Candidate’s Decision-Making process in a Crisis

July 5th 2020


Some companies can’t afford to freeze hiring and continue to look for top talent – even in a crisis. How can you recruit the best in uncertain times? By understanding the candidate decision-making process in unpredictable times, you can not only attract and hire in-demand candidates faster but also create consistent communication to help potential candidates to consider your jobs in a distressed economy.


Understanding Candidate Behavior in a Downturned Economy

When it comes to a depressed economy, candidates start to process information differently than in a time of non-crisis. They respond differently, especially when there is a high level of uncertainty, and officials cannot guarantee a person’s well-being. Candidates will rely on habits and long-held practices to cope with our new reality. More like a business, candidates will freeze and start to look in worth and are unlikely to be looking for work outside their comfort zone unless absolutely necessary.

With these candidate behavior elements in mind in a downturned economy, hiring teams need to provide guidance and help candidates in the first phase by creating awareness around company policies, safety, and how to create job stability within the company. Candidate Messaging needs to be simple, credible, and consistent. Moreover, latent candidates will seek information to form an opinion and confirm or disconfirm their beliefs before sending over a resume. Recruitment communication must be adjusted to inspire, breathe confidence, and build trust, especially when we live in uncertain times.


Candidate’s Decision-Making during a Crisis

In normal times most candidates change jobs for career advancement. During a crisis, this has changed, and candidates will absorb and act on information differently depending on the person, background, industry, and personal ease with uncertainty. This process is complex and is due, in part, to the fight-or-flight mechanism we humans have. Particularly when the media continuously hypes a situation, the rational reactions of candidates to a crisis will be panic and either to stay in their current job or quickly start looking for a new and stable position outside their company.

If you can understand your ideal candidate behavior and their underlying motivations, you will be able to address the rational thought process behind your candidate’s retention in their current job. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and each candidate uses their personal priorities to inform their decision-making during a crisis. Therefore it is essential to look at how COVID-19 has impacted the candidate life to get a clearer picture of what is important and what isn’t so that you are able to build trust and rapport with your ideal candidate.


Why you need to Humanize your Recruitment Efforts in a Crisis

Understanding the candidate decision-making process can help you create a candidate journey to better engage and motivate prospective employees, even in a crisis. It will also boost recruitment productivity and will give more predictability into your recruiting cycle and efforts. Understanding why people behave in certain ways helps hiring teams prioritize human drivers, drives job changes and gives recruiters insight into what your ideal candidates need to consider making a change.


Boost your Recruitment Efforts, final thoughts

Attracting candidates in a time of crisis isn’t about posting a job online or sending out numbers of generalized emails to potential candidates hoping that it culls results. It is about customizing the recruitment process to your ideal candidate’s needs and wants. Hiring in a crisis means understanding how you can customize messaging, start a dialogue, and personalize the recruitment cycle accordingly. When you do, you connect on a deeper level and are able to see the underlying motivations resistant to change. Humanizing your recruitment efforts is the vehicle to help you connect with the candidates you want and need to enhance business outcomes and help you to move forward even in a downturned economy.

Written by: Sushila Ramkisoensing

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