The new year is here—this is the time to elevate your approach to hiring. If you want to attract top-performing candidates now and into the future, transparency and responsiveness should be central to your recruiting process.

Be Transparent About Salary

Candidates want to know salaries upfront. We’ve seen clear evidence of this over the past year with a wave of feedback from candidates like, “As an executive leader, I will not recommend any positions to my network without full transparency from the beginning.” While we always respect our clients’ preferences, we recommend posting salaries to ensure the hiring process is transparent and fair.

Salary transparency helps ensure that employees are not underpaid or overpaid based on factors such as race, gender, or other characteristics that should not impact pay—it is widely considered a best practice for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). To ensure fairness, work with an outside compensation consultant to benchmark your salary ranges and include them in your job ads. In our experience, many candidates will only apply for (and share with their networks) positions that include a posted salary; not posting reduces the size of the candidate pool.

Pay transparency during the hiring process is part of a large-scale movement toward equity—it is law in a growing number of states and cities, with more legislation coming this year. In a recent article, Bankrate quoted Indeed Hiring Lab Economist AnnElizabeth Konkel, “Across the board, salary transparency does help eliminate those asymmetric information problems that can contribute to the gender wage gap, racial wage issues, and the labor market.”

Be Transparent About the Work

Candidates want to know the realities of working at your organization. The more you show what’s behind the curtain, the more you will attract the type of employees who will succeed in your unique environment.

Staffing Advisors Project Director Lilly Khan shared, “If they will be jumping into some big challenges, let them know. If you don’t tell them during hiring, they’ll figure it out once they start and you may end up recruiting again in a few months. Candidates deserve to make an informed decision.”

Be clear about your performance expectations for the role and how you evaluate employees. According to a 2021 Gallup article, “… many employees are suffering from unclear role expectations and reduced accountability. Communication and collaboration became increasingly difficult when over 60% of the workforce transitioned to remote work.” At this point, many qualified candidates have had bad experiences with outdated or insufficient performance management methods, and they want to see that your strategy is well-considered.

Staffing Advisors Vice President of Client Engagement Aileen Hedden added, “Being transparent is really just about being authentic. Candidates appreciate your honesty, and the right candidates will be excited about the chance to make an impact. You want to attract people who want to help solve your problems—that’s why you’re hiring.”

We outline how to frame your business challenges and performance expectations in this how-to guide, 6 Steps to Writing Job Descriptions that Attract Great Candidates.

Be Responsive to Candidates

Top-performing employees want to work with employers who clearly want to engage with them. That means returning calls and emails promptly, coming to interviews prepared with a welcoming demeanor, and informing them of next steps even if you are going with another candidate. The Staffing Advisors team finds that, increasingly, candidates will drop out of a search because an employer seems unresponsive or inflexible.

According to an Indeed research study, “A whopping 77% of job seekers say they’ve been ghosted by a prospective employer since the U.S. onset of the pandemic … with 10% reporting that an employer has ghosted them even after a verbal job offer was made.”

In a market where job seekers have plenty of options and many employers fail to treat candidates courteously, being responsive will give you a competitive advantage. Set clear expectations with your team for how you’ll respond to candidates throughout your hiring process and follow through.

Improve the Candidate Experience, Improve Your Hiring Results

Over the past few years, many have struggled to figure out why so many workers are moving jobs and industries as people seek out work-life balance, career advancement, flexibility, better work culture, more meaningful and fulfilling work, and more. With low unemployment, high inflation, and changes in what employees expect from their work relationships, organizations looking to hire exceptional candidates have a lot to contend with.

The recruiting and hiring landscape is undergoing fundamental changes that we predict are unlikely to revert. At the core is treating candidates with the respect they deserve and are now more empowered to demand. Improving the candidate experience will improve your hiring results long term, making you less vulnerable to future shifts in the economy and job market.