Analysing Preferences Of The Well-Informed Candidate

Transforming Business Models
Infographic – Keys to Building a Powerful Employer Brand
December 7, 2017
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Global candidate preferences

Globally, the talent market is changing. The balance of power which was always tilted in the favour of employers is now gradually shifting towards candidates. This is due to the fact that information is power. And candidates today, report a dramatic increase in the amount of information they have access to regarding the compensation, benefits, company vision and culture, corporate brand and corporate social responsibility offered by the employers. Thus, candidates have more power than ever before because they have more information and hence, they make more cognisant decisions.

To better understand how employers can leverage global candidate preferences and perceptions, Manpower Group Solutions, went directly to the source – candidates. In our Global Candidate Preferences Survey, nearly 14,000 individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 who are currently active in the workforce shared what matters to them the most during the job search process. The survey was fielded in 19 influential employment markets across the globe.

The results were then quantified and categorized in the Global Candidate Preferences Study. This report provides new insights into the type of information candidates look for and are armed with before they hit the “submit” button on their application. It also highlights what matters most to today’s candidates and suggests new strategies and tactics to effectively compete for in-demand talent in this new global marketplace.

Global candidate preferences

Here’s a closer analysis of the preferences of today’s well-informed candidates and ways through which employers can optimize their recruitment aptitudes:

Compensation Transparency

Primarily, compensation and type of work have been the most important factors in making career decisions. However, the Global Candidate Preferences Survey results reveal that the importance of schedule flexibility is rising, pulling even with benefits as the third most important factor.

Although there are significant differences in the market. For example, candidates in Norway and the United Kingdom rank type of work as most important. But, in countries like Australia, compensation falls almost to the bottom of the list of motivators with factors like schedule flexibility and geographic location ranking much higher. And, in countries like Brazil, Costa Rica and India, the opportunity for advancement matters more to candidates than compensation.

Global candidate preferences

However, compensation still remains an important motivator concerning career decisions among candidates globally. In fact, when it comes to switching jobs, an increase in pay is twice as powerful as the type of work according to the 2015 Global Candidate Preferences Survey.

Earlier and a complete disclosure of compensation information can also increase recruiting efficiency as candidates can remove themselves from consideration when one of their primary motivators for career decisions and job switching does not meet their expectations.

In the five major markets, for which year-over-year comparison data is currently available, the number of global candidates with compensation information has increased more than 10 percent across all markets.

On an average, 44 percent of candidates globally have information about compensation prior to the completion of their application. But these information levels do fluctuate by the market. More than half of the candidates reported having compensation range information in China, Japan, Mexico, Brazil and Panama. While nations like Sweden and Norway lie at the other end of the spectrum with fewer than 20 percent having access to similar information.

Company Outlook

Global candidate preferences

In previous candidate preferences research, 58 percent of global candidates stated that company brand today is much more important to them than it was five years ago. This is especially true in the context of younger Millennials/Gen Y candidates (18-35 years old).

To attract and retain these highly skilled Gen Y candidates, companies need to demonstrate that staying with their organization can lead to an increase in the pay, the development of newer skills and a linear career progression, all of which is valued highly by Millennials across the globe.

Companies can benefit from embracing this trend by building a stronger Employer Value Proposition (EVP), or a unique set of offerings, associations and values that positively influence target candidates and employees.

In the five major talent markets tracked over the past two years (China, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Mexico), candidates reported having more information about the employer brand prior to the process of candidature. Candidates in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom report having access to almost double the amount of information about the brand than the year prior.

This trend also holds true for other markets surveyed in 2016. Globally, 28 percent of all the candidates surveyed reported having information about an employer’s brand pre-application. Norway, India, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Poland exceeded the global average – though candidates in Japan, Costa Rica and Brazil reported having significantly less information.

Cognizance Regarding Perks and Benefits

Candidates across the globe expressed a desire to understand information regarding the benefits offered by the prospective employers. 38 percent of all candidates said that the benefits offered along with the role or the company was one of their top three factors influencing the decision making about their career.

Global candidate preferences

Candidates in Latin American countries were reported to have more information about benefits than other global regions. And, over half of all Chinese and Indian candidates also reported having information about benefits offered at the very earliest stages of the job search process.

Knowing benefits information prior to the application submission increased at a higher pace in the United Kingdom and Australia as compared to the United States, Mexico or China. This may also be the result of the continued provision of the employers’ offering strong benefits packages in the United Kingdom and Australia versus other countries.

Seeing the Value in the Vision

Global candidate preferences

Companies have become increasingly active in sharing information about their mission, vision and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies. This seems opportune at a time when more businesses and candidates seek to align themselves with organizations that share a common point-of-view and commitment to these important areas. According to Manpower Group’s global Millennials study, a majority of this Gen-Y generation said purpose is a priority. Eight in 10 Millennials in Mexico, India and Brazil say working for employers who are socially responsible and aligned with their values is important.

More than ever candidates are accessing this type of information prior to submitting an application. Particularly, in countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States job seekers have made great strides in obtaining information about the vision and mission of potential employers.

Globally, 32 percent of candidates report having information about their potential employer’s corporate vision at the earliest stages of the job search process. Candidates in eleven of the surveyed countries either met or exceeded this global average. And while fewer candidates (16 percent) report having CSR information prior to applying for a position, less than any other aspect of job search information, that number continues to rise.

It is prudent to conclude that the rise of the well-informed candidate means that applicants today have more information about companies and open positions than ever before. The Global Candidate Preferences research highlights a shift in the balance of power from employer to the candidate. Regardless of whether this information is fed by employers increasing their access to information in an effort to be more transparent and build stronger brands or candidates being increasingly vigilant in seeking what they want to understand, leveraging the myriad of sources available on the Internet, this shift has significant implications for organizations.

By adopting appropriate branding and content dissemination strategies, employers can target candidate messaging and reinforce their consumer brand simultaneously. Business owners need to consider being open to sharing more information about their company to meet the information expectations of the candidates. It is essential for employers to reach candidates in the right way with the right information. Simultaneously, they also need to understand how they are being talked about and perceived on channels they do not own. While control is limited, there is always an ability to respond and often, educate. Referring to an experienced Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider can assist companies in developing strategic business and interest the right talent.

As the information playing field becomes leveler, employers have the opportunity to transform candidate information into knowledge by using effective practical, emotional and interactive components that encourage dialogue, engagement and create a more positive and interesting experience for candidates. Organizations should seek to harness the power of the well-informed candidate as a competitive advantage in today’s global search for the best talent. Consulting skilled recruitment professionals can help you optimize your business operations better. Contact our experts at Manpower to learn more about the same.

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