When I was at Universum (hi Kortney!), we were working with data around 45-50k US-based surveys, which gave us some pretty interesting insights around how people think about and look for jobs.
Generally, we assume that people are primarily simple: self-interested and focusing on finding a job that gives them what they want, be it status, money, support, autonomy, etc.
But people aren’t that simple. They are in the process of making a complex, life-changing decision using data from multiple sources to make a bet on their own future. No one makes that decision on the basis of a single issue. It isn’t all about money or all about autonomy or all about status.
It’s like buying a house. We may say our most important factor is having great outdoor space, but if that outdoor space occurs in an unsafe neighborhood or in a space with a horrible school district, we’ll pass.
You’d think that women would care about working at a company that talks about their dedication to gender equality, but Universum’s data showed that it wasn’t something women were driven by. It was a factor, but buried in the middle where it wasn’t a clear driver of talent.
But you know who did list “commitment to gender equality” as a driver? LGBTQ folks. To them, it seemed that a public commitment to gender equality suggested that this was a company where they could fit in.
Prospects and candidates can’t be told you’re a great place to work. They are looking for the signals that matter to them about who you are and what matters. They are building their own picture of who you are as an employer within their minds.
Your job is to surround them with information about who you are and then keep the door open. Done well, the right people will “get it” and see you as a desirable place to work.
So stop trying to skip to the end and give them your answer. They HAVE to make their own.