All posts in: For Employers

candidate driven market

You may have heard the term “candidate-driven market” as it relates to today’s job market and strong economy. Because candidates are in higher demand than usual, recruiters and employers have to go the extra mile to attract the best talent. Candidates are currently in the driver’s seat and have choices when it comes to employment, whereas in 2010 they may have taken a less desirable opportunity because any job was better than no job. It’s not just about what a candidate can offer a company; it’s about what a company can offer a candidate.

Active vs. Passive Candidates

When it comes to filling an open position, there are two types of candidates: active and passive. Active candidates are professionals who are currently looking for a new job because of a variety of reasons: they are seeking career growth, wanting to relocate, unhappy in their current role or with their current company, or unemployed. In contrast, passive candidates are employed professionals who are not actively searching for new work, but may be open to a new position if the right opportunity presents itself. Often, candidates most appealing to employers are those that are currently working because their value is recognized by the mere fact that they are already employed by another organization.

Passive candidates may be attractive due to the fact that they are already employed, but can you convince them to leave their current situation? Active candidates already want or need a new job, thus garnering interest requires much less persuasion. Passive candidates do not have the same sense of urgency, even if they recognize that there is always room for improvement in their career.

Employer Branding

There are several ways to make a company appealing to a candidate. Having a strong employer brand is critical. A company may already be on a candidate’s radar because of their stellar online presence or reputation in their industry, and familiarity will be beneficial in the courting process. On the contrary, lack of awareness or negative perceptions will certainly discourage talent from even engaging the conversation.

Casting a Reel

Most initial correspondence with candidates is presented via email or LinkedIn. The way a message is crafted and what it includes is important in catching a candidate’s attention. With more candidates being approached on social media by recruiters, standing out with a tailored message is key. The time invested into creating personal messages catches attention by mentioning specific skills and a career path that is a match with the given opportunity. If they receive a generic message with no relevant connections to them or their expertise, candidates will be much less likely to respond. Discussing any relevant upward trajectory – such as increased responsibility, compensation, or proximity to their home, is also an attention-getter.

Reeling Them In

Once a candidate responds to the message and would like to learn more about the opportunity is the chance to build genuine excitement and interest. Yes, selling the specs and company perks is important, but a thoughtful method and approach is equally important. Sincere communication is essential to establishing trust and rapport. If candidates do not feel that their best interest is at heart, then they will be less likely to accept the risk of pursuing a new opportunity.

Taking an interest in all aspects of the candidate including their career goals, hobbies, personal life, and if they will be a good fit with the new company and new location, show them that the move is being fully thought through. Talking to a candidate as a caring and thoughtful human being rather than a robot looking to fill a position continues the personalization from the initial correspondence.

Career growth, salary, company culture, development programs, location, and employee recognition are some of the many factors candidates use to consider a new job. Modify the conversation according to the candidate’s motivations and aspirations. If a candidate is looking for a company culture that values communication and transparency, focus on that more so than the benefits package.

Lastly, reassure confidentiality to alleviate any concern of jeopardizing their current employment. Passive candidates are rarely entertaining other offers. Always present the opportunity at hand with enthusiasm and the right person will match the excitement at the thought of joining a winning team.

At the end of the day, a passive candidate will only consider a new job opportunity if it is what’s best for them and any family they need to consider. It is the role of the recruiter or hiring manager to not only share the whole story, but to also serve as a helpful resource offering guidance during interviews, salary negotiation, and offer acceptance.


This article has been updated from an original Bristol Associates post from 2016.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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Ban the Box, also known as The Fair Chance Act, is a law that prohibits employers from inquiring about a candidate’s past criminal record on a job application. The name “Ban the Box” stems from a common checkbox question that asks applicants if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. Including the question on job applications has caused the 70 million American adults with previous criminal records to have a harder time getting past the application stage of the hiring process.

The legislation is designed to prevent employers from automatically disqualifying candidates based on their criminal history. By removing the box, ex-offenders have the opportunity to showcase their skills and qualifications without their past records hindering them in the initial stages of the hiring process. Through this legislation, employers are encouraged to heavily consider the severity level and how long it’s been since the offense(s) occurred before ruling out a candidate. 

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By Haydee Antezana

Business woman on top of a mountain holding up a flag. 3 Ways to Increase Your Influence and Impact Blog Image

Successful people are not born with a success gene; they develop a scientifically proven secret sauce: the ability to influence and impact with intention. As an executive, you are constantly influencing and impacting those around you. Being aware of how to increase these skills matters greatly in your career.

Follow these three crucial steps to increase your influence and impact as a successful leader in today’s competitive market.

1. Upgrade Brand YOU.

Do a Brand Performance Appraisal.

Whether by design or by default, you have a personal brand. How you are perceived and received by the people you seek to influence and impact matters. 

Imagine everyone you’ve interacted with over the last year had to “review” your personal brand on TripAdvisor or Yelp.

On a scale of 1 to 5, what would your rating be? Would you be offered the position of Head Marketer of brand YOU?

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Image of a magnifying glass hovering over the words "Dream Job." Surrounding the magnifying glass are clouds, an arrow and target, a CV resume, and a briefcase. - What Do Executive Candidates Look For In Employers?

In today’s job market, employers are competing to attract quality candidates into their companies. Because candidates have more opportunities available to them, it is important for employers to understand what they can do to be distinguished as a viable choice of employment.

Bristol recently posted the results to last year’s Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey Results, which received a total of 1,363 respondents. Executives were asked to rank six factors from highest to lowest priorities when it came down to choosing their employers. The six factors include: Career Opportunity and Growth; Compensation (i.e. base, bonus, stock, grants, and options); Corporate Culture (i.e. receiving recognition in job, relationship with co-workers and immediate supervisor, company values); Job Security; Location; and Weather and Lifestyle.

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Recruitment Tips: Hire Smart

This piece is an adaptation of a previous article written by Roberta Borer in 1995, who was a former SVP here at Bristol Associates, Inc. Roberta was in the executive search business for over 30 years and specialized in the healthcare industry.

The competition to attract, recruit, and retain employees is keen. As an employer, how do you make your job offer the one top candidates accept?

Before starting the hiring process, use the need to hire a new employee as an opportunity to examine the organization and the reason why past employees left. Take an objective look at the program and use this vacancy as an opportunity to correct or amend what can be done to benefit the organization.

Is this a “fill-able” job? If the company is experiencing high turnover, consider the following: Is the compensation offered appropriate for the position? Is the position the right need for the company? Is the company in a geographic location that makes it challenging to attract top-notch candidates?

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Letter of Recommendation [Image]

A strong letter of recommendation can distinguish a candidate’s application from the rest. Taking the time to obtain a letter of recommendation will leave a positive impact with the employer or recruiter reviewing the application. On the other hand, writing a letter of recommendation is a great way to pay it forward and contribute to the success of the candidate’s career.

Whether you are the candidate requesting the letter, or the employer responsible for writing the recommendation, it is essential to understand how to write a letter of recommendation that will leave a lasting impression.

What makes a compelling letter of recommendation?

Here are some helpful guidelines to write a strong letter of recommendation:

  • Print the letter on company letterhead
  • Personalization and sincerity is key – avoid using letter of recommendation templates
  • Explain the professional relationship and the duration spent working with the candidate
  • Give specific examples of the value and impact that the candidate has made in the company
  • Highlight the candidate’s hard and soft skills that greatly benefitted the company
  • When signing off the letter, include a handwritten signature along with the employer’s typed name, job title, and contact information
  • Proofread to avoid typos or grammatical errors

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InMail[Image] Hiring Professional Sending InMail to Network

LinkedIn has become a fundamental resource for connecting with a diverse pool of experienced professionals. The platform provides a way to search for and approach executives via InMail – a premium feature that allows hiring authorities and executive recruiters to send messages to members who are not in their social network.

Our executive recruiters share their tips on how to reach out to quality candidates via LinkedIn InMail:

Personalize. The candidate is less likely to respond if the message appears to be sent to the masses. State the reason why the message is relevant to them, whether it be their specific industry experience or skillsets that would make a great fit for the position.

Be clear and concise. The message to the candidate should be brief and to the point. Having an InMail with too many paragraphs can overwhelm the recipient and obscure the basic message.

Emphasize through format. Bold, underline, or italicize key phrases and sentences that candidates should take away from the overall message. Also, be mindful about the amount of emphasis included in the message. Too many font changes defeats the purpose of highlighting the important areas of the InMail.

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business woman with question marks over head thinking about executive recruitment questions

Looking to find the right candidate for the company? Hiring an executive recruiter can be beneficial to employers – not only does it alleviate the workload of the search process, but it also brings an industry expert’s perspective in filling the position based on the needs and desires of the company. Before fully committing to the idea of utilizing an executive search firm’s services, it’s understandable for clients to have questions, especially if it’s their first time working with a recruiter.

We asked our recruiters to answer client’s commonly asked questions regarding the executive recruitment process.

Q: Bristol Associates, Inc. is based in Los Angeles, CA. Do you manage searches in areas other than the West Coast?

Kelly Nelson, Sr. Vice President

A: We have been recruiting on a National basis for the past 30 years. There was a time when recruiters were geographically focused. The advances in communications, the internet, social media, and job boards have enabled recruiters to reposition on a national (and international) basis. We regularly conduct search assignments in the Midwest, East Coast, Southeast, and Southwestern United States. With that said, the question is appropriate as there are recruiters who have not adjusted their focus. Our national reach allows us to source candidates for key positions in all market areas.

(Click here to fill out Bristol Associates’ Employer Inquiry Form today!)

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Signing an approved document / salary history

On October 12, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown approved AB 168, a law that prohibits all California employers from requesting potential employees’ salary history, including previous compensation and benefits. The law has been effective since January 1, 2018.

Additional US states and cities including Delaware, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh have also prohibited employers from inquiring about salary history.

With the law in effect, all applicants and candidates in the areas listed above are free to voluntary disclose their salary history if they desire, but it is not a requirement.

Below are articles from several publications to provide more information about AB 168.

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Business person climbing mountain toward flag that writes goal

Taking the time to set professional goals is crucial when striving to have a productive and effective year in the workplace. Establishing realistic deadlines is great, but also understanding your resources to help achieve your goals can put you at an advantage.

Bristol’s Executive Recruiters shares their recommended goals for job seekers and employers to kick off 2018.

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