Hiding In Plain Sight – The Passive Candidate
The never ending search for top candidates to fill your open jobs requires research, planning, effort and execution. Relying on inbound efforts alone, i.e. posting ads, is not likely to yield the highest quality results. Finding top talent requires you to “leave no stone unturned” and to be proactive. It requires you to be an ‘opportunity presenter’ to a talent pool not running for the door. It requires you to become a network builder uncovering the passive candidates who are hiding in plain sight. A passive candidate by definition is a candidate who is not actively seeking out a new job. They are usually happily employed and not looking for work. It’s likely that the passive candidate is a valued employee making worthwhile contributions to their current place of work.
Benefits of a Passive Candidate
The lack of urgency passive candidates display when initially presented with your opportunity indicates that they are less likely to be interviewing with other companies. Any time you can remove competition from the hiring process, it’s a win. Because they are ‘happily’ employed, they typically manage the pressure of the interview process with ease and perform very well. These candidates aren’t looking to be sold on a company, but it’s incumbent upon you to give these passive candidates a reason to want to buy. Presenting growth potential and a long term career track can go a long way. A well planned interview process designed to get to know the candidate can help determine if their skills and career goals align with your opportunity.
Finding the Passive Candidate
Since passive candidates are hard at work performing at a high level for their current employers, they aren’t searching the job boards. You are NOT going to attract them by placing ads in the usual places. Ira Mann, Vice President, Quality & Regulatory Search at FPC of Atlanta said, “Because these candidates aren’t job hunting, the way you describe your role and company becomes even more important. The outreach is on you. Finding out what they value is more important with passive candidates than with active candidates.” Finding these candidates requires persistence and networking. Aligning and partnering with an industry specialized Executive Recruiter who has put in the work to develop such a network can be an invaluable resource in identifying these candidates. Executive Recruiters can help match skill set, career goals and motivation of candidates you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Additionally, being able to lean on the recruiter/candidate relationship can come in handy as offers are negotiated and delivered, leading to a higher success rate.