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Candidates who already have a job are one step ahead of recruiters. For many HR professionals, this perception is deeply embedded in their recruitment practices. In this article we will look at the specifics of this target group and why a specific strategy should be implemented to better attract them.

Recruitment - how to attract candidates who already have a job1. Candidates who already have a job are coveted

What do they have that others don't? What are we looking for in these candidates for already have a job? Candidates who are currently staffed in another company are often preferred by recruiters.

We must not forget that this criterion is often the result of deeply rooted habits or preconceived ideas of which we are sometimes not even aware. One can even speak of recruitment bias. But what is it related to? First of all, a candidate who already holds a similar position will tend to reassure a recruiter. Already integrated into a company, they continue to improve their skills, they are challenged daily by the reality of their work, they already interact with their environment, they are part of a dynamic. On the other hand, unemployed applicants are more often questioned on their ability to integrate in their new job, to progress and to stay motivated. Unfortunately, such perceptions persist. 

Secondly, a position also reflects experience and the skills that have been acquired and developed. Although this does not rule out junior profiles, expertise may be at the origin of this quest.

Furthermore, the increasing focus on behavioural skills, aspirations and values tends to limit this evidence-based approach. However, in order to fully understand what you are entitled to expect from these candidates and how to approach them properly, it may be useful to take a closer look at this target group from the perspective of Candidate Personas and Inbound Recruiting.


2. How can you appeal to employed candidates?

In order to attract a candidate already in position, it is important to understand their motivational drivers and to provide them with an answer to their expectations. The aim here is not so much to outbid but rather to highlight your uniqueness and the elements that make up your employer package. Obviously, the salary, although important, is not the only consideration.

The challenge will be to understand what would lead them to leave their current job to join you. Studies and benchmarks carried out on this target group of working professionals will be a valuable source of information for your reflections and building your approach. Nevertheless, it will be essential for you to enhance your employer value proposition and to make it known to them: 

  • What makes the position interesting? What are the challenges? What resources will they be given to meet them? 
  • What working environment will they work in? What are the values of your company? What is your organisation and what management style do you promote? What will the candidate find in your company and not elsewhere?
  • What are the advantages? What are the career opportunities in your company? 

Whatever the position and the profile sought, these elements will prove decisive in the candidate's decision. Whether their current situation is fulfilling or not, they are taking a risk in joining you and they must be able to perceive, if not be guaranteed, the benefits of your offer. You must show them that this new chapter in their career path will be a source of fulfilment.

These elements of reinsurance are all the more important at the present time, with the ongoing crisis. The reluctance of current candidates to leave their jobs is noticeable and their expectations are more than ever focused on transparency regarding the reliability of a future employer.


3. Which mediums should you use?

Although working candidates are considered as passive candidates, they can still be on the lookout for new opportunities and not just wait to be contacted by a recruiter. Other mediums exist to turn this target group into a pro-active community that is responsive to your messages.


a. Building on your employer brand

Create engaging content in line with the expectations of your target audience. Developing an Inbound Recruiting strategy will be a valuable asset for targeting your communications and reaching out to your preferred audiences. Indeed, building interest for your brand and making it known is a win-win for you. By sharing your strengths and commitments, you will increase your pool of candidates, whether they are currently staffed or not. Your company will stand out in the minds of your target audience and you will be able to capture their attention.


b. Rely on your network of ambassadors

A candidate who is already employed takes a greater risk than another by leaving their company. Consequently, they will seek out guarantees, reassuring elements, that will influence their decision to change jobs. The authenticity and testimonials of employees will be valuable assets to help convince a candidate to make the move. You can, for example, draw inspiration from Orange (leading French phone operator), that has developed a platform for potential candidates to interact and discuss with employees. This is a great initiative to reassure candidates and help them better understand what awaits them when they join the company.


c. Make the career page of your website standout

In addition to employee testimonials and opinions, corporate information remains important for sharing your news, your biases, your culture, as well as opportunities, the recruitment process and open positions. Already employed candidates have very little time to spend on job hunting. Therefore, you must provide them with immediate access to essential information about your company in order to make their candidate journey as easy as possible. This is why the career section of your website, just like your company pages on social networks, should not be neglected as they are important mediums for candidates to reach out to you or to follow-up on your requests.


d. Reach out to candidates where they are

Use innovative solutions, such as programmatic recruitment, to target your ideal candidate wherever he or she may be. Display ads, job boards, aggregators, social networks or even on audio streaming services: reach out to your target audience throughout the web with your employer brand messages or job offers in the form of advertisements. These cross-channel campaigns are a great way to increase contact with harder-to-reach targets. Thus, they are the perfect tool to reach potential candidates who are already working in another company. By adapting your messages to your targets and their media usage, you will be able to improve your brand awareness and attract profiles that are relevant to your needs.


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