Q: It’s getting more and more difficult to hire through the sources we usually use. I want to be more proactive and go after people who are not already looking for jobs, but I’m not sure how to proceed. What’s the best way to find those candidates?
A: As the job market continues to tighten up, it’s smart to search outside of your usual sources and to look for candidates who may not be on the job hunt. Although they’re not actively looking, if you were able to offer them a new challenge, they might be interested enough to talk to you.
Before you begin recruiting these so-called passive candidates, tend to your employment branding: Be sure your organization presents itself in the best light and is seen as a good place to work.
Look at your careers page on your website and ensure that you showcase your positive work culture and your commitment to your current employees. Confirm that your organization is paying competitively and that your benefits are the best you can offer. Share examples of how your organization supports not only its members but the community or communities it works in too. These are the attributes that passive candidates will likely want to explore before they decide whether they might want to work for you.
Once you have your employment brand solidified, think about people you’ve met at conferences who’ve impressed you. This is an opportune time to reach out and share something interesting that your organization is doing. Have you launched a new initiative? If so, sharing the press release announcing your new offering is a nice way to reconnect. Once you’ve reestablished contact, you can share information about the job opening that you think the person would be a good fit for.
Before you begin recruiting these so-called passive candidates, tend to your employment branding: Be sure your organization presents itself in the best light.
Another approach is to enlist your current employees to help you find qualified candidates. If you have an employee referral program, you may want to target hard-to-fill positions by increasing the reward you pay for referrals for those roles. This is a win-win for your organization and your employees. Some candidates may be unlikely to reply to a job posting but may be willing to listen to a current employee share their experience of working for your organization. If the referral gets hired, the current employee gets some cash or other reward through your referral program.
Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR,The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook and the latest book—The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book. Do you have a question you’d like her to answer in “Ask the Expert”? Send it to [email protected].