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4 Things Top Talent Looks For In A Company When Interviewing

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By kate

September 1, 2021

There’s more to a job than the responsibilities, working hours, and compensation. In today’s millennial-led workplace, job seekers want to work for a company in which their values are aligned. While salary is indeed important in order to make a living, many job seekers would take a pay cut if the company meets other important criteria and provides them opportunities to grow. As such, job seekers are diligent in researching a company before applying and asking more targeted questions during the interview to determine if it’s the right fit.

In one of the most intense candidate-driven markets to date, employers are experiencing an increase in ghosting, counteroffers, and withdrawals of signed offers. Although a company may have a competitive salary budget, if they don’t move fast enough from point of contact to an offer, they risk losing top candidates. Consequently, this means that even the most reputable companies, such as Google, face rejection from top talent due to lengthy interview processes.

Here are four things top talent looks for when interviewing.

Dealing With A Slow Moving Interview Process

In today’s war for talent, companies are moving faster than ever to turn candidates into employees. In some instances, the interview process has been drastically reduced to as little as one week. Employers have quickly realized that the speed of hire is critical when competing against other companies.

A slow and long-drawn-out interview process could be a red flag for a candidate. CareerBuilder conducted a survey and found that 68% of candidates believe that their interview experience reflects how the company treats its people. Thus, it makes candidates question the layers involved in the decision-making process and if they’ll be able to make a difference and see the results of their efforts. Furthermore, it demonstrates disorganization and a lack of investment in the People and Culture department.

It’s not uncommon for a company to use assessments, require projects or have candidates give presentations during the recruitment process. However, many candidates feel exploited by having to do unpaid work as part of their interview. Cindy Corpis, CEO of SearchPeopleFree, asserted, “after putting in their time, skills, and effort, they don’t get anything in return if they don’t get the job” and it makes them feel as if their time was wasted. Whereas, the company can still use their work despite not moving forward with them. Nevertheless, a candidate might do exceptionally well on a project or giving a presentation, but that doesn’t mean once hired they’ll provide that same quality of work. For this reason, Peter Laughter, career coach at True Bearing, recommended for employers to instead use “a well designed behavioral-based interview to assess the likelihood of a candidate’s future success at the company.”

Having Modernized Perks And Benefits

Benefits and perks are more than health insurance and Friday Happy Hours. Since the pandemic, candidates’ priorities have drastically changed. Pre-pandemic, candidates sacrificed their personal lives to put in more time at their job. Now, most candidates want a job that values work-life balance, mental health, and culture rather than working long hours in exchange for high compensation and a fancy job title.

Some perks that candidates look for are

  • More flexibility
  • Work-life balance
  • Remote work opportunities
  • Student loan repayments
  • Family benefits (parental leave, childcare, pet care, etc…)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Mental health resources

Debra Boggs, MSM, job search consultant and resume writer at D&S Professional Coaching, shared, “remote flexibility is a must for many employers to compete for top candidates.” Employees want a job where they’re trusted to get their work done rather than abiding by strict working hours. The value of a job is more important than the number of hours worked or whether the employee is in the office or not.

Being Set Up For Success On Day One

A hiring manager can be the make or break during the interview process. If a candidate feels like their prospective manager would serve as a mentor, set them up for success, and demonstrates good management qualities, they’ll be more inclined to move forward with the company. Contrarily, a terrible manager can be the main reason why a candidate avoids a company altogether. In addition, job seekers want to work for a company where leadership is transparent, forward-thinking, empathetic, and open to feedback to continue improving the workplace. Despite what many employers believe, a LinkedIn survey revealed, job seekers are more interested in finding new jobs not because they want a higher salary, but because they’re ambitious and want to continue growing their skillset.

Here are some things candidates look for in a prospective employer

  • Mentorship from their manager and peers
  • An established career path
  • Tuition reimbursement and/or student loan repayment
  • Stipend for personal development
  • Ability to climb the corporate ladder or make a horizontal career move
  • Being challenged to take on new and exciting projects
  • Own projects and make autonomous decisions
  • Collaborating with other departments
  • Encouraged to attend hackathons, seminars, workshops, conferences, trainings, etc…
  • A well thought out onboarding plan that maps out their first 90 days
  • A people-first culture that’s diverse and inclusive
  • Leadership that listens its people and not just those on the leadership team

Job seekers want to know what they’re getting into should they accept an offer. Companies can give job seekers a peek into the workplace culture by utilizing their social media platform to showcase internal happenings such as cultural initiatives, employee and client recognition, events, actions taken to advocate and support social stances, and fun holidays such as National Dog Day, National Trivia Day and more. Furthermore, companies can take advantage of their Careers or About Us page to share short bios about their workers. These bios allow job seekers to better understand the people they’d be working with as well as the personalities in the workplace.

Doing Work That’s Rewarding And Makes A Difference

In today’s workplace, it’s nearly impossible to keep social views separate from company policies and employer brands. Job seekers want to work for companies that are proud to communicate their stance on important issues and the actions they’re taking to support social, environmental and community causes. Boggs stated, workers want to work for a company that not only makes a profit but creates a product or service that adds value to the society. Shiv Gupta, marketing director at Incrementors Web Solutions, added, “the company’s culture is a big discriminator in attracting and keeping top talent. Employees want to relish both the people they work with and the work that they do.”

A few things candidates look for are

  • The type of clients they’ll be working with. Are they mission-driven companies or brands that align with their personal values?
  • What type of projects will be they be working on?
  • Will their opinions and ideas be taken into account and valued when working on projects?
  • Do employees have a say in the types of organizations the company gives back to in terms of volunteering or donating?

Source:  Heidi Kurter via Forbes

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