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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

(HIRING) Recruiting Passive Candidates


You are reading more and more about "passive candidates." We are spending a lot of time working with our clients on how to deal with this type of candidate. This is not something that affects only radio, but all industries.

There are basically two types of people to consider in the job search: job seekers and passive candidates. A job seeker is someone who is actively looking for a job change, they may have their resumes posted online, they may respond to your ads, they may have been referred to you. Any way you look at them, they are out there looking and want to be considered for a new job.

A passive candidate is one who is not looking for a job change, they are happy where they are and probably don't have an updated resume. Someone, a recruiter or hiring manager, has found and approached them to consider a new position. They are not an active job seeker.

These two types of candidates need to be treated differently. Radio managers in the past prided themselves on having potential hires jump through hoops to get the jobs, I am sure we all have stories of creative things people did to get hired! In those days, a good manager had a drawer full of resumes to consider when they had an opening. Not so much today.

A job seeker should be able to prove that they are a good match for what you are seeking, they should be prepared to discuss why they are interested and why they should be hired. Standard hiring processes can be in place ? having them fill out an application early on, asking for references or to do presentations is all fine. My biggest question to those candidates is whether they are looking for a "job" or a "career" and how do their goals fit in with yours?

A passive candidate is often a referral, someone a client mentioned as talented, or you heard about through networking. They are not calling you for a job, but you are calling them to discuss their goals, how they are being met, what it would take to get them to consider a job working for you. They will not be interested in taking the time to fill out an application nor jump through hoops until they are sold on the opportunity. It may take numerous calls, or months to get them to meet you in person. One client shared with me that it once took four years to land a targeted seller. He treated her like he would treat a target account by keeping in touch, finding out hot buttons and building up a relationship of trust and loyalty until she was ready to join his team.

In mid-size and smaller markets, where there is not a large labor pool, it is essential to go after passive candidates to fill open career opportunities as the right candidates are not responding to postings. Hiring managers often lament on how someone they talked with didn?t follow up after the interview. With passive candidates, they are not going to follow up. This will be the duty of the hiring manager as they need to sell and close their opportunity.
Hiring is becoming more difficult and knowing how to navigate and pursue passive candidates is necessary to building a strong team.

Laurie Kahn is founder and president of Media Staffing Network. She can be reached at 312-944-9194.

(3/5/2015 10:24:50 AM)
I think we could use your help to find the right team.

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