How to Avoid Spooking Your Candidate

Posted by Diana Shay Milazzo

Insurance recruiting can be a delicate balance. On one hand, you’re trying to learn more about your candidate and express interest. On the other, you don’t want to seem as if you are desperate to fill a role, or the position itself is undesirable. As we approach Halloween, it’s time to take a step back and make sure you’re not “spooking” your candidates.

Don't ghost them.

Don’t ghost them.

One of the biggest turnoffs for candidates is a lack of feedback. Ensure you’re providing feedback at all stages of the recruiting process, from the initial resume submission to a phone screen to the in-person interview. Two-way communication is expected and helps keep candidates engaged and interested in your company and position. If they don’t hear back in a couple days, it’s likely they will lose interest and move on to other prospects.

Keep interviews to a minimum.

In the not so recent past, many companies were asking candidates to come in for numerous interviews with a variety of individuals from hiring managers to teammates and potential subordinates. Be conscientious of candidates’ time and recognize most are leaving work and rearranging their schedules to interview. Two or three interviews, including phone interviews, should be the absolute maximum. If you’re bringing an individual into the office, be smart about how their time is spent and schedule short meetings with multiple people, if needed.

Put your best benefits forward.Put your best benefits forward.

It is easy to deliver a standard, boilerplate list of company benefits. However, this could mean key items are getting overlooked. Understand what is important to candidates and which benefits will have the most allure. Ensure these are listed first, and highlight specific benefits that may be relevant as you get to the know an individual candidate’s motivators.

Sell them on the opportunity.

In today’s candidate-driven market, the tables have turned. It is up to the employer to sell candidates on a position, team and organization. Make sure your most impressive employees are put in front of candidates. They should be prepped with key talking points and company highlights to share, while also working to uncover candidates’ motivators and needs. Individuals should leave an interview feeling excited about the position, wanting to work with their potential team and knowing why the company is an outstanding place to work.

Don’t be too rigid.

Today, even the most conservative office environments have loosened up. Most professionals are looking for companies that understand the importance of flexibility and are committed to work/life balance. Strict hours and defined breaks may have prospects running in the opposite direction. If your company or team offers no flexibility in terms of hours or work location, it may be time for a change.

Keep up the momentum.Keep up the momentum.

Top candidates are often talking with multiple companies at the same time. If your candidate experience pales in comparison, interviewees may decide the role is not worth their time, or that you’re not serious about moving forward. Dragging the interview process out too long is a common offense. Keep up the momentum and realize candidates are evaluating opportunities and companies at every point within the recruitment and interview process.

Highlight career development opportunities.

 Most individuals, especially members of younger generations, are looking to grow within a company. If your organization offers career development opportunities, make sure you discuss them. Additionally, the role they’re interviewing for may not be where they ultimately see themselves. Share potential growth opportunities throughout the interview process and discuss career paths as necessary. This shows a commitment to employees and their long-term career goals.


Make your first offer your best offer.

In today’s market, a lackluster offer may offend top candidates, especially if they’ve been upfront with their expectations around compensation. It’s likely candidates will receive and review multiple offers throughout their job searches; make sure yours stands out and keeps them excited about the role. Additionally, make it as comprehensive and compelling as possible, highlighting the specific perks and benefits that meet their individual needs.

Avoid "haunting" them.Avoid “haunting” them.

No matter how well the interview is going, or how natural the conversation seems, avoid inadvertently telling horror stories to your candidates. These include sharing that a role has been open for a year, it’s a revolving door of employees or you’ve made a handful of turned down offers. Don’t talk negatively about colleagues or departments. If the role would involve relocating, don’t casually bring up astronomical housing costs. Of course, while these topics shouldn’t be brought up willingly, do be truthful if a candidate specifically asks about them.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure candidates are running away from haunted houses this Halloween and not your company. To learn more about the candidate-driven market, read our recent white paper, “What Does the Candidate-Driven Market Really Mean for Insurers?