Why seek the passive candidate?
Fast-growing companies need top talent to fill demanding positions. To find high performers, you can’t really sit back and wait for candidates to come to you, applying through your website or job posting. Finding the “best” fit for the role, you sometimes need to look at someone who may not be available. You’ll need to take a totally different approach to recruiting them. This is called seeking the passive candidate and there is a method to connecting with them. Recruiting the passive candidate isn’t always easy, but finding the right search firm can help.
The passive candidate is not sitting at home on the their computer looking through job boards. This is the candidate who is currently working and engaged in their profession not looking for the next big move. Passive candidates are found in vast pools of resources such as Linkedin and other social media outlets and are the target of top recruiters looking for high performers.
Passive candidates take time to find. Touching their networks, friends and colleagues can be a resource to sourcing them. They will connect with a recruiter who can build a long-term relationship with them so when they do start feeling out the market, they know who to call. They are ultra discreet when researching possible opportunities with recruiters or colleagues and don’t want to be oversold. Passive candidates will not move solely for compensation. To hire a passive candidate, the recruiter and the hiring manager must be very good at selling the role and be convincing about the future.
The passive candidates are where the best recruiting firms will concentrate their time and they will connect with passive candidates daily. This firm will build a brand through social media and make connections in their field. They accept the passive candidate as a challenge and spend considerable time building trusted relationships with these potential candidates and get to know how they will bring value to the customer.
Engaging the passive candidate is a bit of an art. You want to be complimentary and specific, personalized in your approach and able meet their needs. Recruiters and hiring managers will need to work together to sell a compelling opportunity. Time well spent in hiring a top performer in their field.
- May be approached by someone internally at their company for new position
- May be approached by a recruiter, friend or industry associate about current opportunities
- Are currently engaged in their position and not actively researching new opportunities
- Will listen to new opportunities only if future benefit is acknowledged
- Are not scanning social media or job boards
The benefit to a recruiting a passive candidate is that they are not looking for a new opportunity and probably won’t be interviewing with other firms. They may have long work histories at other companies giving them career dependability. Passive candidates are sometimes considered premium sources for exceptionally skilled talent as they are likely to be working for a competitor in your field. With 60% of the workforce not looking for a new job but willing to discuss new opportunities, using your company referral program can be a great way of recruiting passive candidates.
No matter how you find the passive top performer, they’ll likely not have an updated resume. Find alternative ways to share their background; remember, you found them! Court the passive candidate in a way that will make them feel important and a good fit for the role. By getting the passive candidate to respond to your communications, you’ll hopefully develop a relationship and perhaps find a few networking connections.
The key that employers should understand in getting passive candidates on board is that it involves significant recruiting effort on the part of the employer in conjunction with the recruiting firm. Remember that these candidates were not looking for an opportunity and will not always be fully convinced they want to move until they are sold on the role and it’s benefits. Their future will be impacted with this new opportunity and it will present a challenge which will lead to benefit.
For more information on the passive candidate recruiting process, contact one of our professionals at Specialty Employment Services.
We have over two decades of experience working in the chemicals, minerals and additives industries. We know corporate cultures and industry trends. We have been providing clients with the knowledge and advice they need to make informed Human Capital decisions. We work in partnership with a range of clients to identify, assess and recruit the talent that they need to help their business flourish.