while 40 per cent use a company’s website to garner information before considering or applying for a job.

Once you’ve hit the interview process, the process should be kept straightforward but effective: Candidates typically expect for a new job prospect to take two to three months from the time of application to hire, through up to three interviews.

This is a benchmark, however, and LinkedIn’s experts suggest that moving more quickly than the average — and not overburdening candidates with unnecessary interviews just for the sake of process — can help recruiters snap up the top talent with an edge over competitors. To minimise wasted time, they suggest focusing those interviews on giving candidates information about the role and responsibilities first and foremost, followed by the company mission and vision, salary and benefits, how they’d fit in with the team, and their potential for advancement after that role.

With 44 per cent of candidates saying that just one bad interview can make them lose interest in a job, getting the interview process right is incredibly important.

But even after finding the right talent, how do you ensure the candidate stays? According to the study, higher compensation elsewhere (41 per cent) is still the main reason people leave jobs, with a better fit for their skills and interest coming a close second (38 per cent), followed by more growth opportunities (35 per cent).

A better job title alone ranked much lower with significantly less incentive to lure a candidate into a role, at just 27 per cent. Yet experts still say recruiters shouldn’t over-rely on salary to hook the right candidate, suggesting that finding equilibrium between a suitable paycheck, opportunities for promotion and growth, and a great work-life balance is the key to keeping that talent.

If you find that — and with it, give people the chance to feel as though they are appreciated and feel a sense of purpose — then both the candidate and the company will be able to grow harmoniously together. It’s a win-win.

The writer is Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Emerging Markets, Middle East & North Africa.