Great Hires Aren't Looking for Jobs; Here's How to Find Them

Dec. 1, 2005
Theres a popular trend when it comes to sourcing for industry job candidates. More and more hiring managers are in search of what has been dubbed, The

There’s a popular trend when it comes to sourcing for industry job candidates. More and more hiring managers are in search of what has been dubbed, “The Passive Candidate”. Passive candidates are defined as candidates who are satisfied with their current position and are accomplishing great things. They are not actively seeking a new opportunity and job hunting consumes 0% of their time. Most of them don’t even have a resume. So why the current fascination to reach out and attract this elusive group?

One reason is that in today’s marketplace, often there are jobs we need to fill that require exceptional people with different skill sets than what exist in the active job pool. Resumes currently in a database or candidates posted on an Internet job board can’t fit the bill.

Another reason is that many hiring authorities feel that passive candidates represent some of the best talent in the workforce. They are worth the hunt. In addition, there seems to be a mystique that surrounds the passive candidate. Perhaps it lies in the challenge of how to lure them away or the “wanting what you can’t have” aspect. Whatever the case, companies are devoting considerable amounts of time and resources to vie for their attention and interest.

With the recruitment of passive candidates on the rise, below are some suggestions on how to get the attention of a group that represents the path of most resistance:

  • Use referral programs. Ask your best people to identify the best people they’ve worked with in the past. Referrals are the number one way to identify them as well as establish contact. Determine their interest level and if they are what you need. If you don’t have a match, ask them for other respected names.
  • Create an enticing work description. You need to pique the interest of a candidate who is not looking for a position but may be interested in an excellent career opportunity. This means you must say the right thing and create a description that has a WOW factor.
  • Identify their pain. Diligent and high caliber workers often don’t even know they have pain regarding their employment or employer. Educate them on where they are with respect to the skill sets and compensation of others in their same industry. Educate them on new emerging technologies and industries in their niche. This type of information can lead to a light bulb moment.
  • Shift your focus from “What can you do for me?” to “What can we do for you?” Show them how your company recognizes top performers and promotes them. Discuss the benefits of your company culture and managerial style. Offer excellent training programs, incentives, higher earning power, etc.
  • Contact reputable search firms. Respected and ethical search firms specializing in your industry will have the latest resources and tools specifically designed to target passive candidates. Their industry connections and process can save you time and money.

The trend to recruit the passive candidate will continue well into the future. While hiring passive candidates may seem desirable, it presents a challenge. The big picture is that hiring managers will need to shift to innovative sourcing which means more time, training, and resources. However, many recruiting experts feel that going in search of the passive candidate is worth it.

Source: Direct Recruiters, Inc.