In the competition for true talent, I often picture companies as robots donned in red or blue plastic, battling in a yellow ring to conquer and win the best of the best candidates. But my retro devotion to Rock’em Sock’em robots always reminds me that someone is controlling the levers. The moves of the Blue Bomber and the Red Rocker are really being choreographed by each company’s recruiters. Recruiters launch the battle, and candidates’ perceptions of the organization and its corresponding brand image must be considered throughout the process. If recruiters and organizations know what will keep applicants interested and continuing through the process, they have a better chance at getting the best talent on board. But what sorts of things matter to candidates? And do these things change as a function of the stage of the process?