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How to Find the Best Candidates – Even When They’re Not Actively Looking

The rules of recruiting are changing.

Rapidly retiring baby boomers, a slowly improving economy, and a smaller replacement population of workers are beginning to make recruiting more challenging.  In the coming months and years, finding the right people will only become tougher.

With “passive” candidates making up about 84 percent of our workforce (according to the Department of Labor), smart recruiters are developing comprehensive strategies for tapping into this deep talent pool.  If you’re looking for new ways to attract candidates who are currently working, here are a few to get you started:

  • Know the job and why it’s exceptional.  Top passive candidates aren’t looking; if they don’t know you, most probably won’t speak with you for more than two minutes – unless you know the job inside and out.  To get them to listen, create instant credibility by presenting a job that offers significant upside potential.  Create a “performance profile” to define the available job, describing the major challenges which must be met to succeed.  Understanding the job this way will give you more confidence when you present it.  It will also help you create an “opportunity gap” (the difference between the person’s current job and the new one) that will get the candidate thinking.
  • Position the available job as a career move.  Passive candidates want to know the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) of the job, to determine if it’s worth more serious discussion.  Always present the job’s importance and key project tasks in a creative way that appeals directly to the prospect’s career needs.  If you can convince a candidate that he would be passing on a major opportunity, you will have a much better chance of winning him over.
  • Work your referral sources.  Good people know other good people.  Are you using this potential source of candidates to its fullest advantage?  Take the time to communicate with all of your employees (especially new hires), as well as your clients and trusted vendors (LinkedIn may work well for this), when you are hiring.  Review the types of positions you have available, the prime selling points and the critical factors for success.  Then directly ask for referrals.
  • Actively cultivate social media relationships with passive candidates.  Social media are invaluable tools for connecting with potential future candidates.  Use your personal profiles to post company-related updates, and invite passive candidates to follow your company and career pages on LinkedIn.  Always take the time to respond to potential candidates’ non-job-related inquiries about your brand.  Bottom line, do whatever you can to be respectful, responsive and professional when communicating passive candidates.  If you already have a relationship with candidates when they become active job seekers, they’re much more likely to look to you for opportunities.

Wood Personnel – Middle Tennessee’s Recruiting Experts

Wood Personnel combines years of recruiting experience, a deep candidate pool, social media and local market knowledge to locate the talented individuals you need.  Contact us today to learn more about our staffing and recruiting services for Middle Tennessee employers.