What Applicants Look for in the Hiring Process

You can never overstate how crucial making the right hire is to the success of any company. Bad hires will hurt your company’s productivity, increase your employee turnover rate, and cause you to lose valuable resources like time and money.

A good hire, on the other hand, will be instrumental in helping your company achieve its goals. The ideal hire is one who possesses both the right skills and attributes—the skills to be able to perform the job well and the attributes to be an asset that will positively impact your company’s culture.

The process of your company’s hiring strategy should involve recognizing what people look for when they’re applying for a job. This way, you can create a more effective hiring process that will allow you to attract and hire the best people for the job.

In this article, we’ll discuss the elements that applicants look for in the hiring process.

At the Beginning of the Hiring Process

The hiring process begins with the job listing. Perhaps the most effective way to get job hunters to send their applications is by creating a detailed job post. Applicants will want to know what’s in it for them. Giving them a clear vision of what your company can provide will entice many to apply.

Here are the main factors that potential applicants would look for before they apply:

Salary and Benefits

The most significant reason people look for jobs is to earn money and enjoy benefits like healthcare and retirement pensions. That’s why it can be puzzling that less than 30% of employers tend to include it in their job postings.

An argument for not including it is that it creates flexibility with regard to the salary offer. While that’s a reasonable justification, you also run the risk of missing out on the best applicants if you do that.

There’s also the possibility of your company spending resources in the hiring process, only for the applicant to back out when you don’t come to terms on the salary. By including the salary and benefits in your job posting, you won’t have to worry about negotiations before extending your job offer.

Granted, there are instances where a company wouldn’t be able to specify the actual salary. At the very least, provide a salary range if that’s the case.

The compensation is the ultimate motivator for a lot of workers. They’re more likely to pursue employment with your company when you provide them with information regarding that.

Workplace Culture

Another piece of information that applicants will want to know is your company’s culture. For some people, happiness at work is more important than monetary compensation. Applicants generally look for a company with a positive workplace culture.

In your job posting, you may include a few details about what makes your culture great, such as perks that your employees enjoy. You may also include links to your website or social media account that will help applicants know your workplace culture better.

Career Path

Career development is a priority for many, if not all, employees. It would help if your job description can include the possible career paths for the position you’re hiring for.

Some applicants may even forego a generous salary for a promising career that offers growth and development. Knowing the growth possibilities is another motivating factor for potential applicants to go ahead and send their CV.

Throughout the Hiring Process

As applications come in and you start your interviews and exams, here are things that applicants will want to experience throughout the process:

Streamlined Process

You should aim to make the process efficient both for your hiring team and for the applicants. For example, if you can do your interviews over the phone or through other telecommunications apps, do it there.

You can also take advantage of the internet in instances where the applicants need to fill out forms or take exams where they can do it at home instead—the same thing goes for sending out necessary documents via email.

The point is to make it easier for all parties involved. Applicants today would appreciate companies that take advantage of technology to make the hiring process smoother.

The use of recruiting software would aid you in streamlining the hiring process.

Professional and Friendly Atmosphere During Interviews

Striking a fine balance between professionalism and friendliness during interviews would create an ideal atmosphere for the applicants.

To get the applicants to open up and help you get to know them better, the interviewer should make an effort to help them feel at ease by not being too stern or intimidating. Applicants would appreciate an interviewer that treats them with kindness and respect while also maintaining the professional nature of the situation.

Applicants with a positive interview experience, regardless of whether they get hired or not, are more likely to recommend your company to others. That should also help your hiring process.

Constant Communication

Nothing is more frustrating for applicants than companies keeping them in the dark about their application. It’s only fair for the applicants to know the status of their application. The hiring team should exert effort to keep applicants in the loop.

Your hiring team should never have to wait for the applicants to come to you with follow-ups. The applicants may have other plans lined up in case their application fails, so it’s only proper that they receive timely updates, even if it’s just via email or text.

Clear Timeline

In connection with our point about communications, applicants would want to know how long the whole hiring process would take. From the initial interview onwards, it’s ideal to inform them how long they need to wait before they find out the results or before they can proceed to the next step.

Even if you don’t have a fixed timeline, at least give them an approximate number of days or weeks. There’s a possibility that they may drop out of the running and look elsewhere if you fail to provide them a timeline.

They may also end up frequently contacting your hiring team for follow-ups, which would take away from the team’s time to do their job.


After the interviews, applicants will appreciate candid feedback to know how they did. The interviewer may offer compliments on their strong points and pointers on areas for improvement.

Even if the applicants don’t end up getting the job, this feedback is something they can take with them as they look for other options.

You also need to inform the applicants of the final result of their application as soon as possible. There are companies who don’t even bother informing the applicants that they didn’t get the job. That’s a big no-no and will only hurt your company’s reputation.

The Importance of Knowing What Applicants Are Looking For

Every company strives to hire the best workers, yet so many still end up making bad hires. To avoid this problem and for your company to be able to attract the best candidates, it’s vital to know what your potential applicants are looking for.

Having the knowledge of what applicants want and incorporating them throughout your hiring process will aid in your objective to employ the right people.