Why Am I Getting Candidates from Out of State?

by | May 4, 2022 | Hiring Tips | 0 comments

By Kellie Lail

Hiring is always difficult whether it’s sourcing candidates, creating job ads, sponsoring your ad, deciding which candidate is the right fit, or training your new hires. Are the job boards enough? How do I know what type of candidate I am looking for? What background do my candidates need? Where should my candidates be coming from? There are many questions when it comes to hiring, especially in the insurance industry, but let’s talk about some tips to make sure you’re setting yourself up to find the candidates you’re looking for.

Why Am I Getting Candidates from Out of State?

As the job force enters the new world of remote options and work-from-home flexibility, what candidates are really looking for is always evolving. Due to this, the job boards, filters, and tag options are always evolving as well. To find the candidate that you’re really looking for, you want to make sure that your job ad, and the way it’s tagged, are as transparent and straightforward as possible. So let’s talk about our options.

What are My Options?

There are a few options from the job boards that you can choose from to ensure your job ad is tagged most accurately. Ensuring your ad is tagged accurately on the boards means it will be easier for candidates that are interested in what you have to offer to find your job. To find the right person, you want to make sure you are incredibly clear in terms of what you are looking for. This way, you’re better setting yourself up for the possibility that your job ad will land in front of the candidates that are ready to take on the exact position that you are offering.

So what are these options, and what do each of them mean?

  • Fully Remote
  • Temporarily Remote due to Covid-19
  • Work from Home Flexibility
  • No

Fully Remote – this means that your job is 100% work from home and you never expect your candidates to come into the office. When you tag your job ad as Fully Remote, candidates on the job boards will never even see your office location. The ad will just be shown to be located as “Remote.” This means anyone searching for the keyword remote or using a fully remote filter will be able to find your job ad if it aligns with their other unique search criteria.

For example, the majority of the staff at IdealTraits is Fully Remote. The company is based out of Michigan, but many of us, myself included, live in different states. Here’s a fun fact: I’d never even visited Michigan in my life until I took a work trip to visit the office, months after I started working at IdealTraits! 🙂

Temporarily Remote due to Covid-19 – this means that you are currently working remotely, but you plan to have all of your staff return to the office full-time when it is safe and you feel comfortable doing so. When you tag your job ad as temporarily remote, candidates on the job board will still see your city name and zip code, but with a note next to it that says “temporarily remote.” For example, if you’re located in Seattle, WA, and are offering a position that is temporarily remote due to Covid-19, candidates will see the ad as “Temporarily Remote in Seattle, WA 98101.

Work from Home Flexibility – this means that you allow your employees to work from home, but might expect them to live close enough that they can pop into the office every once in a while when it is absolutely necessary. Work from home flexibility can be whatever you want it to be, based on both your needs and the needs of your employee or candidate. This opens the door to discuss your expectations openly with your candidate to come to an agreement about how much time they should be spending in the office and how much time they will have the ability to work remotely. When you tag your job ad as offering work from home flexibility, candidates on the job board will see the ad as being located in your state. This means they will not be shown the exact city or zip code that your office is located within. There are a few pros and cons to this option.

Pro: You are opening up your job ad to a wider audience, making it visible throughout the entire state, and relying less on the distance filters that candidates will be using in their searches.

Con: You’ll only be targeting candidates that are specifically searching the entire state. This means it will be harder for people searching directly in your area to find you.

If you offer your employees the flexibility to work from home, but you expect them to be in the office multiple times a week or for an extended probationary or training period, you might want to consider not tagging your job as work from home flexible, but rather noting flexibility in your benefits section. This way, you will still be focusing on attracting candidates that are closer to your immediate area, while still showing off the benefit that they can move towards more remote days in the future!

No – The most straightforward option of them all, if you want someone working in the office 100% of the time, select no! This is also a good option to select if you’re open to letting people work from home on occasion, but you need them in the office regularly, and therefore need them to live within an easily and regularly commutable distance. When you choose no from the remote dropdown, candidates will see your ads advertised on the board as being located in your city and zip code. Candidates have full control over their search radius based on how far they are willing to commute. This means they can input any city name or zip code in their search and decide if they want to look for a position in that zip code only, or anywhere between a 5 and 100-mile radius of that location. This means that when you select no, you’ll be targeting any candidate that is willing to commute to your location, based on their distance preferences.

Is Your Position Remote?

The first thing you should always consider when building a new job ad is what exactly you are looking for in a candidate. You want to make sure you have realistic expectations and know exactly what you are looking for. Start by making a list of experience, licensing, and qualities that you would like to see in a candidate. Once you’ve created this list, take a second look and decide what bullet points on that list are non-negotiable. Do you need someone with a Property & Casualty License, but you are willing to pay for the candidate to get their license if they have a proven sales background? Do you prefer 5+ years of customer service, but are open to training someone with a restaurant or hospitality background? It is important to decide what qualities and background are deal-breakers and what things you are willing to be more flexible with.

Tip: the more experience, licensing, and background you require, the longer it may take to find the perfect candidate. Opening up your position to be fully remote can sometimes help to make hiring your ideal candidate a faster process.

Now that you have your precise list of deal-breaker qualities, you know the exact candidate that you are looking for. This is where considering remote options really comes to center stage. Do you think this candidate is in your city? Do you have a very specific person in mind and want to cast a wider net to make sure they’re meeting all of your expectations?

The more requirements you have for your candidate, the harder it will be to find your perfect new addition. Offering your position as fully remote can give you a better chance of finding someone who matches everything you’re looking for! However, if remote isn’t for you, that’s totally okay too! If you want someone in the office, you just have to say so!

So What Should I Choose?

What it really boils down to is being as transparent and straightforward as you possibly can when you’re advertising your open job opportunities. A candidate should be able to read your ad and understand exactly what it is that you are looking for, they should have a good, general idea of the position they’ll be performing, and they should also know where you expect them to be working from 99% of the time. If they can work from wherever, choose fully remote, if you want them in the office regularly, just select no and then explain in the benefits that they can work a few days from home. If it’s something you’re considering testing out, you can always run one ad for someone in the office and one ad for someone working remote. It doesn’t have to be an all-in or all-out thing, you can absolutely offer remote options on a case-by-case basis. You just want to make sure you are doing what makes you comfortable and what will set both your business and your employee up for success.

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