CDI Corporation

How to Attract Candidates by Appealing to Their Interests



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The recruitment landscape in the professional sector remains a candidate-driven market in 2016, and moving forward, companies need to ask not what candidates can do for them, but what they can do for potential hires. To attract the best candidates for their blended workforce, companies should broaden their perspectives beyond salaries and benefits and think not only about what makes their organizations great places to work, but also what could make them enviable.

As trends change, top candidates have the resources to be more discerning about the companies to which they apply, and the offers they ultimately accept. Now more than ever, these candidates are thinking about a company’s culture and values. They’re weighing whether the company fosters a positive environment and whether its values align with their own.

"Highly qualified candidates, including those seeking contract employment, are placing an increasingly higher priority on a positive and inspiring company culture and work environment," says Bill Hyman, vice president of human resources for CDI Corporation’s Talent and Technology Solutions business. "They want to work in an environment in which leaders consistently exhibit outstanding leadership behaviors that help them grow professionally and demonstrate that leaders care about them.

Hyman recommends the following tips for revealing the company traits that job seekers value most:

Define company’s values. Think about your company’s mission and values, and how you can effectively convey these attributes during your next candidate interview. Go beyond financial and strategic goals and reflect on community impacts such as ways your company benefits society.

Today’s highly qualified job seekers are more altruistic-minded than their predecessors, and want to work somewhere where they can contribute to a larger effort that transcends simply making money. An interviewer who can confidently share with a candidate the company’s higher purpose and the concrete ways it’s contributing to the common good will result in a candidate who is energized to join your company.

Put employees first. Top candidates are prioritizing company culture, and how it’s created by the employees to get an idea of the people with whom they will be working. To effectively discuss your company’s culture with applicants, analyze the positive qualities that are shared by employees across your organization and spend extra time looking at the specific traits of your top-performing permanent and contingent employees. Spend time talking with workers to gain a better understanding of the qualities and attitudes that they bring to their work.

Also observe the overall atmosphere of your office. Are socialization and bonding activities that include all of your blended workforce, both in and outside of work, encouraged? Or is the atmosphere stressed, negative or draining? If that’s the case, improving your company’s culture should be a priority.

Size up the organizational structure. Examine how work is being accomplished across the company. Today’s job seekers are looking for alternatives to the top-down organizational structures of the past. Instead, they want to work at a company with a more collaborative organizational structure that not only welcomes and encourages opinions and suggestions from all employees, but also responds and takes action on these ideas.

Ethics in the workplace and sound business practices are requirements to candidates today. They want to work at a company where leadership is held responsible for their actions. Consider whether your company has an open organizational structure, accountability measures in place and ways you can improve them.

"Spending time reflecting on these important traits of your company, and prioritizing them in your discussions with candidates, helps leaders ensure that your company is hiring the most qualified candidates and top performers,” adds Hyman.

Recent CDI Analysis

“Highly qualified candidates, including those seeking contract employment, are placing an increasingly higher priority on a positive and inspiring company culture and work environment.”

Bill Hyman
Vice President of Human Resources,
Talent and Technology Solutions
CDI Corporation

Employment Situation (U.S.)

U.S. employment gains beat economists’ expectations in February, adding 242,000 nonfarm jobs, as the unemployment rate remain unchanged at 4.9 percent.

Reuters noted it was significant that the unemployment rate held steady, despite more people joining the labor market in February. The labor force participation rate, increased to 62.9 percent during the month.

Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payrolls fell by 3 cents to $25.35 in February, however, Reuters attributed the slump to a "calendar quirk."

Retail trade continued its positive growth trend, adding 55,000 jobs. The industry has added 339,000 jobs within the last 12 months.

Construction employment continued to rise, gaining 19,000 jobs in February. Mining continued its downward trend, losing 19,000 jobs.

Industries that remained virtually unchanged throughout the month included manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, professional and business services, and government.

Turbulent financial markets had made it unlikely that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates again. Reuters reported, however, that the positive February employment figures and growth forecasts may put rate hikes back on the table at the Fed meeting in June.

The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded by
clicking here.

Employment Situation (Canada)

The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point for the third month in a row to reach 7.3 per cent in February, its highest level since March 2013.The figures surprised Bloomberg economists, who had predicted that Canada would add 8,500 jobs during the month, CBC reported. While there were gains of 49,500 part-time jobs, the increase was offset by a loss of 51,800 full-time workers, according to the Financial Post. Public sector employment fell by 20,000, while the private sector added 15,000 jobs. Over the course of the year however, employment in Canada increased by 0.7 per cent, or 118,000 jobs, largely driven by a 0.6 per cent increase in full-time positions.

The services-producing sector, which includes retail, shed 44,500 jobs during the month.

Natural resources employment fell by 8,900, with most of the losses in oil and gas extraction, according to the Financial Post.

Professional, scientific and technical services saw no change in February. Business, building and support services employment grew by 13,000.

Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing added 7,000 jobs.

"In contrast to the recent past, the goods-producing sector is adding jobs, while the service sector is the area of weakness," said BMO economist Doug Porter. "That tends to happen when the economy shifts from consumer-led to export-led growth, which also often happens after a big currency depreciation."

The employment figures are "unlikely to meaningfully change the [Bank of Canada]’s view of the economy and we expect the central bank to continue to wait for the fiscal stimulus to impact the economy before intervening again," said Nomura Global Economics economist Charles St-Arnaud in an interview with the Financial Post.

The news source noted that the BOC is currently keeping the lending rate at 0.5 per cent, the same level as last year, in belief that the rate might encourage increased business investment.

Canadian ES Report:
Labour Force Survey, February 2016

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