A well-defined system can help tap into this pool of these passive candidates, and turning them into high-performing team members. However, engaging passive candidates require particular attention.
Ten tips for improving efforts to hire passive candidates:
1. Review Hiring Procedures.
The tactics used to draw passive candidates is unlike the one you have for active job seekers; make sure those tasked with hiring uses the right techniques. It takes a different approach to convince someone who already has a career to consider your organization, so your system for hiring passive candidates is more than just a handful of job postings.
2. Engagement is required.
If you are not fully committed to hiring exceptional talent, do not worry about recruiting passive candidates—you will never hire them. A passive (or active) candidate will only respond to those excited about an opportunity to come to work for your company.
Hiring and recruiting passive candidates is tough enough, do not make it more difficult by not having a workforce plan. You should have a sense of the people you want to hire today, tomorrow and six months from now. Anticipating staffing levels, as well as planning for the future, make bringing on passive candidates a part of your overall business strategy. Form a checklist: places to look, what type of ads need to be posted, which companies will provide the best candidates, and so on.
4. Content Is King.
Persuasive, professionally-produced career communications will have the passive candidate with a desire for further info. The purpose of all your ads, emails and postings should be to address the longing for career advancement, not just finding a routine job.
5. Not Just a Job, a Career.
Passive job seekers rarely look for just a new job—they search for a way to advance their careers. Top candidates want to move up, not laterally, so listing requirements is not enough. Job posts must talk about the challenges your organization faces—and the need for professionals to meet those challenges.
6. Imagine the Perfect Candidate.
No search for a passive candidate begins without having a crystal-clear idea of the perfect person for the job. Target the right people—by status, demographics, education and personality—and have expectations of the best fit for your culture.
7. Network, Network, and Network Some More.
The best candidates rarely walk through the door unannounced; they usually come from other top-performers. Use your network—as well as the networks of those around you—to get the most qualified people. When looking at passive job seekers, spend most of your time contacting those prequalified candidates you harvested through network connections.
8. Money Is Not The Only Thing.
Use the evaluation process to assess what the person has achieved, and judge it against what you need to accomplish with the position. The difference represents a career growth opportunity for the candidate. The larger the difference, the more compensation will be subordinate to enthusiasm.
9. Connect With Only Qualified Candidates.
This is another reason to manage your network to locate prequalified passive candidates—everyone’s time is better served. The chances are higher that a passive candidate will be responsive to inquiries. It is even better if the candidate was recommended by a reliable source, like co-workers and other top performers in your organization.
10. Follow Up, and Follow Through.
The hiring process is as relevant to the candidate as it is to the employer; regular follow ups are the best way to emphasize how valuable a candidate is to you. From initial interaction, to the interview process, to onboarding the next superstar—staying involved in every step of the process will make bringing on the passive candidate a win-win for everyone.