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What Star Candidates Are Looking For From Today's Employers


One of the top challenges businesses face today is recruiting and retaining the right people for their organization. The labour demographics have changed and the number of people available to fill roles has dwindled. There are a large number of baby boomers who are starting to exit the workforce and the generations behind them won't be able to fill the deficit.

Companies are now learning how to adjust their strategy to find qualified candidates. Due to the tight market, traditional methods of recruiting people, such as print advertising, don't work as well anymore. Employers now need to look at methods such as social media—LinkedIn, Facebook, worksites such as Workopolis and Indeed—and recruitment services to help them reach high-quality candidates they otherwise wouldn't access.

Ideal Candidates Versus Ideal Fit
The first step to address your hiring challenge is to develop a recruitment strategy, one without preconceived notions, which might include age or gender, of the "ideal" candidate. It's important to look past that desirable bright and shining 30-year-old star with a post-secondary degree and three to seven years of work history. Everyone is competing for that demographic, when in reality, there are many other options available.

For example, workers in their 50s and 60s often have the advantage of years of experience, along with the knowledge and skills to fit into organizations so they can hit the ground running. While they may not be with your organization in 10 years, the truth is neither will workers from Generation X or Y. On average, this younger demographic tends to stay with a company for two to five years, unless you're able to supply a long-term career path with opportunities to grow and develop professionally.

Compensation Considerations
Businesses who do want to target Generations X and Y need to think about their compensation and benefits, as well as their company culture, as the single biggest demand made by younger people is for work-life balance. Whether you're a big business or a small-to-medium enterprise, you won't attract the right talent unless you're able to clearly articulate to potential candidates your business trajectory, role requirements and opportunities for advancement.

Engaging a recruitment consultant will give you a clearer picture of market conditions and help you attract the best talent. By avoiding potentially awkward salary negotiations and managing compensation expectations from both the candidate's perspective and your organization's budget, you'll be that much more likely to achieve success when an offer is extended to a worthy candidate.

Leadership Recruitment
Many industries, such as construction and manufacturing, are looking to fill leadership and management roles as older workers cut back on hours or retire outright. Today's workplace offers a rich and multi-layered diversity of people to choose from, between Baby Boomers, Gen X'ers and Millennials—and they all have different talents and motivation.

When hunting for a new leader in your organization, drop your preconceived notions about the role or the ideal candidate. Instead, focus on the skills and core competencies required. The right match for the role shouldn't necessarily be determined by age, but by experience.

Of course, assessing a candidate's leadership skills is an important part of the selection process. Leadership is ultimately about communication, negotiation, problem solving and above all, commitment. Regardless of someone's age, career history or seeming fit for the job, they must be prepared to stand up to the task of being a leader in order to succeed within any business.

After you've gone through this entire process, extended an offer and had it accepted, the final step in your recruitment process is a strong on-boarding process, followed by a retention strategy that will continue to engage your new employee.