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What Job Candidates Want (and What Employers Must Give Them)

by Stacy Pursell | The VET Recruiter | Feb 11, 2020

In this current hiring market, Animal Health employers must know what job seekers and candidates want. With unemployment rates at historic lows, employers have to give job seekers and candidates what they want . . . or they simply will not be able to hire them.

There are three main categories in terms of what job candidates want in the employment marketplace. Those categories are the employment opportunity, the employer, and the hiring process. Let’s examine all three of these separately.

What job candidates want in an employment opportunity

Below are four main things that job candidates want in an employment opportunity:

#1—A position that represents a step forward

Candidates generally will not even consider an employment opportunity unless it’s clearly better than the one they currently have. Now there are instances in which a lateral move makes sense. More often than not, though, the candidate must be convinced that the opportunity is better or they will not consider it.

#2—Challenging work

Top candidates also want challenging work. They thrive on a challenge. So if they make a move for a new opportunity, they want the same type of challenges that they have with their current position (if not more of them).

#3—A new title that reflects the fact they’re moving up in their career

Top candidates are all about career advancement. They want to be continuously moving up the career ladder, and they know one way to accomplish this is to pursue better job opportunities with other employers.

#4—More pay, more compensation, and better benefits

Employers need to understand that this is especially the case in today’s market. If you’re an employer and you want a top candidate to make a move and work for you, then you’ll need to motivate that candidate with an attractive offer package.

What job candidates want in an employer

In simplest terms, job candidates want what could be described as a mutually beneficial relationship between themselves and an employer. Basically, the candidate is getting what they want and the employer is getting what they want.

Money and compensation definitely play a role in determining if a candidate decides to work for an organization. Our recruiting firm conducts an annual employment survey, and as part of that survey, we ask professionals what they look for in an employer. While it’s true that compensation is one of the things they want, there is a host of other things, as well. They include the following:

  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Strong leadership and vision for the future
  • Fairness/to be treated with respect
  • Integrity/honesty/great reputation
  • Company culture/supportive environment
  • Excellent products/new technology
  • Stability within the industry
  • Educational opportunities
  • Flexibility

These are the things you should be “selling” during the hiring process to top candidates. I talk with Animal Health professionals on a daily basis, and I can tell you that these are the things they want in an employer.

What job candidates want during the hiring process

What candidates want here is also rather simple, although not all employers are able to provide it. In a nutshell, candidates want their time and their confidentiality respected during the hiring process. They also want an effective flow of communication so they know where they stand in the process and what the next steps will be.

However, there are certain things that job candidates want during the interview stage of the hiring process specifically. They include the following five things:

  1. Candidates don’t want to feel as though they’re being interrogated. Their attitude is “You need me more than I need you.”
  2. They don’t want to participate in marathon interviews that last all day.
  3. They don’t expect to interview three or four times.
  4. They expect challenging, intriguing questions.
  5. They expect the employer to “sell” the opportunity AND the organization, both of which I addressed earlier.

Hiring Animal Health candidates in today’s market, especially top candidates, is not easy. It requires a certain investment of time, energy, and effort in order to be successful. And the first step on the path to success is identifying what top candidates want in an opportunity, an employer, and a process . . . and then giving them what they want!

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