Recruiters agree that passive talent is better in quality than active talent, and, like all outcomes of excellence, success in hiring passive candidates does not come easy. It is harder for recruiters to source them and they need to balance sensitivity with aggression to engage and finally get them to close the deal.

With technology pervading the realm of recruiting in significant measure, recruiters are turning to technology tools and platforms to ease their struggle and increase their success of hiring passive candidates. The question is, how much can technology replace the ‘touch’ in doing so? Is it enough to recruit passive talent?

Relationship is the essence of hiring passive talent

The stages in hiring passive talent shape up differently from mass recruitment. Starting the conversation is the biggest challenge. Tech tools can help the recruiter accurately and comprehensively identify the different aspects of a passive candidate’s professional profile, however, creating personalised and robust content with relevant information that motivates passive candidates to see a potential job fit requires a customised touch.

The discovery process is a very personalised one

Most often with passive candidates, only close interaction reveals hidden and additional aspects of their capabilities and behaviors that can either reinforce their fit or reverse the recruiter’s assessment of a right fit. This requires knowing when to alternate between selling the job, the boss or the company.

No machine learning can master this process since it is such a one-of-a-kind discussion unique to each candidate. Taking the help of social analysis platforms and analytic tools can give the recruiter data and information to keep the engagement strong in differentiated ways – but bringing authenticity in doing so lies in the person.

No one size fits the passive talent

If recruitment is all about making it work for both applicants and the organisation, it is even more so when hiring passive candidates. Technology and the individual touch cannot compete - they have to complement in making this journey a ‘win-all’ one. Even when using technology for faster, smarter sourcing and to improve recruiting strategy, it is important not to fall victim to the idea that technology alone is the answer.

Automation works beautifully at the back-end, but hiring the passive candidate is not a repetitive task to be automated. Social sentiment tracking and analytics can segment candidates accurately but different passive candidates have different motivational buttons that they reveal only after one-to-one interactions.

Each passive candidate is unique, and technology has to bow down to this individuality to act the enabler.

In the hiring of passive candidates, the professional calibre of the recruiter needs to match that of the candidate. Consultative skills in the recruiter are critical to maximise the quality of hire in this pool of first among equals. Technology can reach and push the boundaries of efficiencies and they will certainly need to be leveraged. In doing so however, the aim should not be to limit recruiter involvement, but to maximise their personalised effectiveness in what will continue to be a ‘high touch’ strategy.

about the author
yashab giri new
yashab giri new

yeshab giri

chief commercial officer - staffing & RT professionals

yeshab is responsible for leading the development and expansion of randstad India’s value added staffing services which currently encompass field force, engineering and technology roles.