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The Top Five Candidate Concerns Your Career Portal Must Address

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By Tom Brennan, Master Writer


In Part 1 of this three-part series I argued that there is more to an effective career portal than showcasing your company as an employer of choice. That’s the ultimate goal, but you should approach that goal with a focus on the candidates, not your company. By understanding candidates’ goals and concerns, you can present how working for your company can help them reach their goals and allay their concerns.

A 2014 survey by CareerBuilder identified the top reasons people were planning to leave their current position. Dissatisfaction with salary was number one, although it’s difficult to address that concern in a general way; that one you’ll have to save for the individual negotiations. The next four, however, are concerns your portal should speak to. I also add a fifth point about the risk involved in changing jobs.

1. How will this company let me know that I am valued?

The survey found that 65% of respondents were planning to planning a change because they did not feel valued. Sadly, a lot of employers do a poor job of rewarding and recognizing employee success. However, that means your robust rewards and recognition program is a valuable differentiator in the competition for top talent.

Highlight the program on your portal by featuring quotes or videos from employees about how they feel valued. Post the employee of the month’s picture and accomplishment. Share photos of the Friday Fun Day your company hosted to celebrate achieving a goal.

If you want to make sure your program is solid, check out Sarah McVanel’s blog about the importance of rewards and recognition, and look for suggestions in her book Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness: Solution-Focused Strategies for Satisfied Staff, High-Performing Teams, and Healthy Bottom Lines.

2. How will this company help me grow and develop professionally?

Another big reason why people leave is they don’t have opportunities to grow professionally and advance their career. Top talent wants to be challenged. They are willing to put in the effort to develop, but they need to know that it can pay off. If you have professional development, succession planning, career paths or other programs to help your employees move forward, brag about them.

In this area and in others, boost the credibility of your claims with examples. If you just say, “We promote from within whenever possible,” post congratulations to recently promoted employees. Share stories of employees who recently benefitted from your company’s programs. Promotions fit the bill, of course, but development happens in other ways, too. Maybe your company pays for IT team members to get professional certifications. Maybe a management training course made it possible for a supervisor to take on additional responsibilities.

3. How will this company’s expectations impact my family and my other outside interests?

According to the survey, 39% of respondents were ready to quit because of work/life balance issues. As I wrote in a blog a few months ago, workplace flexibility is becoming more and more important to candidates. If you offer it, let people know. Try posting “Team Member Insights” about how the flexibility allows an employee to do volunteer work, learn to perform aerial silks, or help organize the annual model train aficionados convention.

Keep it real, though. One of Decision Toolbox’s clients, for example, does custom Christmas decorating for corporate clients. As you might suspect, their work is seasonal, and they expect employees to put in long hours during the holidays. In a case like this, you need to be up front, but you also could point out that, for nine months of the year, there is a high degree of schedule flexibility.

Stay tuned for two more concerns you should address, as well as some other tips for ensuring your career portal sets your company apart in the job market.

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