Actively Chasing the Passive

By October 3, 2013 No Comments
Giant hand picking a person

Giant hand picking a personMany of the most viable and potentially valuable candidates aren’t actually looking for new jobs.  They may be happy in their current jobs (possibly with your competition), or maybe they’re open to other opportunities, but just comfortable enough not to spend much time thinking about a career move.

Winning over these passive candidates – some call it “poaching,” we prefer “enticing” – will take a bit of persuasion.  Your challenge will be convincing these candidates that what you’ve got to offer trumps the cards their present employer is holding.

Val Matta, of Recruiter.com, outlines four tips for wooing passive candidates:

  • Focus on messaging: Rather than broadcasting a job description detailing only responsibilities and requirements, use your job description to give candidates a window into the company culture and advertise particularly attractive benefits and perks.
  • Coax, don’t push: Once you’ve communicated your company’s interest and demonstrated advantages of joining your organization, back off.  The surest way to lose a passive candidate is by being rude or demanding.
  • Make a good impression: Normally the candidate has the burden of selling himself, but in this scenario, that’s your job.  Be warm and courteous.  When it comes to your elevator speech, come to the point quickly.  Then give the candidate space to consider the offer… which bring us to:
  • Court, don’t stalk: You’ve made your case.  The candidate knows you’re interested.  If the candidate doesn’t bite, he’s probably not.  Limit further pursuit to a follow-up call or email; reaching out incessantly may send your top pick running for a restraining order.

Okay, probably your persistence wouldn’t result in legal action, but nobody wants to be harassed about an opening they weren’t looking for in the first place.  Done properly, persuading the already-employed to play for your team can be an effective hiring strategy.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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