A Manager's Guide to Recruiting Passive Job Candidates

 A Manager's Guide to Recruiting Passive Job Candidates

Looking to fill a vital accounting or finance position at your company? Your pool of potential candidates extends far beyond the stacks of resumes you receive in response to job postings. There are plenty of highly skilled workers who are not actively seeking work, but who would jump at the chance if the right position came long.

Most managers will attempt to recruit passive candidates at some point, but these waters are tricky to navigate. How can you identify passive candidates? And once you do, how can you tactfully broach the topic of jumping ship and joining your team?

Here are some of the etiquette concerns you should be aware of before you try to recruit passive candidates and tips on how to recruit from the widest pool possible:

Cover All Possible Recruiting Ground

Many managers tend to lean more heavily on one type of recruitment tool. Expand your methods to include a healthy mix of online and face-to-face interaction with top-notch accounting and finance professionals in your industry.

Consider tapping a staffing agency. Recruiters often have access to professionals you might not otherwise meet. A recruiter with a deep, well-cultivated network can connect you with a range of talented individuals in the so-called “hidden job market.”

Your current employees are also a great resource. When a position becomes available, ask them if they know anyone who would be an ideal fit. Even if their recommendations don’t pan out, you’ll have more insight into what other team members consider to be vital qualities in a candidate. 

Your company should have a presence at industry conferences, as well as an online presence. Engagement here is key. If your company has a blog, respond to your commenters. If you join a LinkedIn group, chat regularly with other members. Remember that this is about more than just scouting talent. The more people know about your organization through newsletters, website content and conference presentations, the more likely they are to pay attention when you reach out to them.

Think Relationship, Not Recruitment

When you contact a passive candidate, don’t give them a pitch right off the bat. This is a longer-term game, so you want to make a personal connection first. Because they’re not actively seeking a new job, they might need to be “warmed up” before you give them the hard sell. Be patient and build the relationship. If you do make an approach and get a definitive “no,” consider asking for recommendations of others who might be interested. If nothing else, you’ll expand your network.

Know What to Sell and How to Sell It

When the time comes to see what a passive candidate thinks about joining your team, keep in mind that they are content in their current position. Some of the biggest incentives you can offer to pique their interest are:

  • Work/life balance. If you can offer more flexible hours or telecommuting as part of your package, that might be enough to motivate a passive candidate.
  • Money. Few passive candidates will be willing to leave a perfectly good position unless the pay is better. Robert Half’s Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance can help you benchmark your starting salaries to ensure they are competitive.
  • Advancement opportunities. Prospective employees need to know there’s a possibility to climb the career ladder. Don’t just focus your pitch on what they can do at your company now. Give them an idea of where some viable career paths could take them down the road.
  • Challenges. Passive candidates might be comfortable but understimulated in their current positions. Taking the time to get to know them can help you offer unique challenges and projects they would enjoy.

What tips do you have for recruiting passive candidates? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Related post: Employee Turnover Strategies: 4 Steps to Take When a Top Performer Leaves

Tags: Hiring