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The seismic shift during the last two years has turned the labor market on its head. Today, there is a near record of ~11.2 million jobs available, with almost two job openings for every unemployed American. And with the constantly shifting landscape, companies continue to face high employee turnover and difficulty acquiring quality talent to fill open roles. Sixty-nine percent of recruiters believe attracting and hiring talent will be difficult for the remainder of the year, per the latest data from Employ Inc.’s latest Quarterly Insights Report.

To overcome this challenge, it’s key to determine whether the role aligns with the expectations and preferences of job seekers. One of the best ways to find out is during the interview process. By opening the interview floor to questions from a job candidate, you have the opportunity to better understand what is important to them and make authentic connections in a highly competitive hiring environment. In the past six months, 72% of recruiters have encountered candidates who have, at one time, received multiple offers at the same time.

“What motivates you [Recruiter or Hiring Manager] to stay on the team at your organization?”

Job seekers know what they are looking for in their next position and want to be satisfied with their future employment. In fact, new research shows that 32% of workers would quit a job without having another one lined up if they don’t feel content or fulfilled with their job. Answering this question truthfully will help the candidate determine whether or not your organization is a good culture fit. Especially since 21% of job seekers cited poor company culture as the top reason for leaving a job in the last 12 months. Another thing to consider is welcoming the candidate to ask that same question to others. The different perspectives of your hiring team can help the candidate really understand the organization and how it might align with their values.

“What has the company implemented to help drive improvement in the organization?”

While this question is broad, your answer can help your organization stand out. Tie this answer to the initiatives implemented to build your company culture or improve the well-being of employees, such as mental health benefits, strong work-life balance, and flexible work arrangements, among others. Per Employ data, poor company culture is one of the top reasons employers switch jobs. You might also pull an example from how the organization was faced with a challenge, made a change, and was ultimately able to overcome that obstacle. In addition to a strong culture, reinforcing how your team solves problems collaboratively can really help improve the candidate’s understanding of why they would want to join your team.

“How has the organization been performing against goals this year?”

Job seekers want to know whether an organization is setting and achieving its goals. This is especially important for roles where reaching individual goals correlates with salaries, as compensation continues to be a driving factor in today’s hiring climate. Per Employ’s latest data, 42% of recruiters found making adjustments to compensation and total rewards to be the most helpful strategy in overcoming the tight labor market. That’s why it’s crucial to leave interviewees with a clear understanding of compensation, how attainable the goals are, and whether the organization has successfully achieved them.

“What is [Hiring Manager’s] leadership style?”

Misalignment on leadership styles can cause significant workplace issues and future career paths. That’s why job seekers need to understand their potential manager’s leadership style and for you to know how candidates like to receive direction and feedback. Answering this question with transparency is critical. Otherwise, you risk hiring a new employee who may not mesh well with the team. Employ data found that nearly one-third of workers who left their job after 90 days claim unsatisfactory company leadership as the primary rationale for departing.

“Do you have any concerns about recommending me for this position?”

If you have concerns about gaps in skills or experience, take the time to explain why those are important to the position and allow them to respond. The candidate’s response to the feedback can also signal how well they handle critical feedback and if they’re willing to grow in the areas they’re lacking. Pay attention to what experiences they highlight to help reduce your potential concerns. The conversation surrounding this question could ultimately make, or break, your decision to move forward with a candidate or their decision to accept the job.

Overcome Hiring Challenges with the Right Technology

Before an interview even takes place, sourcing the right talent for open roles is crucial. However, our data reveals the biggest challenge for over half of recruiters is finding and hiring quality candidates, while 62% said improving quality-of-hire is their top priority. In today’s tight labor market, recruiters must adapt their tactics and processes to identify the best possible candidates, which can be accomplished by investing in intelligent talent acquisition technologies to meet hiring goals.

When determining the best solution for the needs of your talent acquisition (TA) team, ensure the technology has extensive experience in delivering recruiting results within your specific industry and business size. Identify solutions that go beyond applicant tracking and integrate a wide range of capabilities to support your hiring goals, including recruiting AI and automation, employee referral tools, analytics, and more. With these solutions, organizations will have everything needed to identify the best candidates for every job opening and the opportunity to dig even deeper during the interview process.

Corey Berkey serves as Senior Vice President, People & Talent, at Employ Inc. 

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