A huge ‘passive talent pool’ is up for grabs—here’s how to win over the employees looking for more


The Great Resignation is over, employees seem to be staying put in their current roles, and a new jobs report shows that the labor market is cooling slightly. But that doesn’t mean that workers are thrilled with their current jobs, and employers should take note. 

About 47% of employees are currently looking at open positions, and 33% think about their career prospects on a daily or weekly basis, according to a new survey of 30,000 workers around the world from LHH, an HR solutions provider. But just 18% of those people are actually applying for jobs. With only 8% of workers looking for opportunities within their own company, that means that the rest are looking for opportunities elsewhere. In short, they’re what the report calls a “passive talent pool.” 

“They’re waiting for the right moment to take action on a career change or a job change,” Gaëlle de la Fosse, president of LHH, tells Fortune. “It doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in a job change.”

This passive talent pool could be a massive opportunity for some savvy recruiters, and it should be a wake-up call for HR departments to think about how to retain the workers that they have. De la Fosse says companies can best do this by offering and promoting employee benefits that show they’re invested in staffers’ growth within the organization.  

“If companies want to keep their top talent, then they have to provide that. Because if they don’t, their top talent is going to look for that elsewhere,” she says.

Whether it comes to actively recruiting these folks, or just earning their loyalty, there are some specific things that they’re looking for from employers, according to the report. Companies have to offer learning and development opportunities, put a new emphasis on skills rather than pedigree, and offer room for employees to grow within the company. That can include clear internal opportunities, career coaching, and educating managers on how to avoid talent hoarding. 

“In the past, it used to be essentially salary and benefits. That would really be kind of the main criteria. But people have expanded their criteria,” says de la Fosse. “Chances are if your company does not provide you with what you need, which is a career strategy for yourself, then you will go elsewhere.”

After all, the job hopping pullback, or “Big Stay,” won’t last forever, and employers need to be ready to fight for the hearts and minds of their employees—or know how to lure top talent from other companies. 

“This is a critical moment for companies to really invest a lot more thoughtfully in their workforce,” says de la Fosse. “That’s not only a way to nurture the talent and retain the talent that exists, but also for recruiters to attract new talent that those companies will need in the future.”

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