According to LinkedIn, “No one disputes the idea that if you want to raise quality of hire, you need to hire more passive candidates. But hiring more passive candidates involves an entirely different process than hiring active candidates.”
How to successfully recruit passive candidates
Original article here.
1. Instantly shift to a career-based discussion
“Would you be open to explore a situation if it put you on a better long-term career trajectory?” is a much better question to ask than asking if the person is interested in considering your ill-defined, awesome job. Most passive candidates are willing to casually discuss potential career moves but few are willing to consider some short-term job change.
2. Use permission marketing
Don’t start pitching your job when the prospect agrees to a career discussion. A yes to the “open to explore” question means you have about 5-10 minutes to make your case that your job is worth another discussion. This is a permission marketing technique that’s essential for successfully recruiting passive candidates.
3. Present a one-minute elevator pitch
Once the prospect agrees to a short exploratory chat say, “Great! Let me first give you a one-minute overview of the position and then I’d like to quickly review your LinkedIn profile to see if we can find the components of a 30% career move. If so, and if you’re interested, we can schedule another call when it’s more convenient. Worst case we can network for future opportunities.” Establishing this ground rule upfront sets the tone for the subsequent recruiting conversation.
4. Put money in the parking lot
Don’t answer the, “What’s the compensation?” question. Instead, if the candidate wants to know the range say, “It doesn’t matter what the pay is if the job doesn’t represent a career move. Let’s first see if it’s a career move and then we’ll see if the pay fits.” If the job is a career move, the pay will be negotiable. It’s okay for the recruiter to ask about the person’s compensation after the LinkedIn profile review but not before.
5. Use the “Push Away” to get the prospect to sell you
As you conduct your profile review, look for gaps in the person’s background that could offer significant job stretch. Mention these gaps as concerns you have as a recruiter in moving the process forward. If the person finds the job compelling, he/she will try to convince you of his/her quality for the role. This is how you get a formerly passive candidate excited about your open opportunity.
6. Connect and network
If the person is not a perfect fit, connect on LinkedIn and proactively network with the person. Start by asking who they’d recommend for the role and then search on their LinkedIn connections to find some ideal candidates to get referrals.
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