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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! I have been studying the recent labor reports, and I was stunned to find out that 51% of American businesses have job openings they cannot fill! Do you want to know the secret to success in this business climate? The secret is hiring people who aren’t even looking for a job. In today’s episode, I’m laying out my entire strategy for passive recruitment and showing you how to take control of your hiring process and find candidates that last.

Why is it challenging to find passive candidates?

The biggest challenge is that the best candidates for any job are usually not actively looking for a job change. Understandably, many hiring managers end up interviewing job seekers. Therefore, many companies will hire the best person who applied, even if they are not a good fit for the job. A passive candidate is someone who is already employed and not currently looking for a new position. Studies have shown that approximately 85% of the workforce is passive candidates, and 45% are open to speaking to a recruiter about changing their job. That is a huge percentage of working people, and you will not find them in the usual places.

Q: Have you ever been recruited by a company? How was your experience? Did you end up accepting the new job? Why or why not? Have you ever pursued a passive candidate? Describe that experience. What challenges did you face?

Are Passive Candidates Better Hires?

Here’s what we know about passive candidates. They are good at their work and are providing value to their current companies. They are also more satisfied with their current role than active candidates, which means that it will be harder to win them to your company.

Q: Have you ever hired a passive candidate? Did you find that they were more successful than active candidates? Why or why not? What specific strengths did they have that differed from active candidates?

Attracting Their Attention

Make sure your candidates have a good view of your company. Ensure all of your information is up to date on your website and LinkedIn. Actively post to your profile and use the video feature to reach out to prospective candidates. Keep these videos brief, impactful, and personal. Bring something up that you saw on their LinkedIn profile to gain their trust and demonstrate your genuine interest in making rapport with them. Your initial goal is not to get an interview. You want to build rapport. Listen more than you talk and focus on whether their goals and skills align with the position you had in mind. What you want to do with this group of people is to build rapport.

Q: What made your company stand out when you were looking for a job? What contributed to them making a good first impression? If you were going to pick one thing about your company to highlight to a prospective candidate, what would it be and why?

Keep the Door Open

Play the long game! If you want to recruit quality candidates with this strategy, you must avoid looking like a salesman. Even if your passive candidate is not interested in your current job opening, they may come back to you in the future. Keep the door open and continue engaging with them while you look for other candidates.

Application Activities

  1. Update your company’s LinkedIn (and your own!). Make sure that all of your links work and that your information is correct. If you do not already have a posting schedule, take a moment to batch one post per week for the rest of the year. Remember that, for many candidates, your LinkedIn is one of the first places they will get a feel for your company’s values, brand, and professionalism.

  2. Practice engaging with passive candidates! Do you currently have a job opening? Do you have a feeling that a certain employee may be moving on to a new opportunity? Find five possible candidates for that position on LinkedIn and start a conversation with them. The worst-case scenario is that you learn more about how to approach a passive candidate and you are left with the pool of candidates you already have. If you want to make a strong first impression and have a virtual coffee date, try sending a $5 gift card for coffee to your prospective candidate.

  3. Does your company hire intentionally or out of desperation? A good way to find out is to look at your 1-year turnover rate. Are you constantly losing employees to other opportunities? Do you have to fire employees because they are not meeting your expectations? If so, start a discussion with whoever works with you on these hiring decisions. Ask each other these questions: What are we really looking for in a long-term employee? How can we find candidates that fit this description? How can we prepare our team for job openings so that no one is overly taxed while we are working on filling the open position?


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