How to Bridge Expectations Between Employees and Employers During Recruitment

How to Bridge Expectations Between Employees and Employers During Recruitment
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 02 March, 2023
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When it comes to today’s job market, candidates have the upper hand. According to data fromWhat Jobseekers Wish Employers Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitment –a report by JobStreet, The Boston Consulting Group, and The Network—75 per cent of Singaporean workers are approached with job offers multiple times a year.

Employers are constantly trying to understand what job seekers want to attract and retain talent. At the same time, job seekers want to get hired. Both sides could benefit from bridging the understanding gap between employees and employers when it comes to recruitment. After all, we both want the same thing—to fill a vacancy/get hired.

Employees’ Negotiating Power

Based onWhat Jobseekers Wish Employers Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitment,Singaporeans have less confidence in their negotiating power compared with our Southeast Asian neighbours. Sixteen per cent of Southeast Asians have full confidence in their negotiating power, while only 8% of Singaporeans feel the same way. But many have a stronger position in the job market than they think.

For instance, when asked whether they think negotiating power lies with employers or job seekers, 58% of public sector workers feel that employers have more power. However, 40% of public sector employees are approached by recruiters multiple times a year. The same goes for non-profit workers: 27% think employers have the upper hand in negotiations, but 36% receive job offers several times a year. In fact, 75% of Singaporeans receive multiple offers a year.

Rather than thinking of it as an employers’ market or an employees’ market, it can be more productive for you to consider your prospective employers’ needs while clearly articulating your own to reach an agreement. After all, it takes two hands to clap. If both employers and employees do our part to bridge the understanding gap, we can make job hunting and hiring a more pleasant experience for everyone.

When both sides work on resolving the expectation differences between employers and jobseekers, the process of hiring runs more smoothly. Plus, whether or not you get the job, you can establish a good relationship with recruitment managers and add them to your professional network.

How to Bridge the Gap Between Management and Employees

Here are some areas in which there’s a disconnect between job seekers and employers, and how you can bridge the understanding gap.

There can be disconnects in job titles.

Recruiters and job seekers can sometimes list job titles differently. For instance, employers frequently confuse content writers and copywriters. They may put up a job ad for a content writer – someone who writes SEO-friendly blog posts, articles, and white papers – when what they’re looking for is a copywriter: someone who creates copy for all kinds of online and offline ads that can drive sales.

If you only search for openings under a specific job title, you might be missing out on opportunities. Try broadening your search to job openings in your industry, and look closely at the descriptions. For example, if you’re a copywriter, you might want to check the job ads for content writers and see whether the job descriptions fit that of a copywriter.

Jobseekers are brand conscious.

SMEs provide plenty of career opportunities, but job seekers can overlook them in favor of bigger organisations. After all, it’s natural to prefer working for a multinational corporation or a well-known company – it looks great on your resume. For this reason, SME employers often have trouble competing with bigger organisations for candidates.

At the same time, there are plenty of good reasons to work for an SME. For instance, you get more opportunities to interact directly with senior management at a smaller organisation. It’s easier to stand out, get your achievements noticed by the top brass, and earn a promotion.

Since there are fewer employees, you have more opportunities to try your hand at different tasks and learn new skill sets. In other words, an SME is a great place to build your expertise through hands-on experience.

Applicants don’t always follow the procedure.

Sure, filling out application forms can be a pain. And you may think that the fields you leave blank are not important. But it can be a big headache for recruitment managers when job candidates don’t fill out the whole application form. Sometimes the details you leave out could help them make a decision.

Have all the information you’ll need beforehand so you don’t have to look for it during the application process. For example, it’s easy to forget the address and contact information of the company you worked for six years ago. So before you fill out your employment history, make sure you have the updated contact details of your previous employers. Ensure that you have a list of references ready, along with their contact information as well.

Applicants expect constant engagement from recruiters.

According to theWhat Jobseekers Wish Employers Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitmentreport, 67 per cent of job applicants say that timely, smooth processing is a great way for employers to stand out. Jobseekers expect recruiters to update them on their job application status and respond quickly if they have questions.

It is a perfectly reasonable expectation. At the same time, it can’t hurt to be patient if you don’t receive an update on your application ASAP. After all, not all employers use applicant tracking software. It’s possible that they still manually sort through piles of resumes. You can always send a polite follow-up one to two weeks after you’ve submitted your application or 5-7 days after your interview.

Some applicants tend to “ghost” prospective employers.

Nothing is more frustrating than an applicant who doesn’t show up to a scheduled interview. You may think you’re just one of many applicants, and that it won’t impact the recruiter if you decide not to turn up. However, the recruitment manager and possibly your prospective supervisor made the time to meet you, and you’ve just wasted their time. If you can’t make it to your appointment or decide to cancel your application, make sure to let the recruitment manager know.

Employers don’t always understand why a top candidate turned down their offer.

Data fromWhat Jobseekers Wish Employers Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitmentshows that 55 per cent of job seekers turn down an attractive offer because of a negative experience during the selection process, such as discrimination or bad chemistry. Forty per cent of applicants would turn down a lucrative job offer because of an unprofessional selection process as well—for instance, if HR turned out to be slow and disorganised.

We often want feedback on why we weren’t hired after a job interview. In the same way, employers often wonder why their first choice turned down their offer. If you decide to refuse a job offer, do so politely. If they ask why you didn’t take the job, consider giving carefully worded, constructive feedback.

Companies struggle to close skills gaps.

Singaporean companies have difficulty finding applicants with the technical skills they need. For instance, according to Google Singapore managing director Ben King, one of Singapore’s biggest skills gaps is in cloud computing.

You can help address employee pain points by upskilling. Find out what the latest, most in-demand skills in your industry are, and take the time to obtain them. Now is the best time to upskill since there are many free online courses, plus you can use your SkillsFuture credit to enrol in approved certificate courses. This will open up more job opportunities for you and give you more negotiating power.

Jobseekers sometimes have unreasonable salary expectations.

Some fresh graduates ask for a higher-than-average salary. When asked how they came up with this figure, they bring up the cost of their education and say that they want to pay back their parents. While their filial piety is certainly admirable, this is no way to negotiate your salary.

According to Jobstreet’s 2022-2023 Outlook: Hiring, Compensation & Benefits report, 52 per cent of employers cite salary expectations as their criteria for hiring fresh graduates. So when you give your expected salary, make sure the figure you give is proportional to your skills, experience, role, and industry. After all, employers are paying you for the value you can bring to the company.

Research the average salary for your industry and job level. You can do this easily by using Jobstreet’s Salary Guide, which uses data from job ads posted over the past 12 months to calculate the median salary for your industry, experience level, and specialisation.

As you can see from the tips above, many of the ways to bridge the understanding gap benefit both employees and employers. When you ask for a salary that reflects your skills and the going rate in your industry, you’re more likely to succeed in your negotiations. Upskilling can open up more career opportunities, and maintaining good relationships with prospective employers can help you expand your professional network. At the same time, all of these practices address employer pain points.

By doing our part to resolve the differences between employees and employers, we improve our employment prospects and make the process of hiring run more smoothly for everyone. Learn more about the future of recruitment by downloading Jobstreet’s What Jobseekers Wish Employers Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitment report. Then start your job search by downloading the Jobstreet App on App Store or Google Play and updating your Jobstreet profile.

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