How to attract the right candidate for your organisation

You are getting ready to post your job ad and know what skills and experience you require, but have you considered what will motivate and attract the right candidate to apply for the job?

Understanding what matters most to potential employees and tailoring your hiring process can not only help to increase your application numbers, but also the relevancy of applicants.

For jobseekers, right now is the best time in years to look for work. With many domestic restrictions removed across the UK and a range of job vacancies available, workers finally appear to have a renewed sense of optimism and the confidence to take back control of their career choices.

As more people are looking for work, this should be an exciting time for employers and recruitment agencies. Then why are 42% of hiring managers finding it harder to attract applications from the right candidates?

Using data from’s latest survey* we explored what motivates people to apply for jobs in the current market. Here are five tips to attract qualified candidates:


1. Know what workers want 

The ‘Great Resignation’ and the pandemic has created a shift in candidate behaviour. However, there is no surprise that salary is still the number one motivator when looking for a job, with 40% of jobseekers ranking salary as the top factor. 

Not only is salary the biggest motivator, but we also found that pay transparency makes a difference. Workers want to know the salary on offer for a role upfront. 78% of people said they are less likely to apply for a role when the salary is absent from a job ad. 

28% of respondents ranked commute time and location as their top motivators when considering applying for a job. This means to attract the right candidate, it is essential to provide relevant information on your job ad, such as your company location or whether the role is hybrid or working from home. Make sure that your job ad is optimised to target and find the right candidates for the job.  

While salary will always be a significant factor in a job offer, career-conscious candidates are also motivated by exceptional opportunities to develop new skills and progress in their careers. In fact, 23% of people ranked career development as one of their top motivations when applying for a job.  

Does your business offer any unique learning and development opportunities? If a monetary value can be assigned to these opportunities – for example, a monthly allowance that can be put towards personal development – even better.


2. Show your salary

Pay transparency can sometimes be controversial, with some employers embracing it and others avoiding it. However, with 22% of people saying that they only apply for jobs when a salary is present due to their unwillingness to talk about money, pay transparency needs serious consideration.

This demonstrates that not only should getting the salary right be a priority but so should being open and transparent about what it is. Your job ad is the first opportunity to display it. 

In our survey, it was interesting to see that almost two-thirds (62%) of hiring managers don’t believe that the absence of salary on a job ad will harm application numbers. However, we know from analysing user behaviour on**, roles that display a salary receive 27% more applications than those without. 

When it comes to the benefits of using pay transparency to attract the right candidate, we also found that 38% of hiring managers decide to advertise salaries because it improved the relevancy of applications. Whether you opt to include the specific salary, or simply the salary bracket, providing at least some level of pay transparency will help encourage more of the most relevant people to apply. 


3. Evolve your interview process

As a business owner, agency or hiring manager, you’re exceptionally short of time and luckily for you, potential employees ultimately want a shorter interview process.  

Therefore, if they feel like the interview process is taking longer than expected or the stages are unclear, they might pull out of the process midway. 

The traditional method of interviewing means potential hires  are under pressure to manage their schedules to fit in time to travel to and from interviews. Lengthy interview stages can be difficult for jobseekers who are already employed and looking for a new opportunity. 

In many cases, the length of the interview process isn’t clear enough or explained to the applicant, which can cause further stress. In general, the traditional interview process is usually made up of two to three interview stages and looks like this:

Application submission > Screening process > Telephone interview > Face-to-face interview > Panel Interview > Face-to-face interview > Offer > Negotiation

During the lockdown, we saw the entire hiring process driven online. With many new starters onboarded online and never meeting colleagues face-to-face.

Now that workers have returned to the office, there is a great opportunity to incorporate aspects of the interview process implemented during the lockdown. A hybrid approach to interviewing combines both online and offline and reflects the hybrid work model that 73% of employees want. It can typically look this is: 

Application submission > Video interview > Face-to-face Interview > Offer > Negotiation

Taking a hybrid approach can help your business to improve the overall interview process, and offers increased flexibility, efficiency, and saves time. However, always remember that communication in the interview process is key. From the initial conversations with interviewees, be honest and open about what your hiring process looks like to ensure they know what to expect and have an accurate timeline.


4. Talk about perks

When it comes to conversations around salary, it’s always wise to talk beyond this initial figure when making an offer, especially considering 40% of respondents said they would apply for a job below their salary expectations.

23% of people stated company benefits are one of the most important factors when applying for a job. This tells us that prospective employees generally understand that base pay is just one element.

It’s important to know what perks are the most enticing in the current market and to use financial benefits outside of base salary to make up the overall package on offer, to make it more attractive to the right candidates. 

Examples of financial factors outside of base salary include benefits such as performance bonuses, share schemes, long-term incentive plans, and a business pension contribution. As well as softer benefits such as private medical insurance and salary sacrifice schemes.

If a business operates a flexible benefits scheme, clearly communicate what this scheme looks like, what options are available and what monetary value it equates to (as well as what value it may be capped at).

Whether in the final interview, negotiation stage or an annual performance review, be sure to emphasise to individuals the financial value they can expect from the business – and how base pay fits into this. 


5. Promote your inclusivity and be transparent in your efforts

Great news, jobseekers respect openness! One in four (25%) respondents are looking at an organisations’ Gender Pay Gap report before they even apply for a role. 40% said they will still apply for a job if they don’t believe an organisation’s gender pay gap is fair, as long as the company provides details on how they will improve it. If a company is not as diverse and inclusive as it would like it to be right now – if they are trying to improve it – they should promote this. 

Before you have had a chance to view an applicant’s CV they are already checking your company’s LinkedIn profile and website. Therefore, take the opportunity to promote your company’s attitudes and values towards diversity, equity and inclusion to attract those it matters most to. 

Keep in mind that diversifying your workforce goes beyond attracting the right candidates to apply and getting them into the interview room. It is also about making sure the workplace is inclusive and LinkedIn and your website are great places to reflect your efforts.


Give candidates what they want

Ultimately the job market is being driven by candidates right now and attracting potential employees will need to go beyond a nicely worded job ad. There is an increasing demand for pay transparency and a flexible interview process. 

Emphasise what your company has to offer, based on what is currently motivating those looking for work. Right now impressive perks, company values and career development opportunities will essentially influence and attract the right candidate to apply for a job at your company.


For information about’s Recruiter services, and to learn more about how we can help with your recruitment and retention strategies, click here.


* This online survey was conducted by Atomik Research and consisted of 2,008 adults in the UK (95% were employed and 5% were unemployed). This survey took place between the 4th – 11th February 2022. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides by the MRS code.

**Analysis of jobs adverts on during 2021.