Recruiter Report: Engaging Passive Candidates in Today’s Market

Posted by Diana Shay Milazzo

In today’s environment, one of the challenges commonly coming up in our conversations with insurance leaders is the difficulty recruiting passive candidates. Individuals who are not actively looking are becoming reluctant to learn about new opportunities; or in some cases, going through the full interview process and ultimately staying with their current employer. In this edition of Recruiter Report, we’re answering the question, "How can you help passive candidates feel comfortable accepting a new role in today’s environment?"
Recruiter Report Engaging New Hires Prior to Their First Day-01-1

While professionals may be hesitant to make a move amid economic uncertainty and industry layoffs, there are a few ways to help them feel more secure and ensure you’re presenting opportunities in the best possible light. 

Acknowledge the current state of the industry. 
Widely publicized layoffs and restructuring are causing even active job seekers to be more tentative in leaving their current roles. Instead of avoiding these conversations, be candid and upfront with potential candidates about why a position is open and the vision for the role, especially if you are a company that has experienced layoffs. For instance, is this particular department growing? What are some of the company’s recent successes? What key goals and metrics are dependent on the role? Additionally, showcase your company’s commitment to growth and development by sharing how the organization is investing in its current employees. Anything positive and future-focused can help lessen candidates’ fears, start establishing trust and capture their interest. 

Recruiter Report Engaging Passive Candidates-01Highlight how the role can fill the candidate’s specific needs.
Today’s professionals are unlikely to change companies without a good reason, making it essential to provide a compelling case for entertaining a move. In initial discussions with a candidate, aim to understand what is most important to them in a role and company, as well as any needs that are not being adequately met by their current employer. If you can identify what they value and focus on what your organization can provide in those areas – whether it’s more money, greater flexibility, a specific career path or other factors – they’re likely to be open to learning more. 

Additionally, ask what they value most in their current role. For instance, one of the major roadblocks for candidates who are currently remote or hybrid is the fear of losing that flexibility. Work to identify and address any concerns around work environment head on, including your organization’s near- and long-term plans for remote work, hybrid schedules and flexible hours.  

Provide a positive candidate experience.
The interview process provides a platform for highlighting the role, your company and its people, while also offering an opportunity to alleviate any lingering candidate concerns. Be intentional in how you use this time and be thoughtful in providing a positive and professional candidate experience—from who you select for your interview panel to the interview’s scheduling and follow up. This often provides insight into how individuals feel they would be treated as employees. 

Throughout the hiring process, keep lines of communication open and frequent, continuing to build trust and engagement. We’ve seen some companies move more slowly near the end of the year; however, this can make candidates antsy or cause them to begin questioning the role’s security. If you like an individual, be ready to move quickly. A sense of urgency not only shows respect for a candidate’s time, but also helps prevent them from getting cold feet.

Throughout the hiring process, keep lines of communication open and frequent, continuing to build trust and engagement.

Tailor the offer to the individual candidate. 
When you come to the point of extending an offer, remember each candidate will weigh various factors differently depending on what they personally value. Use the information you gathered throughout the interview process to create a strong offer that meets the candidate’s unique needs to the best of your company’s ability. Undoubtedly, money will always play a role and overall salary expectations remain high in today’s market. If you like a candidate, don’t plan to negotiate down; give them what they ask for when possible. 

While professionals aren’t making career moves at the rate they were a year ago, it is possible to ease passive candidates’ concerns and help them feel more comfortable learning about an open role and even accepting an offer. Focus on being transparent, engaging and professional, while highlighting what your company has to offer and how it can meet an individual’s unique needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Curious to see how likely professionals are to explore a new job right now? Click below to view our LinkedIn poll. 

For more recruiting best practices, view our past editions of Recruiter Report.

View our LinkedIn poll to learn more and share your thoughts.