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Career Pathing: Key to Attracting the Best Talent

When a candidate applies to a job at your organization, chances are they’re unhappy at their current company for a number of reasons, including a poor manager or a need for higher earning potential. However, a desire for upward mobility is one the top motivation for a job search.

Some additional explanations include:

  • Seeking more compensation
  • Didn’t like their boss
  • Contract assignment ended
  • Switched to a different industry or sector

It’s essential to anticipate this top job change motivator and to have prepared strategies in your interviewing and hiring processes that respond to this driver.

With nearly one-third of prospective applicants trying to advance their careers through a job change, it’s imperative that discussions around career pathing become a central part of the interview process. From your website to the interview and post-interview steps, emphasize just how important career growth is at your organization.

Cathleen Anderson, Managing Partner for Professional Search and Contract Staffing at PrincetonOne notes, “One of the key drivers of employee turnover is stagnant career growth. An employee’s happiness ultimately revolves around learning, professional development, and knowing the impact they’re making on your organization. In order to retain top talent, you need to give your employees room to grow and support a system that measures success. When employees know what success looks like, they are more engaged, and retention is higher.” ​

The following are strategies you can follow to illustrate the ways you, as the employer, will ensure a potential employee succeeds at your business:

Demonstrate that your company prioritizes career growth. Illustrate that commitment on your company’s website and any external marketing and PR channels, as part of a deliberate employer branding strategy. For example, you can show that employees at your firm have fulfilling careers by highlighting stories of individuals who have advanced through a series of promotions within a culture that fosters recognition of excellent performance.

More specifically, you can post videos and publish blog posts on your site that showcase stories of advancement. These, in turn, will be read or viewed by prospective candidates.

Telling powerful stories of workers who have really advanced and grown at your company is key to finding candidates who will feel confident in your business. Whether through videos, social media or PR, tell these stories and make sure applicants can easily relate to these experiences.

Proactively communicate during interviews your company’s commitment to providing career advancement opportunities.  Don’t wait for candidates to ask about advancement opportunities; clearly promote it during interviews. Have interviewers highlight your organization’s track record of giving raises, promoting and consistently supporting talented employees. Additionally, ensure interviewers provide personal accounts of advancement, and highlight data or statistics around promotions or annual raises. If your organization is struggling in this area, be honest and discuss the steps being taken to address this.

Train your employees so that they can eloquently answer questions about job advancement. It will pay off by keeping star candidates interested and excited about your company.

Ultimately, candidates want to know they’ll grow in their position at a new company or at least have the opportunity to tackle new challenges. Demonstrating evidence of this through employer branding can leave a lasting impression with potential new hires that makes them want to join a team that celebrates success.

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