Kevin Walker, Director of Employer Insights at Indeed.com, dispelled myths on the number of people actively seeking job opportunities and best practices to find more of this talent.
At the 2015 Argyle Human Capital Leadership Forum in San Francisco on October 29th, Walker began his presentation, “The Science of Talent Attraction: Understanding What Makes People Click,” by speaking about Indeed’s research on the validity of the widely held belief that 80% of job candidates are passive and 20% are active. This third-party research discovered that the 80/20 split was backwards. Data showed 81% of those surveyed said they were actively looking at job opportunities, and 58% of these looked at job opportunities at least monthly. Only 19% never looked at job opportunities.
In terms of who was actually hired, Walker’s team found that only 10% of those hired in the previous year were truly passive, which means the remaining 90% took some kind of action to look for a job in the preceding six months before being hired. Among employers, 90% preferred to hire an active rather than a passive candidate.
Walker noted that 44% of workers subscribe to job alerts (notifications of new jobs that meet their interests).
Interestingly, even when people are hired, most continue to receive job alerts. At some point, they’ll become intrigued and pursue an opportunity.
Surprisingly, 65% of new hires look at new jobs within 91 days of being hired.
Walker’s research identified seven major decisions (steps) that candidates face before they become an employee:
• Considering a change,
• considering the company they may wish to join,
• considering a position at this company,
• applying for that job,
• committing to the application and interview process,
• accepting an offer, and
• showing up to work.
People overcome the highly stressful “consider a change” hurdle in one of two ways, stated Walker. Either they’re excited by an opportunity or they’re disillusioned with their current situation.
There are many ways to recruit talent, but all fall into one of two categories: inbound and outbound. Inbound refers to situations in which a candidate contacts the company, and outbound refers to the company contacting a candidate discovered during a talent search.
Walker outlined three practices for finding the right talent:
1) Recruiting should initially focus on active candidates and begin by filling positions with free, inbound applicants. If positions can’t be filled by free traffic, pay to receive more applicants. If these two approaches aren’t successful in filling positions, pursue outbound tactics and focus these efforts on jobs that are chronically unfilled.
2) Shape the company’s recruitment strategies to draw the right candidates.
Job content—including job titles and descriptions—has a huge impact on the type and number of candidates that apply. It’s important to write great job descriptions that draw talent and perform well in online searches.
Also, said Walker, it’s essential to make it easy for candidates to browse and apply on mobile devices (24% of candidates have mobile devices only). The company’s reviews and reputation are important: 83% of people surveyed by Indeed said reviews impact where they apply, and 46% said a company’s reputation affects their decision to accept a job.
3) Build a top-notch platform for inbound recruiting. Inbound recruiting is akin to marketing, and the best-in-class recruiting platforms are set up similar to marketing platforms. Walker pointed out that an application is essentially a lead—it represents someone interested in what the company is trying to sell. Screening of the resumé or of the actual applicant via phone serves as a scoring process.
ABOUT KEVIN WALKER:
As Director of Employer Insights at Indeed.com, Kevin Walker works directly with employers to deliver actionable insights through recruitment data analysis, best practice sharing, and industry trend exploration.
Prior to joining Indeed, Kevin spent time in the hospitality and technology industries. He holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Washington and a Masters of Business Administration from Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago.