4 ways to hire passive talent

Research shows that passives comprise 75 percent of the workforce – 15 percent who are perfectly content with their job with no interest in moving whatsoever, 45 percent who are willing to talk to explore new opportunities and another 15 percent termed the ‘tiptoers’, who are yet not applying for jobs but preparing to move.

Passive candidates come in different hues

As the talent acquisition team dives deeper in the search for passive candidates, they will find the above layers and, therefore, this pool needs to be handled differently, right from the initial conversation.

The recruiter may need to build a few networking connections with the extremely passive candidates so that they warm up and remember them when they move to the passive stage. Passive candidates and tiptoers need to be looked at as satisfied people interested in challenges and looking to make an impact.

With passive talent coming pre-selected for recruitment, the talent acquisition team need not spend huge amounts of time weeding them out. Yet, they still have to find the magic answer to the million dollar question - how can they be hired? Here are four simple ‘dos’ to hire passive talent.

1. Know what motivates passive talent

The hard work in handling passive candidates lies in the coaxing to take the first step – in understanding what will make the specific satisfied passive candidate change jobs. Tapping into other known passive talents’ minds can be a good starting point. The right theme needs to be effectively conveyed during the first touch point.

2. Deliver a compelling recruitment pitch

Recruitment, especially of passive talent, in the first couple of steps, is pretty much analogous to sales. The recruiter wants them, not the other way. Passive candidates do not have to sell themselves.

It is the organisation that needs to make its brand special enough. Is the culture something the employees believe in? Does the work they do make them feel engaged? Do they feel empowered in their work? Does it match their aspirations? More importantly, are they willing to talk about it?When it all comes together, the recruitment function will find a better listening ear in the passive candidate.

3. Sell a career, not a job

The skills and job qualifications are not the most important aspects for passive talent. Recruitment should therefore be about developing exciting relationships with the organisation’s expertise and whetting their appetites for growth opportunities. The recruitment strategy should be to present the right managers and leaders who can provide this reassurance.

With its right degree of informality, social media provides an easy way to keep in touch and receive status updates on the candidate’s intent.

4. Create a talent pipeline

Hiring passive talent is a slow process and involves time-consuming efforts. The chances are that organisations may be lucky to get them to fill a time-bound need.

A good recruitment strategy, thus, looks at building a passive talent pipeline. This way, organisations have candidates of potential who will want to work for the organisation, and the search need not be from scratch when the requirement arises.

Once organisations have captured their interest, it is important not to lose their attention. They need to make it easy for passive candidates to make the move. Recruiters need to ensure that processes are made simple, the right questions are asked and they do not encroach too much on their time. Knowing the fine balance in showing active interest without breathing down on them is vital.

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