Authentic Engagement of the Passive Candidate Part 3 – Sharing Your Sourcing Process

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Dec 1, 2015

I recently addressed a challenge most of us in talent acquisition frequently experience– hiring managers failing to engage passive candidates in a manner conducive to authenticity of the candidate’s needs, schedule and interest level. I referenced information around change management and coaching the hiring manager.

In Part 1 I gave an overview of issues to address when coaching a hiring manager. Part 2 began breaking down the details starting with “Definition of a Passive Candidate and Degrees of Passivity”. In case you missed it click “Parts 1 and 2” to get caught up.

In Part 2 I addressed making the information applicable and personal to the hiring manager. Causing them to understand where they would fall into the passive candidate spectrum (silently, do not ask them to disclose) now or at some point in the career. It frames the remainder of the coaching you provide on this subject matter.

Today I will address sharing your sourcing process. As these processes vary by company and sourcer, I will not break down best practices on what your process should look like. Instead, I will provide some bullet points to share based on what I have seen be successful. During your coaching, it’s not necessary to get deeply granular in detail. An overview of your process is far more education than most hiring managers have on the sourcing process. Sourcing sometimes separates candidate ID and Development as two separate functions, sometimes not. For the purposes of this article we will include both as a function of the sourcer.

Let’s begin with the first step in the sourcing process. This is a step I have seen skipped or given little to no importance. Without it, you are working blindly, potentially with ego driving your search.

Intake Call – Sometimes called a kick-off. You may have another name for it. Stress the importance of the intake to discuss specific details of the role/search. I recommend having a set group of questions prepared providing consistency on the calls, to include thought provoking questions. Here, you let the hiring manager know the outcome of the intake defines your search and screening criteria. This call will help you clearly define the candidates best fitting the role and save the hiring managers time on interviewing candidates.

Next, provide some points around how you ID and Develop passive candidates. Discuss building Pipelines and Reporting.

Identifying the Candidates – Discuss with the hiring manager how you find candidates. Not job boards. Not just Linkedin. You do not have to show a detailed Boolean string (though Aaron Lintz can show a few that will leave them scratching their heads), but you can if you want.

Discuss how you ID competitors and companies with candidates who have the desired skill sets (speak in their terms). List the tools you commonly use i.e. sites, social media, forums, professional associations etc. and how you network with these candidates. You choose how much detail you want to provide but remember you are driving buy-in. An overview of your deep web mining and other processes will get the point across.

Candidate Engagement and Development – In the current state of sourcing engagement and     Development has taken separate forms. Engagement has become the first touch, outreach to a candidate you have identified. Development is the call you have in gaining interest of the candidate and qualifying them for the role. In coaching your hiring managers, the most important take-away here is we are reaching out to the candidates and selling them on us while qualifying them through a meaningful exchange of dialogue. This call takes place based on the candidate’s availability to speak and can be lengthy in some cases.

Pipelining and Reporting – If this step is not being done in your sourcing process, you may want to consider adding it. As you build your pipeline, you will build credibility with your hiring managers in providing this work product in a pipeline report. It will quiet some of the noise you may experience. When coaching, share with the hiring manager you will send a pipeline report weekly, providing status updates on candidates. hiring managers will feel in the loop and may know some of the candidates on your list.

Submittal Process and Details (Individual vs. Short List) – Make sure you have an agreed upon submittal process for the passive candidates. Passive candidates are not generally open to applying for the role at this point. The hiring manager should receive a formal write up, reflecting at minimum the candidate fit per the intake information. Tailor the write up (I create a form to attach) to include the passivity of the candidate, flag any objections or concerns the candidate shared (so the manager has a heads-up to address) as well as the notes taken during your screen. Explain to your hiring manager the candidates may not have resumes prepared. A Linkedin profile or similar will have to do for the purpose of the first contact they have with the candidate.

Many hiring managers prefer seeing your submittals at the same time, in a short list format. Sourcers know time kills interest. Help the hiring manager understand these passive candidates need a quick first touch and holding for a short list will diminish or eliminate interest of the candidate. Get buy in on single submittals for passive candidates.

So far in our coaching we have educated the hiring managers on the true definition points of a passive candidate. We have addressed the different levels of passivity and made it personal to the hiring managers. We have shared what the sourcing process looks like. Getting buy-in on the intake call, sharing a high-level view of our ID process, and Engagement/Development process. We have offered a submittal process with caveats to tweak the thought processes of the hiring managers. In part 4 we will discuss points on the authentic engagement of the passive candidate by the hiring manager. We will pick up from the submittal and provide coaching points on the interview process thru the offer.

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