How to Recruit the Best Passive Candidates

June 11, 2008

Passive candidates are, by definition, people who are not currently looking for a job. Just because someone is a passive candidate doesn't mean the person is talented. Even if the person is talented, there are a host of factors that need to be addressed before the person is considered a viable prospect. These include things like:

    • The job fit. It's important that the primary emphasis of the job taps into the candidate's real motivating interests. If the fit isn't right here, nothing else matters.
    • The job stretch. The new job needs to offer immediate stretch. For a manager, this could be a bigger team or a more critical project. For a staff person, this could be working on new technology or learning new skills.
    • Opportunity for future learning and growth. The long-term or strategic aspects of the position. There is a need to demonstrate that the person will be offered additional opportunities to stay on a faster track as long as the person performs at a high level.
    • The chance to make an impact. The work must be important. People will take lesser roles or offset compensation if they feel they're part of something bigger.
    • The hiring manager as mentor. Working for a mentor and true leader is a critical factor on every top performer's decision list.
    • The quality of the team. The quality of the person's future co-workers, and likely new friends, is a critical aspect of on-the-job success and satisfaction.
    • The company's prospects and strategy. Even if a company is not on one of the "best places" lists, it must still demonstrate it's a great organization with a strong future.
    • The company culture. As part of this, address your unusual approaches to work, any non-traditional benefits, and anything that makes you unique in your industry.
    • Work/life balance. While people will work hard doing work they enjoy, quality of life is an important aspect of the decision-making process.
    • The compensation and benefits. As long as the compensation and benefit package are competitive, you don't have to overpay.

This week's tip contributed by Carlyn Burns, president of Prolyn Executive Search, striving to deliver the best in high-value, quality and efficient recruitment services exclusively in the window and door industry, nationwide.