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Candidates are demanding more from the recruitment process. They want a cohesive experience, from initial application to day 100 in role. And with the global economy rebounding after the Covid-19 crisis, hiring is on the rise. Yet businesses continue to be plagued by skills shortages and highly skilled employees maintain negotiating power. Talented candidates know their worth and they have high expectations when it comes to the recruitment process and beyond.

In our final “Future of Work” blog series, we will consider how the recruitment landscape has changed, what candidates want to see from businesses, and how organisations can attract the best talent.

Culture is king

Many candidates are looking for more than just a job; they are looking for a position where they can make a genuine impact and have pride and purpose in their role and company. PwC found that culture is so meaningful that 33% of C-suite-level candidates said they’d take a pay cut to work for a mission-driven company that aligns with their ideals.

Candidates want to understand business culture before signing on the dotted line, and organisations need to think carefully about how they communicate this. From virtual tours and job shadowing, to hosting a social event before joining, it’s worthwhile giving candidates the opportunity to experience the business and culture first-hand.

Skills shortages

Professionals within technology and IT industries remain in high demand. And with the pandemic forcing many businesses to operate virtually at haste, organisations are finding themselves on the backfoot with such operations – particularly around cyber security. Vacancies within IT and technology, especially at senior level, were already challenging for recruiters to fill. And with businesses demanding more from traditional role profiles – requiring a blended skillset of technological prowess and strategic business capabilities – the perfect candidate is even harder to find.

But many businesses are taking the issue of skills shortages into their own hands, by creating learning opportunities internally to upskill employees. And with more than a third (37%) of candidates saying they’d be willing to take a pay cut for a chance to learn new skills – and a higher percentage overall for those in technology – it’s worthwhile investing in quality training. It enables businesses to take control, plugging skills shortages, by upskilling existing employees and attracting new candidates in the process.

Diverse workplaces

Candidates are demanding more from workplaces, especially from businesses that merely pay lip service to the diversity agenda.  They want to see greater change, with companies making more purposeful strides towards equality. Research finds that chief diversity and inclusion (D&I) officers are in high demand, and it roughly falls into two categories: those businesses yet to action the diversity agenda, and those looking to shake-up existing strategies.

It’s a make-or-break decision for many candidates whether to take a role, depending on how seriously an organisation takes its diversity agenda. So, businesses need to ensure they have a robust D&I strategy, can readily showcase data and projections about the make-up of its workforce, and share plans for the future.

With UK hiring hitting its fastest rate in 23 years, particularly in the IT industry, the war for talent is well and truly back on. Businesses that are looking to hire exceptional professionals, to help drive through the pandemic recovery and beyond, need to ensure that they are ticking as many boxes for candidates as possible to attract the best talent.

By promoting culture, highlighting learning opportunities and being transparent with D&I strategies – candidates can get a genuine feel for what the organisation is really like. Hiring quality candidates can transform a business, future-proofing an organisation, so it’s crucial businesses get the recruitment process right to attract the best people.