As the economy bounces back from the pandemic and new job opportunities emerge, the race for talent has never been fiercer. A 2021 survey by Gartner revealed that nearly half of today’s applicants are considering at least two job offers simultaneously. At Michael Page, we’re seeing a higher number across Australia – between 3-4 job offers on average and even higher for hot jobs in growing markets.

In today’s job market, simply making an offer to the best candidate doesn’t guarantee they’ll accept the role. Companies must go above and beyond to prove their value – both current and ongoing – if they want to compete for proven and high potential talent.

As a hiring manager, what steps can you take to win over the candidate at the top of your list? Here are five tips to set you apart.

Be prepared for salary negotiation – and meet expectations

Although there are many elements that go into a candidate’s decision-making process, salary remains one of the most important factors when deciding whether or not to accept a job.

If a candidate is faced with choosing between multiple job offers, the reality is that remuneration is going to make a big impact on their decision. If a competing company can offer a more lucrative pay packet – particularly if salaries are faring above and beyond the average benchmark, candidates are going to expect you to meet this – it’s enough to sway the candidate in their direction, leaving you out of the race altogether.

With this in mind, research current salary benchmarks, speak to specialist recruiters, and be prepared to negotiate salary – and potentially stretch the hiring budget if it’s a candidate you won’t easily find elsewhere. If a higher salary isn’t possible, consider offering other incentives such as:

  • A travel stipend
  • Technology and equipment to effectively work from home
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Paid parental leave
  • A subsidised phone plan or gym membership
  • Bonuses and discounts

Highlight career pathways and professional development opportunities

Career progression is a key priority for many of today’s proven and high potential candidates, particularly for younger workers who aspire to quickly rise through the ranks in any organisation. A report by PwC found that millennials, who are set to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, consider career progression to be the main attraction to a prospective employer.

To that end, if you want to attract the most sought-after candidates – especially the next generation of leaders and innovators – career development opportunities must be a strategic priority. Importantly, these opportunities should be highlighted within the job listing and repeated during the interview process.

Showcase your company culture

One of the biggest hurdles hiring managers face is selecting a candidate who not only has the right experience and skills for a role, but who aligns with a company’s values and culture.

The benefits of showcasing company culture during the hiring process are two-fold. Firstly, it’s an opportunity to sell your employee value proposition and build a pool of candidates who are a good cultural fit for your company. Secondly, and crucially, it’s a chance to demonstrate why your workplace is more desirable than the competition – and win over the best and brightest candidates.

Make CSR a priority

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on the importance of mental health, wellbeing and positively contributing back to society. Consequently, companies around the globe are ramping up their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, and candidates are looking for employers that are committed to ‘doing the right thing’.

Whether it’s volunteering, donation-matching or any other innovative CSR effort, be clear during the interview process about what your company stands for and what you’re doing to make a difference.

Focus on the candidate experience

Finally, treat every candidate with respect, be mindful of their time and keep the lines of communication open. Even if a candidate isn’t right for the role you’re recruiting for now, they could be your first choice for the next one. The relationships you establish with candidates now will go a long way in getting ahead of the pack when hiring in the future.

If you’re looking for support with hiring requirements, talk to a consultant at Michael Page – Australia’s leading job recruitment agency.

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