10 ways to Convert a Passive to an Active Candidate




With the inexorable rise of social media and the relentless pursuit of so-called passive candidates, recruiters now, more than ever, find themselves being grilled by candidates. In this role reversal, potential jobseekers who have been approached are much more likely to demand good reasons to take your call, and to consider your client. Here are 10 ways you can put the boot on the other foot (so to speak).

1. Before approaching a referred candidate, ask the referring person as much as you can (within appropriate bounds) about the target’s potential motivations and drivers.

2. If you have found someone via LinkedIn, you should research not only their career history, but that of their peers in the same and similar companies (both present and past). This will give you valuable insight.

3. Do a much wider search on the person, and find their other social media accounts via http://www.360social.me/ This will help you to break the ice, and establish a rapport quickly.

4. Armed with as much information as possible, make contact in the most appropriate way. I prefer to call, but email, InMail or making a LinkedIn connection may be more suitable.

5. In most scenarios, I prefer to say that they have been referred to me by another individual. This is both flattering, and reassures them of confidentiality, as you usually cannot reveal the referrer. Use your judgement on whether to use this approach, or that you found them by other means.

6. As you have made the first move, it is common for the candidate to be a little diffident, offhand, or even cocky. Give them the space to do this, as you want them to feel special.

7. However, to make this work you need to quickly gauge their interest in making any move, before you reveal details of your client and this job. Are they open, or completely closed to opportunities?

8. Making your pitch is vital to switching your candidate from being the pursued party, to one that actually desires your vacancy. Utilise all the information you have gleaned to present the job to them in the most personal way possible. If you can’t get them hooked, start over again.

9. Always avoid presenting a candidate to a client, who isn’t already turned on to the opportunity. Switching a candidate from the object of a headhunt, to an eager applicant often requires several calls and/or meetings. Whilst time is pressing with your assignment, it is essential that you allow enough time for their enthusiasm to build.

10. In every step of the recruitment process, continually gauge the candidate’s commitment, and be willing to pull them when there are signs that they are merely on an ego trip.

Stephen O'Donnell is a lifelong recruiter, internet enthusiast, fadgadget and peripatetic writer.

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