How to Reach the 74% of Candidates that are “Sheltering in Job”

By Kristen Harris

“Ambition isn’t dead, but for people in steady jobs, it might be hibernating.”

This quote from the latest LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index points to many people shifting from “sheltering in place” in 2020 to “sheltering in job” in 2021.

When asked about motivations for staying at their current job, rather than seeking another, 74% of respondents chose answers that were some variation of “sheltering in job.” Answers included:

  • collecting a steady paycheck/keeping household finances stable (59%)

  • enjoying the company’s perks and benefits (30%)

  • waiting out the pandemic for a more favorable job market (15%)

  • having no time or energy to focus on a job switch (14%)

Of course, people have a variety of motivations in changing jobs (or not), like:

  • truly enjoying the nature of one’s work (47%)

  • applying or growing existing skills (24%)

  • building more expertise (21%)

**Note: respondents were allowed to make more than one choice

If 74% of people are planning to stick with their current job primarily because it feels safe, how can you attract them to your job? 

Many companies need to hire but are encountering the same challenges in attracting the talent they experienced pre-pandemic, along with a few new ones (thanks, COVID-19).

How can you attract the talent you need? 

  1. Make them feel (physically) safe. People need to feel safe. We’re still in a global pandemic, which can impact each person in a very individual way. Be upfront about whether you’re working in the office, remotely, or a hybrid of both. If the position requires onsite work now, share everything you’re doing to keep people physically safe and any future updates. Tell candidates if/when you plan to return to the office, how you’ll make that decision, and any transition plans.

  2. Make them feel (psychologically) safe. Every day we still hear headlines about unemployment statistics, job loss, and economically struggling industries. No wonder most people reported that maintaining a steady income was their top reason to say in their current job. To attract them to your job, you have to show them why it is equally safe. Share why your company is growing, why the role is open or was added, how well your industry is doing, and anything else that shows your company’s strength and stability. People need to feel that they are making an economically safe move.

  3. Make it compelling. What does your company or role offer that would be more attractive than where they currently are? Highlight your company’s benefits and perks. If you’ll continue to allow flexible schedules and/or remote work, share that; some companies expect a 100% return to working in an office, and not all of their employees want to do that. By offering flexibility, you can provide an attractive alternative. Also, be sure that your pay range is competitive, and consider offering performance or hiring bonuses. A hiring bonus could be what makes the time and energy required to change jobs feel worth it for the right candidate.

  4. Make it exciting! Talented people want the opportunity to grow in their career, expand their skills, and build expertise. Share how your company supports this and the role that will allow for it. They need to see your position as a way to take the next step or gain something new–otherwise, it’s just not worth making a change. Does your company consistently win awards, attract great press, or get featured as a top place to work? Is your service or product new, innovative, or solving a challenging problem? Brag a little and share why your company will be an exciting place for them to work!

  5. Make it easy. Remember the law of inertia–it’s always easiest to stay where you are, so you need to make it easy to move! People are overwhelmed with changes to work life, home life, health status, family issues, and many other things that 2020 piled on top of their already busy lives. Looking for a new job is stressful and can feel like just one too many things to deal with right now. Make it easy for people to find and apply for your position, streamline your interview process, stay in constant communication with updates and progress, and remove as many barriers as you can to getting them to make that move. 

Finding, attracting, and engaging the right people for your team can be challenging in any environment, and it’s especially tough right now. By applying these tips, you can make it a little easier. If you want to learn how our professional recruiters can make it even easier, we’re here to help!