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How do you attract motivated candidates in a scarce market?

Anders Jorgensen | 12.05.2022

Finding talent is not difficult. Attracting talent is a completely different story. Per Jobindex, “The uprise on the job market continues”. The power dynamic has shifted in favor of candidates making it much harder to “move” the candidates than before. How can companies stand out? What does it take to attract candidates? And how can you work more strategic with your candidate pipeline?

We believe there is a causal correlation between candidate experience and candidate commitment. Both concepts are crucial strategic tools in connection with headhunting and sustainable executive search and are at the basis of our everyday work. We approach our craft methodically and systematically.

Constructing jobs based on culture and business contribution

If you want to attract the right candidates, you must challenge the existing approach and turn it on its head. Should we construct jobs to suit the available candidates, rather than finding the candidates that suit the job description? Positions must be attractive in the current market. We believe that candidates’ preferences and expectations increasingly define this market. If you are not ready for this tendency you will fail in the battle to get the right candidates that can take the business forward.

Therefore, knowledge of candidates and the candidate experience is vital. Kestria Denmark: People Executive knows candidates – and therefore the market. It is important to understand what candidates are motivated by when it comes to changing jobs. In the interest of maintaining good collaboration with candidates, Kestria Denmark: People Executive attempts to create the best possible candidate experience through a professional and competent candidate journey during the executive search process. With the above in mind we won’t compromise on the candidate experience because we make a living on making opportunities. And the right candidate can identify with the company’s vision! This creates the best and most profitable results, and ultimately the best collaboration – which contribute to the company’s brand as an employer.

It is our job as an external executive search partner to uncover our clients’ employer brands. Talent- or competency needs are a business challenge, and it is the business strategy that defines the competency need. What is a company’s core contribution? What is the mission and vision? And finally, how does the strategy support the existing culture and the company’s internal and external image? It is on this foundation that attractive jobs must be designed. Jobs that better support the core story and the business contribution – instead of the classic competencies and stereotypical job ad.

The candidate journey at the core 

Attracting the right candidates depends on our own employer brand in the market. What do we stand for? How do we work? What feedback are we getting from candidates? How is our ongoing collaboration with active and passive candidates?

A good candidate experience is an important strategic means to attract relevant candidates in a scarce market. The good candidate experience has a butterfly effect on the market and can attract attention from more candidates if done well through a good reputation. Therefore, we believe we should implement and formulate the concept of the “candidate journey” on equal terms with that of the costumer journey. The good costumer journey breeds costumer leads, and the good candidate journey attracts talent through a self-sufficient pipeline of candidates that generates through word of mouth. We believe that a good candidate journey is a prerequisite to attaining an operant costumer journey as businesses can only succeed by virtue of their human resources.

It is vital that we as executive search professionals and front personnel individualize our approach to candidates. We are the first people they meet. Therefore, we must attract and treat the candidates with respect and an understanding of what is important to them if they are to become curious about a particular job and company. We represent the customer’s employer brand, and our recruiting craft and methods shall always be based on a good candidate experience. The candidate experience encourages candidate commitment, and it is commitment and motivation that drive the candidate to the goal – not persuasion or oversold messages. It is the candidate that must recognize if the job speaks to their motivation and interests. Therefore, our craft as executive search professionals, is to explore the match potential between the company and the candidate and ideally to try to create candidate commitment to a company before they have even seen the job spec.

While the candidate experience is related to the candidate’s opinion of the whole executive search - and hiring process; the candidate commitment is a process that is ongoing.

Candidate commitment is the most important goal in our executive search strategy. We will be attractive and relevant for the candidates regardless of whether or not they are currently in the executive search process. A survey by Talentlyft in 2018 showed that response is twice as likely, when you reach out to candidates with whom you have previously interacted. Candidates must know that if they engage in a executive search process, they are guaranteed a safe, professional, and proper journey.

We want to emphasize that whether you are a company or an external headhunter, you must rethink your methods and challenge your own practice and learned assumptions to succeed in attracting and hiring the right candidate for the right position – both now and in future. Executive search is a craft that must be continuously honed.

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