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Typically, this column is targeted toward the job seeker. Today, I’m going to take a slightly different approach. I’ve received the same question from multiple different employers in the past week, “How can I hire better candidates?”

Although this sounds like a straightforward question, the answer isn’t so easy. But, I’m going to try to share a few observations with you that I’ve seen working with job seekers.

The internet has changed the job search game. In particular, candidates are studying employer reviews. Sites such as and both give employees a way to leave a company reviews in the same way that they’d leave restaurant reviews on Yelp. If you’re hiring, check yours and do what you can to improve it.

Beyond online reviews, job seekers are looking for fulfillment and flexibility. Rarely are candidates looking for money alone. They want to be able to work from home on Friday or to have more vacation time with their families. They want to be able to take leave when their children are born. They’ve been down the road of being worked to the bone and they want to get closer to happiness and balance. Although they value money, they’d often give up some to feel happy at work.

Last, but not least, the job seeker wants to feel like a respected human being during the job search process. It makes them uncomfortable to be forced to divulge too much sensitive information such as their entire pay history. It’s upsetting when a company asks them to do extensive homework in early stages of the interview, such as building a portfolio or completing other paperwork beyond a normal application. Job seekers understand why this type of information gathering can be helpful, but wait to ask it of them until they’ve made it to the final stages of the interview process.

And, when you make a promise to the job seeker, keep it. You expect them to keep their promises to you. They expect you to do the same. When you tell the job seeker that you’ll let them know something by Friday, let them know something by Friday. If you haven’t been able to come to a decision for one reason or another, let them know that. They’ll understand. But, what they won’t understand is radio silence.

If you’ve spent hours interviewing a candidate and then decide not to move forward, send them a personal email to let them know. If they email you after the interview, respond. Don’t ignore them or send an automated email. If the candidate asks why they weren’t selected, consider giving them feedback. Candidates are left reeling after a great interview when they aren’t selected. Perhaps there was nothing wrong with the candidate, they were just second in line. Let them know. You may want to hire them for another job one day.

In summary, job seekers want to be treated with honesty and respect. If you value them, they will value your company.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

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