As a recruiter, you’re always trying to find outstanding talent. Sometimes, the very best candidates are those who aren’t actively looking for new opportunities — also known as passive job seekers.
Enticing these individuals can be quite challenging for recruiters. But if they avoid trying to force-fit them into “some skills-infested job description,” they will have a much easier time drawing them in, says Lou Adler, chief executive of The Adler Group and author of “Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired,” in a recent LinkedIn post.
“Too many people shut the door to potential career opportunities using short-term information to make long-term decisions,” Adler says. “The single most important step in the passive candidate recruiting process is the first conversation.”
Here are three ways to recruit the best talent — especially those who aren’t actively looking for a new job:
1. When you contact a potential candidate, don’t ask if they’d be interested in a specific job opening. Instead, Adler suggests, ask if they would be open to an exploratory conversation. A LinkedIn survey found that 81% of fully employed people are open to this type of discussion. “Asking people who aren’t looking if they’d like to chat for a few minutes about a potential career move is far more productive than selling lateral transfers,” he says.
2. Focus on building a relationship. Adler says to forget the box-checking exercise during that first phone conversation and to avoid talking too much about the specific job. Instead, focus on determining whether this would be a good career move for the individual by building a relationship and using what you already know about them to find the opportunities that your job can offer that their current one can’t.
3. Emphasise career growth, not compensation.“As long as the job offers a combination of less pain, some short-term stretch, and significant upside potential, compensation will wind up in the middle of the stack of criteria passive candidates use to compare and accept offers,” Adler explains. Unfortunately, many job candidates make their decisions to move forward solely based on compensation, before they have complete knowledge of the job and the types of growth opportunities it can offer — so it’s imperative that you focus on the other benefits from the very beginning.
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