Hawaii is in a hiring pickle: lots of companies are looking for workers; not nearly enough workers are looking for new positions. Recruiting passive candidates will—if it hasn’t already—become a necessity for many local employers.
Nearly two-thirds of the global workforce is made up of passive candidates, according to the 2016 Global Talent Trends Report by LinkedIn Talent Solutions. Generally speaking, these candidates are happily employed and not actively pursuing a new role.
However, the report also found that nine out of ten people are open to hearing about new job opportunities. Whether you’re soliciting referrals from an old college roommate, reaching out to prospects on LinkedIn, or cold calling potential leads, recruiting passive candidates should be done thoughtfully.
Here are some helpful dos and don’ts when recruiting passive candidates.
DON’T send a generic message.
Nothing says ignore this email more than a generic, boilerplate email. You can’t expect a candidate to give you their (very limited) time, if you aren’t willing to do the same. Tailor your message, keep it concise and conversational, and personalize it by speaking directly to the individual’s skills and experience.
DO focus on company branding and culture.
Almost half of all professionals say that not knowing what it’s really like to work at a company is the biggest challenge when changing jobs. That’s where your company branding and culture come into play. Passive candidates need to be able to easily glean what day-to-day life is like at your company and how that fits into the overarching values and goals.
DON’T lead with more money.
Lack of career opportunity, not compensation, is the number one reason why people change jobs. Unless the opportunity represents a strategic career move, the compensation offered won’t matter. Switching jobs just won’t be worth the candidate’s time or effort.
DO engage in a career discussion.
To spark the interest of a passive candidate, sell the opportunity, not the job. Things to think about: How will the opportunity put them closer to their long-term career goals? What are the candidate’s intrinsic motivators and how will the opportunity satisfy them? What is your company’s employee value proposition?
DON’T slow down the hiring process.
You have a small window of time to close a deal with a candidate—two out of three jobseekers say they’ll wait no more than two weeks to hear from an employer before moving on. Because passive candidates can be more selective about new opportunities, it’s wise to follow up promptly (without being pushy), make the hiring process efficient, and be ready to hire when they’ve made a decision.
DO incentivize employee referrals.
Nearly 68 percent of companies offer a referral bonus to gain a competitive edge in hiring. Proof that your best recruiters already work for you! Employee referrals are an effective way to reach passive candidates and research shows they yield the highest application-to-hire conversion rate.