Motivating Passive Candidates When It’s Damn Scary “Out There”

Getting passive candidates to move from their current employer to your company is difficult in the best of times; it’s exceedingly so during a pandemic. After all, even though companies are still laying off workers – or even shutting down altogether – great employees are understandably loathe to take a risk and move right now.

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Still, it is possible to get candidates motivated enough to change employers. Here’s how:

  • Find out what means enough to them to make a move.

That is, what are the benefits, job duties, perks, career dreams, and more that mean the most to them and how can your company make sure the candidate will get them if they become your employee?

Are they looking for more PTO, flextime or continuing education opportunities (such as employer-paid graduate school)?

If moving to your firm means a promotion, how much of a promotion is it in their eyes? Is one step up the ladder not enough? Could you revamp the job so that it’s at least two steps up?

  • Be completely open and honest regarding your company’s current health.

Naturally, passive candidates are going to want to know how robust your business is before jumping ship. If ever there was a good time to be as transparent as possible, now is it. Discuss layoffs or furloughs already completed and any plans you may have for more in the future.

As candidates ask questions – and they definitely will! – make sure you’re as above board and candid as possible. If you not sure about something, say so.

Finally, if the candidate is so terrific and/or the position being filled is so critical to the company’s success, consider the option of providing the candidate with a “no layoff or furlough” promise (in writing), but only if you feel strongly that you won’t have them in the future. (You’ll want to make sure at least one attorney reads the document, of course.)

  • Understand it may take longer to woo passive candidates.

Trepidation about making a job move is more than understandable right now. Don’t be surprised if you’ll spend more time talking with candidates and encouraging/allaying fears. Schedule virtual coffee meetings. Be open to taking candidates’ “on the fly” calls, emails or texts. Let them talk about all their concerns; don’t be surprised if you answer the same questions more than once.

Depending on the position, consider having members of the C-suite engage with candidates. Ask employees who would become the candidates’ co-workers – or even subordinates – to reach out and engage with your potential new-hires.

Passive candidates often are the best workers at their current employer….

…and they understandably are leery of making a move now. Look at recruiting passive candidates as more a relationship-building exercise rather than recruiting. Let them get to know and become interested in your company and what you have to offer that their current employer does not. You probably won’t be able to go into the courtship with a “quick score” mentality and will instead need to nurture their candidacy while growing their trust and allaying their fears.

Helpmates can be your partner in your search for passive candidates for your direct-hire opportunities. Contact the branch nearest your Southern California business to learn how we attract, recruit and vet top talent.

Managing the Unseen Worker

More employees are working remotely than ever before. Some estimates claim as many as 70 percent of all workers around the world work remotely at least once a week.

This has become a trend in large part because of advances in technology, making it easier to communicate and share information.

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There are several advantages to having employees work remotely. One is that it helps companies recruit the best talent, no matter where they are located. Studies have also shown that people who work remotely are more productive than those who do not.

But managing remote teams presents unique challenges as well as opportunities. Here are a few tips on how to handle the challenges.

  1. Be clear about what is expected.

Managers need to set clear guidelines for remote workers. This should cover areas such as when the person should be accessible, working hours, when the employee needs to check in and in what type of communication.

Performance expectations should be set, as well as productivity goals and deadlines. The focus should be on the goals.

Remote workers also need to participate in the same meetings as other workers. For example, if a department has a daily planning session, remote workers should be expected to participate.

Having remote workers participate in the same routines as those who work in the office ensures that everyone is working together. It also helps create stronger bonds between the remote workers and their managers.

  1. Communicate frequently.

Managers should make it a point to have regular conversations with their remote workers individually. Communication with remote employees is especially important, whether it be casual conversation or planned meetings for feedback.

Contacting remote workers informally every day, in addition to scheduled meetings, also is wise. Some companies use video technology to stay in touch.

  1. Use the right technology.

You need to provide your telecommuters with the technology capable of allowing them to work together, to communicate easily and share information among all team members. There are many different software platforms available for this kind of service, ones that offer frameworks for team collaboration and the resources to solve complex problems.

The software should let teams organize their work and synchronize their goals. The tech tools used should be able to show clearly what individual responsibilities are and help managers see what each person is working on. The technology should also help employees to see how their work fits into the overall project and allow the team to respond nimbly to internal and external changes.

  1. Provide professional development opportunities.

Telecommuters should have the chance to train for new skills and grow in their careers, both in structured environments as well as informal settings. Managers should work with remote workers to set individual professional development goals.

  1. Resist micromanaging.

Bringing many different teams together in various locations demands a high degree of organization and coordination. But managers should resist the temptation to orchestrate this collaboration from above, but rather allow teams to work out processes and procedures on their own and to take responsibility for their work.

Give team members the autonomy to exercise their professional judgment and decision making, but hold them accountable. Allowing them to put together their own organizational frameworks also increases employee engagement.

Looking for remote workers for your Southern California company? Contact Helpmates. We can source, vet and even provide preliminary interviews for skilled and talented candidates. Call the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

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