How to Create a ‘Candidate First’ Approach to Recruiting

By | December 4, 2023

In last month’s Ask the Insurance Recruiter column I offered advice on how insurance organizations can improve job advertisements with my final recommendation to, “Insert as much ‘what candidates want’ information as possible.” As an employer trying to recruit top talent, your ability to speak to issues candidates care about is critical to successful recruiting. This is the essence of the candidate experience.

You need a “Candidate First” approach to give people who apply and interview a great experience. There are important times in the recruiting process where you can demonstrate an understanding of and care for the candidate’s pain, as well as offer unique solutions no other company can, especially their current employer.

Provide Information About Flexible Schedules in Job Postings

It used to be that including information about benefits or compensation in your job advertisements significantly increased job applications. Today, the most important thing job seekers want to know is about your flexible work arrangements. You can easily address this in one or two sentences.

Keep in mind there are many ways to define flexible schedules.

Here’s what insurance professionals told us they want in Capstone’s January 2023 survey: “What strategy do you think works better for insurance organizations to offer a flexible workplace?”

Talk About Your History, Values, and Mission During the First Interview

As an insurance organization you obviously love the business. The first interview is an opportunity to find common ground with candidates on why they have an interest/passion for insurance.

In February 2023, Capstone polled insurance professionals with a simple question: “What is the #1 reason you love working in the insurance industry?”

These results show what topics insurance professionals care about and want to find in a future employer. When you focus on who you are rather than the nuts and bolts of a job, you’ll build rapport that keeps candidates engaged for the entire process.

Focus On Career Advancement in the Final Interview

Talking about career advancement opportunities at the end of your recruiting process accomplishes two things simultaneously. First, you prove to the candidate that the vision they have for their future is possible. Check out our survey results when we asked, “What kind of insurance career are you looking for this year [2023]?”

Second, you know what’s going to make or break your ability to retain them. It seems counterintuitive to worry about retention when you’re recruiting someone, but these two issues go hand in hand. You cannot plant seeds early enough about job satisfaction as shown in Capstone’s mid-year 2023 poll, “What do you think best determines an insurance organization’s success with employee retention?”

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