Sourcing and Recruiting Passive Candidates

This evening I was reading a great post from blogger Hunter Walk on why (if you are trying to hire away a superstar employee) as the hiring manager you should send out the recruitment e-mail (rather than delegating it to the recruiter).

The idea goes that a superstar candidate gets headhunted often enough that he/she will ignore the typical LinkedIn recruitment e-mail and/or recruiter call, but that if the person reaching out to him/her has enough clout that a response (and perhaps even serious consideration) is more likely.

As a recruiter, when sourcing a passive candidate I almost always ask the hiring manager to personally contact the candidate (after I’ve sold said hiring1. A good recruiter might do this once or twice, but making it a part of one’s sourcing strategy is a process improvement that most recruiters don’t make.manager on why the candidate would be a great fit)… 1

…The reason being that I began my HR career in staffing, and pretty quickly realized that for difficult to fill positions one frequently has to source passive candidates in order to get a technical and cultural match.

Unfortunately, the best candidates were getting reached out to regularly 2 enough that my recruiting e-mails often went unanswered. After2. This article is a pre-financial crisis, but with the economy picking back up it is becoming more and more true once again.varying everything in my first contact approach from my phone pitch to my email period placement, I finally struck gold when one of my hiring managers reached out to a candidate he saw on LinkedIn. Having the hiring manager make the first contact with passive candidates has been in my toolkit ever since.

The sourcing process – like everything else in HR – can be continuously improved upon (and even turned into a competitive advantage) if the people facilitating it focus on generating strategic solutions as opposed to being another cog in the wheel.

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Categories: Recruiting