You have an important opening on your team.
Maybe you need a specialized chemist to work on an important R&D project. Maybe like one of my clients, you need a sales person who is a hunter, the sales person who lives for the kill then moves on to find the next opportunity. This is not a person who loves to talk with existing clients and respond to their every need.
You have a few options.
The traditional recruiting method is to advertise. Maybe the right person is checking job ads that day and sees your ad. Great!
This reactive method of recruiting attracts active candidates.
But what happens if your ideal candidate, the one with the elusive skill set that will make the difference between success and failure, is NOT checking the job ads at that moment you have a need?
You can either make do with the best of whoever responds to the ad or you can try something different. You can reach out to candidates who fit your ideal profile who might not be looking for a job right now. These are called “Passive Candidates”.
Passive candidates are not actively seeing a new job but are open to the idea if you talk with them. 79% of US workers are passive candidates these days. Your ad misses them completely.
Passive candidates are best qualified for the skill set you seek. You have less competition for their attention because they are not looking for a job right now. Research shows passive candidates stay longer and produce better results.
Not to knock candidates actively seeking work but why are you ignoring this high quality source of talent for your candidate pool?
Here are four questions to ask yourself before embarking on a proactive method of recruiting to attract passive candidates:
- What can you offer that makes your organization different?
Passive candidates have to be motivated by something in your organization. Otherwise why leave their current role? Can you offer a better fit for their skill set, more challenging work, greater opportunities for advancement, maybe a better work / life balance or better pay or benefits?
You need to know what makes your organization difference so you can have a meaningful conversation with passive candidates.
- Which positions are appropriate for a proactive form of recruiting? Consider positions with very specific skills where it is hard to find qualified candidates or positions where you have multiple incumbents.
- What knowledge, skills and abilities does your ideal candidate have?
- Where do these folks hang out? Are they likely to be found in certain places on social media or have specific interests where they gather? Do these passive candidates know anyone already working in your organization?
Consider whether your current method of recruiting meets your business needs or whether you are open to finding passive candidates.