With our local hiring market tight, it is important not only for human resources but also hiring managers to keep qualified “passive candidates” interacting with you and your company.
A passive candidate is not actively searching for a job but may be willing to consider if the right opportunity comes along. Approaching a passive candidate about a job opportunity is different than speaking with a candidate who is actively searching or has applied. HR industry expert, Lou Adler, of Inc.
writes “recruiting passive candidates is not about selling them on how great your open job is; it's about getting them to sell you on why they're qualified.”
Passive candidates are not looking for an interview! You need to present the career value to them and listen carefully to their career needs. Mr. Adler provides these tips to help better recruit passive candidates:
- Turn your job description into a career move. Talk about the performance objectives, up-sides and how the job impacts the company
- Understand the person and his or her career to-date. Ask about his most significant career accomplishments. What career gaps might your job fill or what career needs could your job deliver
- Is the candidate excited about your position? One way to assess, Mr. Adler suggests, is the “pull toward” method: first describe a major performance objective and then ask the candidate to describe a similar accomplishment in his or her own career. Interested candidates will be happy to talk about their own accomplishments
- Is the candidate interested enough to sell their skills to you? Mr. Adler suggests presenting a legitimate gap you might find in the process of reviewing the candidates's background and the job’s performance objectives. If your job opportunity is appealing, the candidate will definitely take time to communicate his or her qualifications
Listening and understanding the passive candidate’s career background and career goals and needs is important to ensuring you are approaching them with the best opportunity to peak their interest.
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