By Stephanie Sparks, Content Marketing Manager

In the last 18 months, there has been no shortage of headlines highlighting the hiring challenges employers are facing. And while nearly every single organization has been living through it, the frustration is real for employers.

One HR executive summed it up perfectly:

“When I reached out to them, they started telling me that they wanted to work from home, work just three days a week, or work as independent contractors on their own schedule at their own predetermined hourly rates. It was chaos, frankly, and I don’t know what we’re going to do. It felt like a hostage negotiation with a never-ending list of demands that I couldn’t meet.”

In today’s market, the power has shifted into the hands of the candidate. With a shortage of talent, candidates are demanding more from employers, especially when they consider making the switch to a new role.

Engaging the Modern Candidate

This conversation is representative of the many discussions that have taken place in the last couple years, and it shows just how much power has shifted to candidates. But flexibility in their work schedule isn’t the only thing candidates are looking for.

NXTThing RPO recently worked with Lighthouse Research & Advisory to survey more than 1,000 organizations. The result of this research is highlighted in the report: The Modern Candidate: How Hiring Is Changing & What to Do Next.

The report examines preferences and priorities when it comes to hiring, and has found that eight in 10 talent leaders say that hiring has risen from an HR/talent priority to a business/operational priority in the last year.

For instance, as employers, we may expect workers to be short-sighted and transitory because that’s often how the news media paints them. However, we see numerous examples in the research where these individuals want growth and future-oriented discussions with potential employers. Consider the following statistics:

  • 83% of candidates want to know about future growth opportunities during the hiring process
  • About two-thirds of candidates prefer a hiring assessment that evaluates their future potential, not just their current abilities
  • Candidates say that their top priority in taking a new job is getting up-to-speed on the role. Second to this is building deeper connections with their manager, peers, and the organization’s core values.

This clearly demonstrates the desire of candidates to seek out employers that appreciate them for what they bring to the table. This is in contrast to organizations that view employment as highly transactional, or the trade of money for skills.

The focus on building a richer and more streamlined candidate experience can mitigate some of the challenges of candidate ghosting, an incredibly frustrating and common challenge to employers.

Why Are Candidates ‘Ghosting’ Employers?

Candidate ‘ghosting’ occurs when candidates fully disappear from the hiring process. Our research shows ghosting in recruiting occurs because of several common reasons listed below. In fact, the top three items mentioned here are confirmed by more than 1 in 3 candidates.

  • The job or company didn’t interest me after I learned more about it
  • I took another job
  • The hiring process was too long and complicated
  • I didn’t see advancement opportunities or career growth at the company
  • I didn’t like how I was being treated
  • I was using the interview to get a counter offer from my current employer

What’s most alarming about this ghosting phenomenon is the age correlation. We see in the data that a 25-year-old is more likely than someone who is 55 to ghost an employer. This age gap should alert employers to the possibility that ghosting may be a phenomenon that is around for quite some time, especially as younger workers continue to make up an increasing proportion of the workforce.

Finding Middle Ground

So, how can organizations reconcile these challenges? On one hand, it feels like candidates hold all the power. Yet they seem to be sending signals that they want employers to commit to longer-term relationships.

What we find in the data is that successful employers don’t just look at hiring as a pay problem (although that’s part of it). The best and most effective hiring teams look at how to create a picture of the opportunity, the impact, and the overall value proposition that the candidate can expect by joining the organization.

And they turn to strategic partners to support their overall hiring efforts. It’s leveraging these strategies that touch every human’s deep-seated need for meaning and purpose, and help employers deliver on this need for human connection.

Get More Insights from The Modern Candidate Report

Today’s candidates have different priorities, expectations, and desires. Employers that fail to recognize and respect those needs will have difficulty attracting, engaging, and converting those candidates into hires. Download a copy today to learn what it takes to truly attract and engage modern candidates and discover how employers are leveraging strategic partners to support their hiring initiatives.