Ensuring your applicants really know why they want to work for you

We’ve all been there, that dreaded question of ‘Why do you want to work here?’ Whilst it’s a staple question for an interview it is easily overlooked, but as an employer that answer may hold more insight into the candidate’s work ethic and, of course, why they want to work for you than given credit for.

In a recent survey conducted by Firstcall, we found that when applying to a company, 45% of respondents said salary and benefits was most important, 27% believed company reputation was paramount whilst 22% said the network within the company was the most important value to consider.

So, with heavily finance-orientated candidates, how can employers differentiate the sincere applicants vs those applying for the sake of a payslip? It’s important to feel valued within your wage, but the candidates who align well with your company values will have done some digging to prove that this role fits their career goals.

From our experience, candidates stand out when:

They’ve got a clear understanding of your company’s main goals and initiatives and have taken the time to read your website. Demonstration of knowledge behind specific reasons of why the candidate wants the job is detrimental to securing the position.

They’ve researched within the industry and familiarised themselves with your business network. Staff visibility on your website, career case studies and online professional profiles such as those on Linkedin can play a major role in gaining a preliminary flavour for your business. Successful candidates will utilise these sources to gain insight and visualisation towards the office, and even find mutual contacts who can serve as an advocate.

They’ve taken the time to investigate your socials. Recruitment marketing is a huge part of many company’s hiring strategy, if this is the case then ensuring a consistent brand voice across all social channels is crucial for candidate satisfaction. Securing a strong social presence and attractive image is the first step in attracting the right candidates; if the applicant can appreciate all marketing operations then they are likely to stand out amongst those who only take social media at face value.

They’re aware of any current / ongoing spotlight achievements making headlines in the media. If it’s negative press such as an ongoing lawsuit, it’s good to be honest with candidates and ensure candidates hear the accurate story from the company themselves. If you come from a big company making waves in the press, it’s pretty tell-tale if somebody has come unprepared for the interview and more importantly unprepared for the position at hand.

Some employers may feel at a loss in the current climate with an abundance of resumes, none of which are the ideal candidate. From a recruiter’s perspective, we feel it’s just as important to reflect and discuss the company image as well as the job function with the combination of the two playing a major part in a candidate’s decision. Having your own criteria and a brand image will ultimately enhance the application process to encourage those suitable to take the next steps.

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