We are in the midst of an era where the candidate-centric market has become the norm. In this environment, candidates have more power. Companies need to adopt new strategies to engage top candidates. Luckily, there are solutions to help companies battle the war on candidate retention. Read on to learn how to best engage top candidates in today’s unique market that’s driven by candidates, not organizations. 

Top Challenges Recruiters Face in A Candidate-Centric Market 

Candidate acquisition is becoming more challenging day by day. No matter the size of your organization, TA managers and leaders all seem to face the same hurdles in the war for candidate. Here are some of the top challenges recruiters are facing in today’s hiring market: 

Attracting Candidate 

In today’s increasingly competitive market, one of the biggest challenges is how to attract top candidate to apply to your company. How can you stand out from all other competing companies? It’s now even more difficult to onboard quality hires since there are so many options laid before them. 


Building Candidate Pipelines 

Another big hurdle recruiters face is the difficulty in building candidate pipelines and nurturing passive candidates. Along with the challenge of sourcing new candidates, building a pipeline of warm candidates can ideally reduce your time to fill vacant roles. However, not every recruiter knows how to keep these passive candidates engaged. 


Recruitment Speed 

Even with automation playing a huge part in the recruitment process today, there’s still an evident disconnect between the time spent sifting through piles of applications versus building relationships with candidates. 



Lastly, and arguably the most impactful challenge, is making sure your team is engaged with your recruitment and candidate retention efforts. Is your team aligned with everything; from hiring requirements, candidate experience, and recruitment goals? Companies that are having a hard time communicating internally will unsurprisingly fail to effectively communicate with candidates. 

The Shift from Organization-Centric to Candidate-Centric Market

One of today’s biggest and hottest trends is that companies are now focusing on candidates rather than jobs. What does it mean when candidate becomes more important than job roles? It’s a shift in focus, where companies are doing everything, they can fill their open positions with people who best fit their culture and values. 

Shifting the approach to employee engagement became a business imperative when the job market changed. With the unemployment rate staying low, top candidate is in high demand. Recruiters are left with no choice but to attract not only the unemployed but as well as the employed pool.

Importance of Candidate-Centric Efforts 

Candidate management has become one of the most crucial aspects of any business, which means how well a company engages its top candidate has become incredibly important. It is no longer possible for companies to overlook or fail to consider candidates like they did before. Candidates now pick companies they want to work for, not the other way around. 

The way organizations interact with candidate has drastically changed over time. It used to be organization-centric – where the needs of organizations are put first. A candidate-centric recruitment and candidate retention strategy focuses on building relationships with candidates, in contrast to the traditional organization focus on just filling open positions. 

How to Attract and Engage Top Candidate 

To engage candidates, companies should shift from an organization-centric recruitment strategy (the traditional way of doing things) towards a candidate-centric one. The benefits are clear – both sides win! Follow these steps to attract and engage top candidate: 

1. Develop Career Development Programs 

In a candidate-centric market, it’s more important than ever to put your best foot forward when it comes to attracting and engaging top candidate. To keep employees motivated and engaged, offer opportunities for continued growth with well-designed onboarding and upskilling programs. 

One of these programs could be a mentorship program where high potential can meet with leaders within your organization. The goal of this program is not only for candidates to learn about skills related to their careers but also for them to build relationships that allow them to feel comfortable asking questions and challenging themselves. Doing so will benefit all parties involved and ensure the retention of top human resources. 

Alongside mentorships, consider whether you need another approach to develop their skills – one that is still relatively cost-effective while also giving them lots of feedback along the way. This can be in the form of your senior employees building out a suite of short courses, signing up for conferences and certifications, or the inclusion of incentives in career advancement programs. 

2. Focus On Cultivating a Workforce That Delivers Value 

Finding and keeping top candidate is a priority for any company. However, finding that 5 percent of employees who deliver 95 percent of value takes on a new level of importance when there’s so much competition for it. Engaging top performers is one key way companies can keep thriving. 

To get started, think about roles and not processes or specific people. It’s crucial to understand the basic economics of value creation in designated roles. This will enable you to focus your efforts on the few critical areas where the right people have the biggest impact. 

Take basketball, for example. It’s not always the person who dunks who is the MVP. It’s the designation of the right people handling the offense, defense, and scoring of points that make all the difference. In the same way, make sure that your employees have all the support they need to shine. 

3. Build an Employee-Focused Culture 

It’s more important than ever for companies to keep their employees happy. An employee that is happy with their work environment and company culture is less likely to leave. If a company can create an employee-focused culture, they are much more likely to engage top candidates in a candidate-centric market. 

Remember that work-life balance is not just a buzzword but a huge deciding factor for people to take or leave a job. See what you can offer your employees. Make sure you address every specific need. Just because it’s the same for all employees, doesn’t mean it works for all. 

People want to feel valued. Recognize their achievements. Help them unwind. Build strong and positive relationships. Get away from conventional working standards! Offering unique and irresistible perks and benefits sets you apart from the competition. 

4. Involve Employees in Your Recruitment Efforts 

Your recruitment strategy is just as much about retention as it is about recruitment. When dealing with a saturated job market, it’s important to involve employees in your hiring efforts. After all, great employees don’t just want their organizations to give them a job—they want their companies to give them an opportunity. 

According to an Inc.com article on creative ways to get new candidate, one strategy you can look into is providing your employees with a deck of recruitment cards. The idea is to have your employees ready to hand out a card when they meet someone who may be a good fit for your open roles. 

There’s no better job advertisement than your current employees raving about your workplace. Encourage referrals through a good incentive program.  Whichever creative strategy you implement, tapping into your employee’s network will help you boost your recruitment efforts with an added bonus of getting your employees on board and excited!


ACS Professional Staffing can connect you with the best people in IT, engineering, finance, administrative support, and more. We specialize in direct hire placements, contract-to-hire staffing, and payroll services. 

If you’re tired of having short-term solutions for your long-standing recruiting problems, we’re here for you! We provide support and staffing that’s geared for long-term success. We’re not a revolving door, we’re a destination. Begin your partnership with us today! Contact us for more information about what customized workforce solutions we can build for your business.