Candidates’ expectations have put the traditional hiring process on notice. Today, 90 percent of recruiters believe the job market is candidate-driven. Just five years ago, only 54 percent of recruiters said the same. This shift in perceptions signals that candidates are now in the driver’s seat when it comes to recruiting and hiring.

Fortunately, these candidates are also clear about what they expect. According to research that we conducted here at Montage, 83 percent of candidates say the experiences they have with your company when applying or interviewing for open positions influences their decision to work for you. And when candidates decline job offers, it’s usually because they’ve already received other, better, faster job offers.

This all adds up to a simple fact: If you want your job offers accepted, you must ensure your hiring process meets the expectations of today’s candidates.

What Do Candidates Really Want?

For a long time, recruiters have assumed that the needs and wants of today’s candidates were only the needs and wants of millennials. But really, who wouldn’t like flexible work hours or opportunities for professional growth?

Millennials are not unique in this respect. All candidates have these very same expectations. If your hiring process hasn’t evolved to thrive in the Age of the Candidate, now is the time to fix that.

Start by focusing on these candidate expectations:

1. Candidates Expect Fair Treatment

Lean Human Capital’s David Szary has carried out in-depth research on procedural fairness in hiring. (Procedural fairness is a universally shared human sense of how fair or unfair we perceive a process to be.) According to him, the bottom line is that candidates’ perceptions of the fairness of your process influences their experiences.

What’s even more interesting is that, when candidates perceive your process to be fair, their negative reactions are minimized when they don’t get the job. Since most of your candidates won’t be hired, it pays to make sure they perceive your process as fair.

2. Candidates Want Two-Way Flows of Information

BuildingsLong gone are the days when the interviewer asks all the questions. Today’s candidates expect a chance to ask their questions – and get authentic answers. In live interviews especially, they expect to satisfy their need to know more about your organization and the reasons why your role and your company are the best fit for them.

3. Candidates Want to See Equal Investment From Your Side

Asking candidates to complete eight pages worth of forms or go through complicated assessments with no visible return on their efforts is a big turnoff. Likewise, asking candidates to return for several rounds of interviews because you didn’t organize the agenda well the first time is a strike against you. Show candidates that you respect their time and effort with a hiring process that gives back while it gets.

4. Candidates Crave Transparency

Candidates want transparency, and they want companies that understand its value. They want companies to be up front, to tell them how long the hiring process will take, to tell them where they stand, and to just let them go instead of stringing them along if they are not the one.

5. Candidates Love Both High Tech and high ToucH

Retail marketers have set the bar really high: As consumers, we expect convenient, extremely personalized interactions with companies. Those expectations are becoming the norm in job searches, too. Innovative HR technologies like video interviewing offer the means to engage candidates in more personal ways while also treating them to convenience and timeliness in your hiring process.

Are today’s job candidates asking too much? Hardly. A personalized, two-way, and more transparent hiring process is a benefit to all. When you and your candidates are better positioned to make well-informed hiring decisions, you’re both more likely to be satisfied with the end results.

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