What are Today’s Top Candidates Looking For?

A quick Google search entailing a question such as, “What do top candidates want in a position?” will get you numerous posts discussing what employers want in their candidates. As an employer, however, if you want to bring in those top candidates, you have to see things from their perspective as well. It’s not merely that they have to “sell” themselves to you; the opposite rings true as well. So just what do today’s best candidates want when job hunting?

Keep in mind that in this age of social media, candidates will use it to either praise or condemn their interaction with your company, often advising others to seek your company out for a position…or avoid interacting with it because of a negative experience. So make sure that, after reading about what these top contenders want, you put their desires into play as you try to bring them on board.

Here are a few tips for enhancing the candidate experience:

Simple application process.

That initial interaction can make or break whether a candidate chooses to pursue you or write that bad review. Keep the application as straightforward as possible without too many different questions to initially answer, screens to click, or documents to upload. Then make sure you get back to the desired candidate promptly and be as transparent as possible, about the process – this speaks to the way you handle other work situations.


A good work-life balance has even more importance than salary to many top candidates – 72 percent of workers rate it as a key factor in choosing a job. So offer what you can in the way of flexible scheduling and telecommuting – in today’s business world, not all work needs to be done on site. And studies show that those who have a schedule that fits their personal needs often work harder and more efficiently because they focus on work when they’re most energized, and appreciate that they’re not forced to miss important personal commitments because they’re “stuck at work.”

Good benefits.

If you have a large enough company to offer a quality benefits package that includes health insurance, dental/vision coverage, a 401(k) match, and a reasonable number of sick/personal/vacation days, this will go a long way toward bringing top candidates to you. Flexible spending and expense accounts also draw in top candidates. Even if you’re a smaller company, you can find a way to make at least some of these possible to bring in the talent you want.

Solid company culture.

Top candidates want to have a job they like to go to every day, and a strong company culture helps create that. Create a workplace with positive interactions among employees, and you’ll not only attract the talent; you’ll cut down on your turnover rates. Part of that includes making employees feel as though they have a voice in what goes on, so create a place where superiors take the time to discuss ideas and problems – and make that clear to incoming candidates

For more help figuring out what top talent wants, reach out to the experienced staffing professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks to make sure your company connects with quality candidates.