hiring the right people

Attracting Top Quality Candidates Is a Challenge (Even for Safety Leaders)

Jan. 9, 2018
Bad press or an OSHA fine doesn't just hurt the bottom line at a company; it hurts their ability to attract top talent.

A survey released by Glassdoor indicates that "informed" candidates are the most sought after, because they are viewed as more productive and engaged. Informed candidates are job seekers who have done their homework and have researched potential employers. In essence, they already have completed some of the heavy lifting for potential employers. They want to work for  you. But the reverse can be true; if they don't like what that hearing about your company, there might be no inducement you can offer that will make the job attractive.

Regardless of whether you are seeking a new position in EHS or seeking to fill vacant EHS positions in your organization, employers report that in today’s competitive job market, attracting quality candidates who are informed about the industry, job function and, importantly, the company, is their top challenge. The more research you can do about a potential employer, the better.

And if you're looking to fill a position with a new hire, you might want to rethink what makes for an effective recruiting strategy, because informed candidates research potential employers before accepting a position.  

“Recruiting strategies of the past are no longer enough to attract today’s candidates who are more informed than ever before thanks to transparency and more company information available online,” said Carmel Galvin, CHRO at Glassdoor. “Now that recruiting is more of a two-way street, the major challenge for employers is attracting quality job seekers. These informed candidates are well-researched, engaged, can reduce time to hire and result in more productive employees. Recruiters and hiring managers know that when a candidate recognizes who the company is, what the company is about and what it offers, that the recruiting process gets a whole lot easier.”

Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites, released data that reveals that tactics to recruit passive candidates are less effective, with three in four (76 percent) reporting a concern or challenge in attracting and hiring  passive candidates as they have grown wary of contact through networking sites such as LinkedIn and respond at a much lower rate. Networking, job postings on corporate web sites and other techniques appear to be more effective.

When asked what types of candidates employers value most, hiring decision makers prioritize informed candidates above all other types of candidates, whether active or passive. Glassdoor’s research also reveals that informed candidates have become synonymous with quality: 88 percent of hiring decision makers agree that an informed candidate is a quality candidate. Informed candidates are viewed as well-researched, engaged and relevant. One in two (48 percent) of hiring decision makers say that informed candidates are prepared for an interview and ask pertinent questions, while a similar amount (46 percent) say that candidates such as this are knowledgeable about the job role.

Informed Candidates Can Significantly Impact All Stages of Talent Lifecycle

The research shows that informed candidates save valuable time throughout the hiring process, reducing costs and improving the interview experience. The top benefits of interviewing informed candidates, according to hiring decision makers, are: improved candidate experience (38 percent); reduced time to hire (34 percent); and improved hiring manager satisfaction (34 percent).

Once hired, informed candidates are seen as having a positive impact on employee retention and engagement. The top benefits of hiring an informed candidate are: better employee retention (42 percent); plus, a more productive (42 percent) and more engaged (41 percent) employee.

Provide Candidates With the Right Information

Those surveyed in Glassdoor’s research recognize that candidates want a wide range of information in order to make a decision about where to go to work. According to hiring decision makers, the top influences on whether a candidate joins their organization is salary and compensation (48 percent of those surveyed), company culture (37 percent) and company reputation/employer brand (36 percent). If you're hiring for an EHS position, discuss the importance of occupational safety and health and environment to the corporation and to corporate leaders. Discuss investments in safety and health and your strategy to improve and how the role for which they are being interviewed will play a part in improving safety performance. Discuss corporate values – community leadership, employee engagement, environmental management, sustainability – because employees often look for companies with similar values.

The data shows that hiring decision makers are increasing their investment in employer branding to help ensure candidates have pertinent details about their company and culture to attract informed candidates. More than one in three (35 percent) will increase their investment in employer branding over the next 12 months. These same hiring decision makers are also turning to employees as a valuable channel for sharing information about open jobs and work experiences. Nearly two in five (39 percent) will increase their investment in employee engagement over the same time period.

When candidates know a brand, it is easier to recruit. Three quarters (75 percent) of hiring decision makers say it is easier to attract top talent when those candidates know about the brand. A separate study by Glassdoor amongst employees and job seekers backs this up: two thirds (65 percent) of Glassdoor users surveyed are more likely to respond to a recruiter from a company that they recognize than from a company they don’t recognize.

“Today’s candidate isn’t just looking for a job; they typically want their work to have purpose and their employer to share similar values. They are looking for the right company as much as they are staying away from the wrong ones. Hiring decision makers know what it takes to hire candidates and they’re using that knowledge to help fuel strategies that recruit these informed candidates. The key is enabling communication about your employment offerings through a broad set of channels,” added Galvin.

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