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The Key To Attracting The Best Candidates: Address Their Needs

The Key to Attracting the Best Candidates: Address Their Needs

It doesn’t matter what employers want! It’s all about what the candidate needs….

A problem many employers have is attracting skilled candidates who are a fit for their organization. It may be that we are spending too much time advertising to candidates on what abilities we demand, rather than the needs we can supply to the best candidates.

With very low unemployment rates, especially for those with advanced education, billions of dollars in revenue are lost every year because of unfilled job vacancies. From customers walking out the door because their equipment cannot be fixed in time to not being able to bid on projects, employers without access to talent see lost sales and reduced revenue. By concentrating on their needs, could we change what we advertise to attract people who fit our organizations?

An excellent study from the University of Calgary, Saskatchewan, and Vermont published in the Journal of Business and Psychology showed the massive positive effect of writing effective jobs ads. The study showed that addressing candidates’ needs resulted in almost three times the number of highquality applicants.

Statements like “The job will provide you with autonomy as you will be required to complete tasks with minimal supervision” far outperformed, “You will be required to show initiative in prioritizing task and carrying them through to completion”. The results were over 13% more applicants and way more candidates that were rated highly by interviewers.

Providing information that helps candidates assess their fit in your organization, and encouraging them to apply because the role fills their needs, seems obvious. The problem is we often concentrate on skills required, not on the autonomy, challenging tasks, or advancement our companies provide. We’ll be trying to re-write our job ads to fit candidate’s needs and would be interested in hearing any advances you have made in your advertising. Please reach out to us or comment below.


Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue.
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