Passive job seekers – those who are currently employed and not looking for another position – are often popular prospects for IT hiring managers. “They typically take their careers and jobs very seriously,” says career coach Megan Pittsley-Fox, a focus which employers tend to translate into desirable traits such as expertise, motivation and responsibility. But traditional recruiting approaches often don’t work well with this group. Here’s what you can do instead to reach out to passive prospects.
- Use social media. A recent Adler Group study revealed that 83% of LinkedIn users are passive job seekers. With 225 million registered users, you’ve got an impressively large pool of candidates to consider. Facebook and Twitter also offer opportunities to reach out to passive job seekers.
- Dangle the right carrot. Over time, many organizations tend to take even their top talent for granted. Boredom can also set in. So rather than focusing on money, lure passive job seekers with how much their work will be valued, or the new, exciting projects and technology that await them.
- Don’t come on too strong. Passive candidates tend to be skittish – after all, they already have a job that they are presumably happy with, and they don’t want to jeopardize that. A low-key approach during a networking event, or having a mutual professional acquaintance reach out, are great ways to gently initiate contact.
- Expect to do some hand-holding. “People who are comfortable in their current jobs have a deep-seated worry that they could be giving up something that makes them happy if they move to a new company,” says Bridget Frey, VP of engineering at Redfin. In this case, information is the answer, and the more, the better. Reassure passive prospects by giving them plenty of opportunities to get familiar with the people, the culture and the corporate mission.
- Be patient. It takes a lot longer to recruit a passive job seeker. Even if your initial efforts fail, keep the prospect apprised of great happenings in your organization. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of the right bit of news reaching the right candidate at the right time.
While passive recruits are often seen as the most desirable, it’s important not to get tunnel vision when hiring. Don’t ignore potentially great candidates just because they are currently out of work. Perhaps the best hiring strategy, espoused by Go Daddy talent acquisition manager Tara Lee, is this: “We don’t ask who is looking for a job — we ask who would be great at the job, and reach out to them — whether they’re working or not.”
With more than 15 years of specialized recruiting experience, Triumph Services can deliver the best IT candidates for the job regardless of their current employment status. For more information on how we can bring top technical talent to your organization, contact us today!