Data driven approach to what talent cares about

At NextWave, we have over 500,000 data points on what questions candidates care about. That’s a lot of data!!!!! The best part is that this information wasn’t collected through some sort of contrived survey. Nope. All we did was track what content on our site was most viewed by candidates in the comfort of their own homes, or subway seats, or wherever else you whip out your phone/laptop and do some career research.

So, what did we find??

Specificity wins
“What is your culture like?” is an ok question, I’d give it a C-. As a topic, people want to know about a company’s culture. But, what a BORING question. Topics worded with a tad more specificity outperformed the standard questions by nearly 20%. Think “What’s your favorite after work activity with co-workers?”

Career paths matter
Questions related to skills, and general career path outperformed the average as well. These questions range from “What are the opportunities for advancement after {{role}}?” to “What advantages will I have in my career after working as a {{role}}?”

Don’t shy from the tough questions
Companies who choose to be daring will get more interest. Questions like “What’s your least favorite part of the job?” receive 30% more views. As a company, this may seem very scary. But, we all know that without balance we lose credibility as a voice. And, sharing the negatives is many times a good way to weed out bad hires. If you don’t want to cold call, don’t join the sales team. If you don’t want to work in an unstructured environment, don’t join a startup!

The things they like to talk about
The last point is that people like to read about what they like to talk about. Every industry has those few things that people salivate over. In engineering, it’s hard problems. In finance, it’s complicated financial models. Whatever your thing is, you need a few questions that address these key topics as they will get engagement like whoa!

Hopefully sharing the results of our findings is useful as you think about what topics to cover in your employer branding and recruitment marketing efforts. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a holler.

Phil Strazzulla

Founder at NextWave Hire
Phil is a founder of NextWave Hire.Previously, he was a VC at Bessemer, and has a MBA from Harvard, and studied finance at NYU.