The Secret Sauce On Sourcing Passive Candidates
TLDR: Being proactive in your hiring approach is the best way to consistently hire outstanding talent.
Being proactive in your hiring approach is the best way to consistently hire outstanding talent.
Companies who are great at hiring ask themselves: “who is the best possible person for this potential future role?” instead of “who can I hire now for this existing opening?”
They know that even if only 36% of professionals globally are actively looking for a job, 90% of them are still willing to talk.
By engaging with that 90%, they are more likely to identify candidates who will have an oversized impact on their company, engage with them, and eventually bring them onboard.
Why is proactive sourcing important?
Due to the demand for great talent, companies are forced to look for it proactively instead of waiting for candidates to apply when a job goes live, and building relationships early is the best way to make it happen. If you think about it, passive candidates are unlikely to jump ship the minute you present them with a new opportunity, but if they’re well engaged in advance, your chances increase greatly.
It’s not just about timing, though. The experience that candidates are looking for with your company is fundamentally different in this customer-centric age. Their habits as customers have bled into their expectations of how a prospective employer should interact with them.
When buying a product or considering a new service, they chat with companies on their website chatbot, they read product reviews, get custom recommendations and service follow-ups in their inboxes. It’s natural that they would expect the same level of interaction and personalisation from someone hoping to hire them.
Engaging with candidates helps sourcers on two levels. First, by exposing candidates early and often to your employer brand, you increase the chance that they will like you better than the competition. Exposure means familiarity, and familiarity breeds liking.
The second and more important reason, is that a relationship environment for you to convince the best talent that your company is the right fit for them. Proactive sourcing creates a relationship where a candidate learns about the kind of employer you are: what opportunities you can offer, what values you stand for, what behaviours you reward, or how your employees talk about you and the company.
Now for what you all clicked on this article for…
Here’s how you meet passive candidates online:
Use social media to your advantage. Linkedin is a goldmine for talent but don’t underestimate the power of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These platforms have billions of users which means billions of potential candidates.
By using the advanced search feature, you can find passive candidates by searching for highly specific terms. For example, if you’re looking for a marketing manager, you could search “#contentmarketing” or “#brandbuilding“.
Keep an eye out for interesting articles or insights shared by these people and reach out to them. You can also follow companies that are industry leaders and then connect with their people.
Another good way to source talent is to check out portfolio/work sample sites. This is a huge advantage of online sourcing as you can see candidates’ work and get a taste of what they are able to achieve. It’s also a great conversation starter as it shows them you’ve put effort into seeking them out.
This works effectively for creative professionals such as graphic or UX/UI designers who present their work to platforms such as Behance, Dribble and Carbonmade. Github is also a great place to discover developers by looking at their team or individual projects. Alternative platforms you can look into for engineers are websites such as Codility, Hackerrank and Devskiller.
Just be warned, these methods take a lot of time and a heavy cognitive load. If you’re time poor or do not have the resources to do manual sourcing yourself, there are always sourcing tools you can look into.
RELATED CONTENT THAT YOU MIGHT FIND TO BE HELPFUL: How to Source the Best Talent: Active vs Passive Candidates
The benefit of talent sourcing tools is that you are able to save yourself a lot of time and effort.
For example, our platform automates the top of funnel talent sourcing and gets delivered to our clients as you can see in the image below, saving them hours of their time.
By reducing the manual and menial task of sourcing, they are able to spend their time and energy on reaching out to high quality talent and building those early relationships.
It’s also important to be aware that sourcing is just one half of the equation. When reaching out to passive candidates, we see far better results when our clients use the personalised outreach we generate for them as compared to using a generic template.
When you meet with people in person you have better chances to find out if they’d be interested in a new job but just remember, relationships aren’t built overnight.
Try to discover whether they’re happy in their current role. You can ask them about their future plans for their career – if they’re moving up in their company, they’ll probably be less likely to want to leave.
Don’t just try to fill a seat. Focus on what they want and decide if you can offer them a job that matches their aspirations.