How to Attract Talent in a Candidate-Driven Market

What some are dubbing The Great Resignation can actually be a unique opportunity for employers. After a year of uncertainty, the job market is booming. Many candidates who were waiting to start their job hunt finally feel confident enough to take the leap. From the employer’s standpoint, you may find yourself with a sudden surge of job openings. Whether your business is growing and you need additional support, or you find yourself rebuilding a team after the pandemic, there is more to hiring great talent than just posting a job listing. Here’s what you should consider when you’re hiring in a candidate’s market.

What are today’s candidates looking for in a new role?

Some believe the past year caused a perspective shift for many employees. It gave people time to pause and reflect on what their ideal work environment would look like. In addition to seeking a job they are qualified for, many are focused on finding a better work/life balance, working for a company with strong core values, or finding a company culture where they’ll truly feel at home. Today’s talent is focused on finding:

  • Flexible PTO
  • Remote work options
  • A positive company culture
  • An empathetic work environment
  • Competitive compensation and benefits
  • Transparent DEI Initiatives
  • Strong company values

So, how can you stand apart when it comes to finding and attracting the market’s top candidates? We asked the recruiting experts at Career Group Companies to identify key areas where employers and hiring managers can make a tangible difference in securing top talent.

Consider Company Reputation

More than 75% of candidates admitted to researching a company’s reputation before applying (Source: LinkedIn). It is important to nurture your company’s reputation with honest accounts of what work life is like at your organization. Consider asking current team members for testimonials and sharing them on social media. When interviewing or interacting with prospective talent, create a positive experience from start to finish -- regardless of whether or not you plan to make an offer. Remember, candidates can anonymously review your interview practices online, and a negative account can hurt your hiring reputation.

Vice President Jenna Nicholas adds, “Companies have to be able to set themselves apart to attract top talent and should take an active approach in what their candidate experience looks like. Engage newly onboarded employees to provide their feedback, why did they join? What were the key differentiators in their decision-making process?”

Partner with your Marketing Team

It’s not enough to have a great website and career page. Candidates who are considering applying will be interacting with your brand first as a consumer. Utilizing social media, LinkedIn, and getting creative with company content is critical to attracting top candidates.

Jenna Nicholas says, “The best candidates are not looking for a job, so you have to engage and optimize branding efforts to attract candidates who are just passively searching."

This means partnering with your Marketing team to share more engaging content with prospective talent. This could include blog posts about company culture, photos from company events, transparency about ongoing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives on social media, news about recent awards, employee spotlights that show how much you care about your team, and anything else you can think of!

Competitive Market = Competitive Compensation

It may seem simple, but make them an offer they can’t refuse. The best people are likely receiving multiple offers, so if your offer stands out, they’re more likely to accept! This goes for the entire offer package - not just the base salary. Today’s candidates are carefully weighing their options.

Vice President Molly McGlynn says, “Offer competitive benefits! Candidates want to see flexible PTO, 401k with match options, parental leave, in-office perks, or whatever else you’re able to offer.”

Packages that include one-of-a-kind perks are much more appealing. If you’re hiring junior talent, it may be a good idea to highlight any training programs you offer. Unsure what to offer for your role? Download our free Market Trend Report for a comprehensive guide to salary benchmarks and benefits across industries and insider advice on finding exceptional talent in the new climate.

Work with a Recruiting Partner

Partnering with a recruiting firm on your search is the best way to gain direct access to top talent. Recruiters are often working on multiple similar roles at a time. This means they have a curated network of available talent already registered and ready to work. It is very likely that they are already working with great talent who wasn’t right for another client -- but may be perfect for you! Plus, recruiters have access to the leading job platforms and sourcing tools and can dedicate 100% of their time to finding your perfect match. At Career Group Companies, we are proud to cultivate perfect career matches for both candidates and clients. We take a hands-on approach to each search and one of our Account Executives will work with you every step of the way. We can also assist with background checks, reference checks, employment verifications, and anything else you need to feel secure in your hire. Get in touch to learn more.

Move Quickly and Communicate Clearly

It is important to move quickly through the interview process (more on that here). If you want to remain competitive and attract the most motivated talent, you need to move fast – or risk losing that person to a competing offer. Communicating clearly through every step of the interview process shows that you care and value your applicants’ time. If you don’t follow up for weeks after a meeting, or stall indefinitely and leave candidates confused, odds are they will move on – likely with a negative impression of your company. If unforeseen roadblocks are getting in the way of making an offer, be as transparent as possible. Need tips on how to modernize your approach to interviews? We outline some of the best questions to ask to find the perfect hire - but many are also turning to pre-recorded video interviews to screen candidates and find the most motivated talent.


Ultimately, hiring in a candidate’s market is tricky, but not impossible. If you’re motivated to hire, you will find someone amazing! It can be time-consuming in a saturated market, so let our recruiting experts do the heavy lifting. Get in touch today to start the search.

Career Group Companies

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Founded in 1981 by Susan Levine, Career Group Companies was created to set a higher standard for recruiting. For over four decades, we’ve partnered with our valued candidates and clients to cultivate perfect career matches for administrative, creative, fashion, events, and executive professionals at top companies nationwide.

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