Proactive vs Reactive Recruiting

The best talent to fill your open jobs are often employed, have a successful track record, experience, credentials, and the skills required by your hiring authorities. Most people do not intend to retire from their current job and are often open to listening about new opportunities that represent their next career move.

execunetselect-find-talent-barb-brunoRecruiting presentations must be made every day. Recruiting is the primary way of attracting the quality of person you want to hire. These candidates are not reading website postings or job board ads, they are too busy doing a great job for someone else. However, they can hit the ground running and often provide the fastest return on investment.

Initially you are a stranger your candidate does not know or trust. If you take a high-tech and high-touch approach to recruiting, you will develop rapport which will lead to trust. You have a moral and ethical responsibility to always do the best job you can for each candidate you represent.

Accepting a new job is one of the most important decisions a person makes. Their decision impacts their quality of life, earning and advancement potential, future marketability, family, and the environment and culture where they will spend most of their time.

During your recruiting presentations if you ask someone who is working, “who they know” or if they can “provide you with referrals of top talent,” you will almost hear, “I don’t know anyone!”

Unless they are a troll living under a bridge, of course they know people they could refer to you. A more honest response would be, “I don’t know or trust you! Why would I give you referrals?” The common perception is that you are asking them to provide names of their co-workers which makes them uncomfortable, because they have a sense of loyalty to their current employer.

This is where the extremely powerful six words will dramatically change your results when you are attempting to recruit passive candidates. Those six words are, “from your last place of employment.”

You will ask, “Who is the best (Job Title) from your last place of employment?”

This prevents the response, “I don’t know anyone.” because of course they remember who the best people were in their profession, from their last place of employment. There is no loyalty to a past employer. This is why this question almost always results in them providing you with a name.

If your conversation is moving along smoothly, ask them for the best (Job Title) from all their past employers.

Recruiting presentations differ greatly depending on the level of person you are placing. Recruiting a Developer is much different than recruiting a CIO. The presentations should be used as guidelines.

Every call you make will be a learning experience that will help you fine tune your recruiting skills. The person on the other end of the phone doesn’t know what your call should sound like. If you have taken the time to practice your thirty-second pitch and you know your brand or the brand of your company, you will sound better than most recruiters who have called them previously.

The problem with most recruiting calls is they all sound alike. We even resort to some of the verbiage used in tacky sales calls. For example: “Good morning, my name is ________ and how are you today?” That an instant indication that you are a salesperson? Unless this person knows you.

Early in your presentation share your track record of success in helping others with their career advancement. Schedule a time that is most convenient for them to discuss what they envision as their next career move. A prospective candidate must feel you have their best interest at heart, not that you are selling one specific job opportunity. This will help you develop rapport and trust.

Here is a Sample of a General Recruiting Script
“Good morning/afternoon. My name is (your name). In the past few months, I’ve helped several outstanding (job title) advance their careers, which is why I’m reaching out to you. I would love to provide those same results for you. When would it be most convenient to discuss what’s most important to you in your next career move?”

Another Example of a Recruiting Script
“Good Morning. My name is (your name). I was inspired to call you when I reviewed your resume | CV | LinkedIn Profile. You have outstanding experience and I’ve helped several candidates with similar experience advance their careers. I don’t want to assume what you’re doing is what you want to do next. When would it be best for us to discuss what you see as your next career move?”

My Third Example is Effective if a Candidate was  Referred
“Good Morning/Afternoon. My name is (your name) and I was referred to you by (person’s name). When I asked (person’s name) for the name of the best (job title) at their last place of employment, you were the first person they mentioned. In fact, they shared that you (share info). I’d love to arrange a time when we can talk so I can understand what is most important to you in your next career move.”

If the candidate does not want you to use their name, just state you were referred. If they ask by who, just respond, “I’m representing the person who referred you in a confidential search. If I have the opportunity to represent you, I will extend that same level of confidentiality.”

If the Passive Candidate Says Yes, set up a time in the evening to fully interview the candidate and acquire the paperwork. Get detailed information and know the hot buttons of the candidate before presenting an opportunity. If you present the right type of opportunity you will gain the trust and interest of this new candidate.

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This is a must-read for anyone responsible for hiring great talent!

If the Candidate Says No, then tell them you would still like to get to know them for any future needs they may have. Even though they are not interested now, ask them if there are specific opportunities they would like to hear about in the future.

The more successful you are at addressing the WIIFM (What’s in it For Me) issue, the more successful you will become at recruiting passive candidates. Prospective candidates do not care about your opinions. It is all about them and they appreciate you sticking to facts and again, what is important to them (WIIFM).

Lateral marketing will also improve your ability to attract passive candidates. Set up a bi-monthly email to your candidate database to promote leads. When you send relevant articles (topic in the subject line) and list of your current job opportunities, many of your candidates will forward it to their contacts who are often qualified candidate you could then recruit.

When you become proficient at recruiting, you will not only fill your job openings faster, but you will also fill them with the best talent who will then become engaged and retained employees.

You may also like: Recruiting the Highest-caliber Talent



Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno, author of HIGH-TECH HIGH-TOUCH RECRUITING: How To Attract And Retain The Best Talent By Improving The Candidate Experience, is an internationally recognized recruiting expert who has a proven track record of helping recruiters and talent acquisition professionals become more successful and less stressed. She has created several popular LinkedIn Learning courses and is president of Good As Gold Training, HR Search, Inc., and Happy Candidates.

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