The New Competency Model for Passive Candidate Recruiting

Your Checklist for Becoming a Passive Candidate Recruiting Expert

November 17, 2015

With the death of transactional recruitingrecruiters need to rapidly become passive candidate recruiting experts. The following are the prerequisites. And, you can take this online survey as you review the details to see where you stand.

1. Use a Performance-qualified Selection System vs. Skills-qualified System to attract 100% of the talent market

Passive candidates aren’t looking for lateral transfers; they’re looking for growth opportunities. A performance-based job description defines the work a person needs to accomplish in order to be considered successful.

You need to answer a strong yes to these questions to play in the passive candidate recruiting game:

  • Can you influence your hiring manager to use performance objectives rather than a list of skills and experiences to define job success?
  • Can you confidently answer this question the best passive candidates always ask first, “Can you tell me about the hiring manager, why the job is important, what some of the big challenges are, what the compensation is and why it’s a good career move?”

2. Establish a strong recruiter and hiring manager partnership

The recruiter needs to be an influential partner in the process to ensure the best person is being hired. As a result, the recruiter needs to answer a strong yes on these factors:

  • The hiring manager will agree to phone interview 100% of the candidates I present.
  • I’m often asked to lead panel interviews.
  • I’m often asked to lead debriefing sessions.
  • I can defend my candidates from superficial or incorrect assessments.

3. Prepare the “ideal candidate persona” as part of a dual-track sourcing program

The preparation of a candidate persona is part of a complete passive candidate recruiting effort, since it uncovers all possible prospects.

Some of these people will be found and contacted directly. The others will be found using the networking power of LinkedIn Recruiter. You need to prepare the profile and do both to score a five on this factor.

4. Build a great pool of top performing passive candidates

To be considered an outstanding passive candidate recruiter, you need to do all of the following:

  • Be a clever Boolean expert using performance traits to identify the top 25%.
  • Prepare great messages that tap into the candidate’s intrinsic motivators.
  • Achieve best in class passive candidate response rates (>50%).
  • Spend at least 50% of the time getting and calling high quality referrals.

5. Implement a consultative recruiting approach to become a true career advisor

Getting the names of passive candidates is easy. Getting them to talk with you is harder. Recruiting them is tougher still, but getting them hired within budget requires sophisticated recruiting skills.

You need to answer yes to all of the following to earn your master consultative recruiting certificate.

  • I can get at least 80% of the passive candidates I talk with on the phone to engage in a 10-15 minute exploratory conversation.
  • I know how to shift the conversation right away to the three dimensions of career growth over compensation maximization.
  • I can smoothly overcome typical passive candidate concerns, like location, title, compensation and lack of interest.  

6. Be recognized as an outstanding interviewer

You need to have a track record of accurately assessing candidates validated by the person’s on-the-job performance. This is why hiring managers will see all of your candidates and ask you to lead the hiring team’s debriefing sessions.

7. Maximize and manage the passive candidate recruiting process

To get five stars on this factor, you rarely need to present more than four candidates to get one person hired and 2-3 of these are either passive or highly referred candidates.

In our LinkedIn Recruiter Master Course, we describe the skills needed to achieve this mix. But, the big idea is to use a sequence of designed steps to keep the best prospects engaged throughout the recruiting process.

8. Be great at recruiting and closing on growth, not compensation

None of the above matters if you’re not hiring high quality passive candidates within your compensation range. The key to this is moving slowly, selling the discussion instead of the job, not letting passive candidates opt-out until they have a full set of information, converting your jobs into career moves, getting the passive candidate to sell you instead of you selling the candidate, and testing all offers to ensure 100% acceptance thereby preventing competing offers.

To be considered a top-notch passive candidate recruiter, the last factor is the most important. But you can’t get there unless you score high on all of the rest. That’s why you need to master the art of consultative recruiting. Based on the latest hiring trends, the time to get started is now. 

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