Question originally appeared on Quora
Limiting your hiring to just candidates who are actively looking for a new opportunity can greatly reduce the likelihood that you’ll find the best fit. Don’t leave the success of your hiring up to timing and the hope that top talent is actively looking for new jobs at the precise time you have openings – here are some ways for hiring managers to find and hire passive candidates.
Utilize LinkedIn Strategically
LinkedIn is often the first stop for finding passive candidates, and for good reason: professionals have their job titles, qualifications, background, location, and contact information posted and searchable. To make LinkedIn most effective, search for keywords that are the most relevant to the responsibilities and background for the position, since job titles for the same position can vary significantly by company. Ensure your own profile clearly represents your credentials so you appear trustworthy enough for them to be open to communicating with you.
Start a Genuine Conversation
Whether you opt to send a LinkedIn message or contact passive candidates directly if you have their information, it’s key to not have your first interaction be a cold opening. Don’t just introduce yourself and say you have a job they should apply for, actually facilitate a real conversation. Tell them you were intrigued by their qualifications or achievements, and are interested in learning more about their professional goals to see if you could form a mutually beneficial relationship. They may then be more inclined to respond to you and listen to your pitches at another time.
Tailor Your Pitch
In order to hire passive candidates, you have to be able to make a new opportunity sound so appealing, that it’s worth switching from a job with which they are presumably satisfied. Once you’ve learned a bit about their goals, you can tailor your pitch accordingly to highlight the attributes of the job that would most motivate them personally. For instance, a passive candidate who seems a little burned out may be swayed by an opportunity that provides better work-life balance, while another candidate may be looking for more chances for advancement.
Reduce the Burden
Modify your usual candidate hiring practices if you want to successfully recruit passive candidates. Since they were not actively looking for a job before you approached them, try to make it as convenient as possible for them to apply. Be flexible with interview dates and times, or else you risk them not wanting to follow through.
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