Sunday, May 8, 2016

What Job Seekers Really Want (And Its Simple)


It was 5 p.m. on a Friday when I received an email from a colleague asking for help. She was looking to hire a developer and hadn't found any good leads on LinkedIn. We talked about her dilemma and where she was looking to source candidates. Although she had taken all the steps she knew to locate interested applicants, her search failed to yield any real results. While managers can struggle with filling critical roles for various reasons, is it too far fetched to imagine that great talent could already be in close proximity to your organization? "Close" is relative to how a thoughtful recruitment strategy can present opportunities for job seekers, internal and external to the organization. 

The paragraph above was taken from my latest article on the Human Capital Institute (HCI) blog called "How Onboarding Job Seekers Can Enhance Your Recruitment Strategy", and it made me realize what job seekers want is very simple: information and opportunity. If user experience is the new measure (hence the trend in HR executive titles to "head of people" or "head of culture" ), companies should reverse-engineer their processes to understand how to attract and engage job seekers by simply providing insight to the company so that people choose them as a place to work. Obviously creating a user experience strategy has a domino effect for all people processes down stream, but the essence of what job seekers want to know can be narrowed to a principal of reciprocity.


As "Jane Job Seeker", here is what I would want to know:

  • Culture - What is the company doing for work/life balance and career mobility? Do my values align with the company values? Is the work meaningful

  • Career - What is my career trajectory? What is my shelf life if I decide to stay? What opportunities are possible if I put in the work to make progress in my career?

  • Connection - How will my role impact the bottom line? What is the value of my contribution and how will I be recognized for the work that I do? Will I be proud to tell people where I work and "recruit" talent for the company?

If companies can help job seekers answer these questions, then potential candidates have the ability to make an informed decision based on what the company represents for them professionally and personally.

Yahoo's Head of Culture, Coaching, and Communication had an Aha moment (he said it was a dream), and probably came to the realization that for all he had invested to build the culture, he could continue his work closing the user experience gap. He was a job seeker (about to take an offer with another company) and one of few actually in a position at Yahoo to do something about the gaps for job seekers inside and outside of his company. 

Check out my article on HCI where I write about how IKEA, Google, and Walmart are all taking different approaches to engaging job seekers internal and external to their companies. At the end of the day, we are all "job seekers", so why not take your own user experience and turn it into something positive in your company?

Stacey Rivers is an author, mom, wife and IT Talent Professional. Find her current book "50 Essential Tips To Getting & Keeping The Right Job" on Amazon.