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3 strategies for attracting talent who aren’t looking for a job

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If only recruiting in Japan was as simple as posting a job ad and sitting back waiting for applications…

But the reality is that the number of vacant positions has outstripped the number of candidates on the market for years. As of May 2023, for every 100 job seekers in Japan, there were 132 job openings. The odds are not in the recruiter’s favor.

Your best (and perhaps only) chance at hiring success is to attract passive talent. Especially when you consider that most ideal candidates are usually not actively looking for a new job. You will need to tap into all the candidates who are ‘in’ the market, not just ‘on’ the market. 

Here are 3 strategies for attracting passive candidates:

Position yourself as THE company to work for

For the candidates who are happily employed, you’re going to have to do some work at selling your organization. The fear of leaving behind a good (or even an everage) position for an unknown company can result in candidates rejecting an offer, even if the salary is higher. You can read more about loss aversion here.

So how can you position your organization as somewhere they would be willing to jump ship for? Keep these tips in mind:

  • Sell your company from the very beginning of the hiring process: Don’t just wait for the final interview and job offer to showcase how great your company is. From the position description and that very first phone call, your job is to engage the candidate and get them excited about the opportunity.
  • Showcase employee testimonials: Whether it’s through your social media or website, let your employees speak for you. Allow them to speak to company values, culture, benefits and career progression.
  • Demonstrate how meaningful the role will be: As healthcare, pharmaceutical and life science companies, don’t forget to invite candidates into the bigger mission of making the lives of patients better through your advancements.

Be clear on career advancement opportunities

No one is going to leave the safety of their current position without a crystal clear plan for how a new role will benefit their career. Yes, job candidates want an attractive salary package, but even more than that, they need to feel secure that the future of their career is in safe hands.

The best candidates will have a five year horizon and be ready to excel. To tap into passive talent, you will need to paint a compelling picture of what the candidate’s future would look like at your organization. 

It’s important that you set career objectives from the outset. From the very first interview, you can start mapping out what the next 12 months will look like. Describe how your company fosters a culture of career development and be specific in the examples you provide.

Get the job offer right

Making a job offer is always a critical part of the hiring process, but even more so for candidates who already have a job. While they might have been willing to discuss the possibility of changing jobs throughout the interview process, when you make a job offer they are forced to make a decision.

It is likely they will feel stressed about changing companies – what if this is the wrong choice? What if it doesn’t work out? What if this new job is worse than their current role? 

Get the candidates to vocalize these fears and empathize with them. Take the time to really understand what the candidate is thinking and feeling, and what might be a deal maker (or deal breaker) for them. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the deal is done, be ready to answer questions and address concerns.

Attracting passive talent will take an active approach that doesn’t simply rely on traditional recruitment methods that may have worked in other markets.

At Morunda, we give you access to an exclusive talent pool of not just job-hunters but people already in the market. Book a discovery session and rely on our local experience and networks to get you the ideal candidates.

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