In the world of high tech recruiting, there seems to be a new recruiting trick, app or tool almost weekly. Something that promises to make recruiting the critical in-demand talent easier for you or your company. Tools like LinkedIn, Dice, Glassdoor and CareerBuilder have been mainstays in the recruiting landscape for so long now that they aren’t even close to the niche.

In high demand and limited source market, you have to do something to catch people’s attention, but too many people (yes, I mean recruiters) often resort to gimmicks or tricks that don’t work and often harm a company’s reputation. It’s so easy to get frustrated. You have the product and the customers.  You just need to hire to make all the wheels turn.

Enter the hardest candidates you will ever recruit to your company, the all-elusive Passive Candidate. These professionals require an investment to catch their interest, will get your hopes up only to crash them down and will be some of the best, most dedicated employees you will ever have the pleasure of working with. If you can get them to join your team that is….

Passive candidates, by nature, are just that, passive. They are not actively posting resumes, searching or interviewing for new roles. They have a good gig going, and they know it. Because they are not actively searching, there is a high likelihood that they are actually content in their role and with their company. They are what every manager wants, a happy employee. And because they are happy, they are probably performing well, feeling like they provide a good contribution to their organization, and are just the type of quality individual you want to add to your team.

However, just because a person is not actively interviewing, don’t underestimate them or their knowledge of hiring practices in their field. You must work even harder to woo these candidates. Be patient, listen to them, build relationships and don’t sell them. Get to know what the candidate really enjoys about their current job and what, if anything, they would change. This may not be a hire you make right away, and maybe not even 6 or 12 months down the road.

When you do get the chance to talk about opportunities within your organization, be ready to shine and stand out from the competition. Talk about benefits that really matter to employees, such as how you develop and nurture career growth.  Let them know how their career will be enhanced when they join your team and build a highly competitive offer. This isn’t your typical negotiating scenario. Start strong, give a great offer, and don’t offend your candidate. You spent time building that relationship.  Don’t blow it now by trying to skimp on the edges.

When you finally win over a passive candidate, and they join the team, your work isn’t finished!  Make it a point to ask them why they joined and what swayed their decision. Knowing and understanding what makes your company attractive to new employees is hugely important!  It’s also key information to ensuring your key employees continue to stick around. Ask them for any suggestions or ideas they have as well, and take their recommendations to heart.

Passive candidates, like anything worth having, take a lot of work. It’s not a quick trip, but a journey I love to take because like my clients, passive candidates are dedicated, hard-working and engaged.

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