Data-Driven Series: 4 Steps to Answering Your Candidates' Questions

Welcome back to our Data-Driven Series, if you missed last week’s article catch up here.

Two months ago, our insights and development team began our data collection for our new project. We wanted to produce original research on what job candidates have been asking employers for the past three years. We collected 20,116 questions and 2.9 million views across the questions, on our platform.

Insight 1

We discovered that half of candidates’ questions are left unanswered due to companies not addressing their questions sufficiently. Questions about diversity, career advice, work-life balance, role progression, and challenges are generally left answered, resulting in candidates finding their answers elsewhere. However, what we discovered is that a generic heading such as “diversity” or “company information” cannot be summarised in a small paragraph on a career site. Candidates want information on the various subcategories that come under these headings too, which we have seen within our previous research into diversity, read our ebook here. Learn how to answer your candidates’ questions with our four step guide. 

1. Identify The Subtopics

Within each topic there are subtopics, let’s take “Diversity” as the first example. We identified the main subtopics in “Diversity” as ethnicity, gender, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion. In each subtopic, feel free to note down the minor topics, for instance, female/male/non-binary/others.

2. What Do They Want To Know?

According to the 2018 Talent Board benchmark research, 69% of North American employers are sharing diversity and culture marketing content to attract candidates. 

And yet, North American candidates found diversity and culture information valuable a mere 20% of the time. This demonstrates a clear issue in communication from the career site.

But what exactly is said that puts diverse candidates off? Or more accurately: what information is missing to convince diverse candidates they should apply for the position? 

Within each “diversity” subtopic, there are a broad amount of relevant questions that candidates want answers too. Here are some of the questions which have been asked, across industries, using our platform:

  • What is the gender pay gap and is there a plan to reduce it?
  • How would you describe the diversity in the firm – non-English trainees and associates?
  • Are Late career changers accepted in their 50’s?
  • Tell me some stories of things your company does to make LGBT employees feel at ease at work?

The challenge you have is to create a content strategy for your career site and recruitment events, which indicates how you will answer some of the more general questions without overwhelming your job candidates with content, and ensuring that the information is easy-to-find. 

3. Who Will Answer Their Questions?

In campus fairs and events channels where companies have complete control, they seldom consider how they can fully demonstrate their commitment to diversity. Our recommendation is to send diverse employees to represent your company. 

According to testimonies we collected from diverse candidates, many were surprised by how under-represented they felt at these events. Here is Samuel Akinwumi, a student in Chemical Engineering discussing his experience at campus events:

The same can be applied to career sites when creating a content strategy, you need to take into account who is the most influential person to the “Diverse Candidate”. Have you chosen someone they can relate to? If you are answering questions about the LGBTQ+ community within your workplace, it is better to choose an employee who has personally experienced the company’s treatment of the LGBTQ+ sub-culture and can provide the story behind the statistic. 

4. Apply the above to each topic in the Pie Chart

The lack of information on career sites, and in recruitment events, is not exclusive to the second half of the bar chart, “Company information” also holds subcategories. Here are some of the questions which have been asked, across industries, using our platform:

  • How is this company different from your competitors?
  • What topics in current affairs would the capital markets team be most concerned with?
  • Are there significant differences between offices in different locations in terms of culture and working hours?
  • What were your expectations of working at the company and was the reality different? If so, how?

It is your responsibility to ensure that job candidates leave campus events and come off your career site satisfied with the answers they find. If follow the above tips, you should begin to see applications flood in from better quality candidates who should be better prepared for the interview process and ultimately will stay with your company for longer. 

Key Takeaways

To create the ideal career site and environment for your recruitment events, take some time to break down each topic in the pie chart. Using your newly researched subtopics, speak to employees across your company.  Utilise this time to identify the best people to create content for your career site and to bring with you to recruitment events. 

We find that the most effective kind of content utilises storytelling. Find out how to implement storytelling into your career site with our dedicated ebook:

How can we help?

PathMotion is an online discussion platform that connects job candidates directly to real employees via the company’s career website. PathMotion lets today’s digitally savvy job seekers find the content they truly want -which is traditionally missing from your career sites – by allowing employee advocates to share their personal stories through online discussions, live chat events, video content and social media integrations, improving the employer brand and accelerating talent acquisition and recruiting. Organisations like Air France, Deloitte, Post Office, AXA, the NHS, Citi and more choose PathMotion to increase their qualified applicants by over 200% and improve their job offer acceptance rate by 65%. Find more at and follow @PathMotion on Twitter.