Transparency key to recruiting top talent, LinkedIn survey finds

LinkedIn Corp. has good news for recruiters in its latest annual Talent Trends report: 90 per cent of working professionals are open to hearing about new job opportunities.

Before applying, however, candidates will conduct extensive research of a company courting them – and if they can’t find the information they’re looking for, they won’t make the leap from their current jobs, the company found.

“Even in today’s information age, candidates claim not to know enough about your company or jobs,” the report’s coauthor and LinkedIn global marketing manager Esther Lee Cruz wrote in a June 27 blog post discussing the study’s results. “Often, candidates will hear from a company with a lesser known brand. Online research about these companies might yield a few basic tidbits, but not the in-depth, honest perspective they are looking for.”

Fortunately, the problem is easily fixed by adopting a company branding strategy based on what job seekers want to hear, Cruz wrote.

What’s making them leave?

To start, your company’s recruiting department should begin by considering the three most common reasons people leave their jobs, Cruz wrote:

  1. Lack of career opportunities and advancement (cited by 43 per cent of respondents);
  2. The need for more challenging work (35 per cent);
  3. Unhappiness with compensation and benefits (29 per cent).

What keeps them out?

Next, it should consider the five leading obstacles faced by candidates when changing jobs:

  1. Not knowing what it’s really like to work at the company;
  2. Not understanding what’s expected of the role;
  3. Not hearing back after applying to a company;
  4. Difficulty negotiating salary, title, role, etc.; and
  5. Unclear communication during the recruiting process.

What could bring them to you?

Finally, your firm’s communication materials should directly address the top three factors that respondents said would influence their decision to change employers:

  1. The company’s culture (cited by 66 per cent);
  2. Its perks (54 per cent); and
  3. Its mission (50 per cent).

“Seems simple, but many companies don’t share these things in a direct, or easy-to-discover way,” Cruz wrote. “To provide professionals with the information they need to make an informed decision about working at your company, you need to describe these things in a relatable, honest, and attention-grabbing way across all your public-facing employer branding content.”

To help companies prepare a new recruitment strategy, LinkedIn provided anonymous advice from respondents regarding the type of information they wanted to see in the report.

“Give a real picture of the company’s working environment, not the usual made-in-heaven company profile,” one wrote.

“I would like to hear the positives and negatives from real professional staff members – not the marketing gloss from the CEO or marketing office,” wrote another.

Other suggestions: explain what makes your company different; clarify its mission and the steps it will be taking to achieve it; be honest about the expectations and workload; and open about turnover rates and why the position is available to begin with.

How to recruit employees who will stay

Also worth mentioning is what LinkedIn researchers learned about why employees remain with certain companies to begin with.

It turns out that 41 per cent of global professionals see themselves at their current company for fewer than two years, and that only 37 per cent see themselves remaining for three years or more.

The main difference between the two groups, Cruz wrote, was that the professionals who planned to remain with their companies long-term were purpose-oriented – that is, they believed in their employer’s mission – whereas the remaining professionals were motivated primarily by status: career advancement, prestige, or money.

To prepare the report, LinkedIn researchers interviewed more than 26,000 professionals about their job-seeking habits and asked nearly 7,000 people who had recently changed jobs what drew them to their new opportunity.

The company also released the following infographic summarizing its survey results (click on the image for a larger version).

LinkedIn 2016 talent trends infographic

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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