Career Pathing: Key to Attracting the Best Talent


When a candidate pursues 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 the top motivation for a job search, according to 30% of candidates in a recent┬ástudy.

Some additional explanations for pursuing new opportunities include:

– Seeking more compensation: 25%
– Didn’t like their boss 19%
– Contract assignment ended: 15%
– Switched to a different industry or sector: 13%

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’ primary motivation for job change being career advancement, it’s imperative that discussions around career pathing become a central part of the hiring discussion,” says Analisa Blakley, Principal, Director of Marketing with Judson Group. “At every step from job-description and online marketing, through the interview process, emphasize how important career growth is at your organization.”

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, career site 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 illustrates the company’s focus on employee advancement,” says Blakley. “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 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 clearly answer questions about job advancement,” says Blakley. “It’s essential to 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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