- Posted by alpina_admin
- On 19th May 2017
- 0 Comments
- headhunting, passive candidates, talent
We talk about ‘passive candidates’ a great deal in recruitment. But the fact is, the term is entirely misleading. Firstly, a candidate actually has to apply for something to be classed as a candidate. Those who don’t apply are simply prospects. Equally, prospects are not ‘passive job seekers’ because they aren’t actively job-hunting. And as for ‘passive’ – not at all. They are typically high-performing go-getters who are busy excelling in their existing roles. So much for terminology.
So, to re-iterate, these ‘prospects’ aren’t interested in job-seeking because they are over-performing for your competitors. They are likely to be treated well by great managers and let’s face it, they have no incentive to go looking elsewhere. At least on the face of things.
Of course, by re-defining them using a more appropriate term ‘hot prospects, not actively looking’, you suddenly have a problem. All of your recruitment activity is geared towards an active pool of job-seekers. So how can you attract the attention of the star players?
Understand the value of this group
Hot prospects, who aren’t looking for work are naturally amongst the top 10% of performers at their current employers. They tend to be the fastest learners, the leaders and the creative minds, with future-proof skills that the business will enthusiastically rely upon. When a business employs these individuals, it gets stronger as the competition gets weaker. These top performers also tend to bring other hot talent with them. The strong get stronger, and the weaker get weaker.
Know that the best are in jobs
Of course, the best people are already in the best jobs. Yes, some may be taking a break for family or sabbaticals. But most top-tier professionals are immediately snapped up. However, it is important to know that ‘not looking’ individuals also occupy the lower echelons of the performance graph. This ‘bottom tier’ of staff aren’t looking because they lack the performance or drive to find another role. Needless to say, these are not your targets.
Remember that average performers will find you
If you want to employ those staff who fall in the ‘bell curve’, the ‘good to average’ players, you will find that they come to you. They won’t be treated in a particularly special way because they don’t stand out, and they won’t be headhunted. So they will be active jobseekers who proactively reply to job ads. No problem attracting these then.
It’s interesting to note that many graduates also fall into the ‘not-looking’ category, very often because they want to start up their own business or because they are considering further study. These potential top players won’t be seeking out jobs either, despite being highly desirable to employers.
So, how do we identify a ‘hot prospect, who isn’t actively looking’?
The key signs you are looking for are:
– No updated CV or LinkedIn profile – These prospects are generally wary of being approached speculatively by recruiters, so they are likely to have minimised their social profiles.
– No return of calls. Even if you’re the best recruiter in the business, you won’t be hearing back from them. Not unless you’ve nurtured a relationship with them over time…
– On the off-chance that you do get to speak to them, they will be positive – or simply neutral – about their current work situation. They are treated well and they are likely to get on with their boss.
– No looking at job postings. They aren’t looking for a job – and if they were, they would expect to get a referral. They are actually likely to find the traditional recruitment process and industry quite tasteless.
But why does this matter?
By using the right term for this oh-so-desirable but hard to reach group of targets, we can start thinking about them in the right way and forget typical recruitment strategies. Once your hiring team understand that this special group is particularly valuable and a different animal in the rules of attraction, it becomes easier to think creatively about the best way to engage and source them.
We’ll soon be looking at the next step in this series; namely the strategies and techniques that you’ll need to employ to grab these ‘Hot Prospects, Not Looking’. But in the meantime, focus on adjusting your understanding of this group and calling them what they really are. It’s the first, vital step to improving your own recruitment performance, and it requires a change in mindset.
This article was written by Gary Reeman, Managing Director, AlpinaSearch. If you’d welcome advice on attracting top talent to your growth technology venture, head over to http://alpinasearch.com/clients/