Why job seekers don't like you

5 Reasons Why Job Seekers Don’t Like You

First, let’s clarify: jobs seekers probably like you, personally. You’re awesome. What we’re talking about here is why job seekers don’t like your organization. And whether you’re seeing a decrease in career site visits, less applicants, or a general drop-off in candidate interest, doesn’t it seem like nowadays it’s a lot harder to hire good people?

It’s Not Me, It’s You

In a tight labor market, it’s easy for HR professionals to become frustrated with hiring efforts and outcomes. That’s because job seekers are considering multiple job opportunities, and they can be picky in vetting prospective employers. They want more than a steady job; they want to like their employers. And they’re deciding whether they like them before accepting an offer.

It’s a luxury that didn’t exist for most job seekers just a few years ago, and it’s rapidly changing the talent strategy of many organizations. To be competitive, hiring organizations must be interesting, fun, attractive, and unique (in addition to offering good pay and benefits).

This new reality is causing employers to rethink how they present themselves to job seekers, and it’s prompting them to make changes for existing employees too. To minimize turnover and keep up with increased labor demands, HR professionals are developing work environments that attract and inspire employees–i.e. making employees and job seekers like the organization, more.

Developing Work Environments to Attract and Inspire Employees

Changing an organization’s work environment is no easy task. It means changing processes, culture, resources, and sometimes even personnel. This is an uncomfortable exercise. But it might help to get started, by simply looking at five common reasons why job seekers don’t like you (your organization) currently.

1. You only offer a paycheck.

Sure, you offer a lot more than just a paycheck, but that’s not what job seekers see. Even if your organization’s average salary is above industry benchmarks, it may not matter. Not in this job market. And it’s not because job seekers feel that compensation is unimportant; they simply know that they can find the same pay somewhere else…and like that place a lot more.

Takeaway: Great pay is…great, but it shouldn’t be your only means of attracting or retaining talent.

2. You’re a dead end.

Let’s say that not only does your company believe in providing highly competitive compensation, but it also invests resources in work activities that support a fun work culture. Your employees enjoy the work environment and feel like they are well compensated for their work. But what if your organization isn’t growing or providing opportunities for employee growth? Great talent doesn’t want to spin its wheels forever.

Takeaway: Healthy wages and a fun work environment will likely put your organization ahead of many competitors, but dead-ending career paths will hurt your reputation and make hiring increasingly difficult.

3. Your brand trails competitors.

It’s easier than ever to compare and contrast options. If you want to find and buy the best umbrella, you’re only a few clicks away from accomplishing that. Likewise, if job seekers want to narrow their search of job opportunities to the fastest growing tech companies in Boston, that’s easy too. For all the talk about building an employer brand (and that remains important), many organizations struggle to hire effectively because of a weak corporate brand.

Takeaway: Yes, employees will brag about your company culture, compensation, and all the other things that makeup your employer brand…but they really like to brag about how your company performs compared to the best. The more your organization is perceived as “the best” in its industry, the easier it will be to attract top talent.

4. Your process is tacky.

Tacky: not having or exhibiting good taste: such as

a : marked by cheap showiness: a tacky publicity stunt; a tacky outfit

b : marked by lack of style

Also See:  Your job description contains the word “ninja”. Your career site includes a picture of your company outing to miniature golf with the caption “work hard, play hard”. You rely solely on automated emails to applicants and candidates…that also happen to contain spelling and formatting errors. You don’t follow up with applicants in a timely manner. You’re not prepared for candidate interviews.

5. They don’t have to like you.

Finally, the real challenge presented by a tight labor market is that job seekers simply don’t have to like you. Again, they have options. Leaving a position open is not an option–especially for a growing organization–so blaming the applicants or the generation of job seekers isn’t a reason…it’s a whiny excuse.

Takeaway: Remember the reason why you’re wanting job seekers to like you more. When the labor market contracts, job seeker options expand, as does their criteria for judging an employment opportunity. If you fight the wants and needs (and yes, likes) of job seekers, you’re fighting the market. And the market doesn’t care.


ExactHire provides software to help growing organizations recruit, hire, and onboard talent. Learn how you can combat high turnover, a lack of applicants, and other impacts of a competitive job market by contacting us today to explore our solutions.

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