Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Attracting Passive Candidates?

When I attend recruiting conferences and Human Resource meetings nationwide, inevitably the conversation works its way to attracting the Holy Grail of recruitment – the Passive Candidate.

It is valuable to listen carefully to that person’s definition of whom the Passive Candidate is. Generally companies define the Passive Candidate as someone who is doing a job at a high level within another company; and is perfectly content to remain there.

Then go to the website of the company seeking to attract the Passive Candidate. Does the company put up roadblocks while trying to attract the Passive Candidate? Beware of conflicting goals. If the company truly wants to attract the Passive Candidate, do they make it easy for them? Obviously if they are just looking around, they will not fill out an application prior to a conversation. How many companies are being sold by their Applicant Tracking System vendors that requiring candidates to complete an application prior to the company’s demonstrated interest in the candidate is best practice? It appears that many companies have bought into this practice. This practice runs directly counter to the sales process.

Successful recruiting is a sales process – pure and simple. The processes match perfectly.


Sales Process
1) Identify Need
2) Develop service or product to fill need
3) Source potential clients
4) Perform needs analysis
5) Proposal
6) Negotiation
7) Close
8) Delivery of product/service

Recruitment Process
1) Identify Need – new or replacement
2) Create job description
3) Source potential candidates
4) Interview – needs analysis
5) Offer
6) Compensation negotiation
7) Close
8) Delivery of candidate

In the recruitment sales process, the application should be completed after the interview is set and prior to the interview. Now you have sufficient interest by the passive candidate to motivate them to complete the application prior to the interview.

Requiring Passive Candidates to complete an application while surfing your website will cause them to continue surfing to another company that understands that recruiting is sales.