How To Predict Candidate Choices, Chances, and Changes

Article main image
Aug 15, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

What if I told you that you could predict the future? Predict when a passive candidate will be ready to evaluate a new opportunity? Not by using a crystal ball or a psychic, but with the use of analytics to predict a candidate’s behavior, tendencies and therefore, their likelihood to change jobs.

Let’s talk about change for a minute. We’re all familiar with the famous quote, “the only thing that is constant is change.” This thought holds true for all facets of life, but particularly in today’s fast-paced business world. Just in the last 30 days in the U.S., 20 mid- sized software companies filed for bankruptcy or restructuring, 800 hospitals or healthcare systems merged or were acquired and 637 mid-sized financial service entities experienced leadership changes.

As a sourcer, what does this mean for you? For obvious reasons, doing your research and staying up to date with major company news announcements provides a competitive advantage when it comes to passive candidate recruiting.

But let’s take this even a step further. The real magic happens when a sourcer or recruiter understands which type of change affects a particular candidate’s availability.


Understanding Availability Signals

Every employee, depending on their job function and job level, are affected differently by changes within a company.

Let’s take a sales account executive working for Company XYZ for example.  If you know that Company XYZ is underperforming and currently not meeting their goals, then it is fair to assume that their sales team is also not meeting quota.  Not hitting quota means they aren’t getting paid. Not getting paid means they are very likely to jump ship at the next opportunity presented to them.

What about HR professionals? What makes them tick? Compliance and regulation issues, of course. A company experiencing problems in this area suggests that their HR team is feeling uneasy and therefore, much more likely to have “wandering eyes” when it comes to other job opportunities.

Another company is impacted by a data security breach. While causing various major implications and uncertainty for the organization, the technical staff’s ears will perk up the next time he or she receives a call from a recruiter.


With Great Knowledge Comes Great Power

Understanding a candidate’s sensitivities to change and underlying motivations could be the key to predicting near active prospects and getting ahead of the curve when it comes to passive candidate sourcing.


The Predicting Process

You know the why, now let’s talk about the how. How do you go about finding and using this data?

Step One – Identify Target Companies

  1. Using Google, Linkedin or any other search engine you prefer, research and identify specific target companies. For best results, your search parameters should be based on geographic location or industry.
  2. Next, compile a list of every single candidate from within each identified company. To make things easier for yourself, in the long run, create a separate excel sheet for various positions/functions within the company (since each job function, level, position etc. is affected differently by changes within a company).

Step Two – Collect Candidate Information

  1. Research candidate contact information – best practices suggest you have at least one phone number and one email address on file for each candidate. You can find most of this information using Linkedin, Email Hunter, Voila Norbert or directly from the company’s website.
  2. Next, make a note of which availability signal each candidate is sensitive to (leadership changes, mergers/acquisitions, cost cutting, litigation issues etc.). Also notate employment anniversary dates, average tenure or anything else that might affect a candidate’s likelihood to move jobs.

Step Three – Watching & Waiting

  1. Now that all the research is completed, you will need to monitor and document all company news, announcements, stock changes, etc. Follow your target companies on Linkedin, Twitter and Owler to receive alerts and updates on the company.
  2. Using what you know about availability signals, a track which candidates are affected and in turn, are likely to be ready for that new opportunity.
  3. Lastly, cross references your current openings with the identified group of candidates to determine any potentials.

Step 4 – Reach Out

  1. Once you’ve identified the right candidate, the right opportunity and the right time, contact the candidate. Using the information you collected during Step 2 and 3, craft a personalized message mentioning your knowledge of the change they have experienced, whether that be a new CEO, an office location move, a work anniversary etc. This demonstrates that you’ve done your research and builds trust with the candidate.

As sources, you aren’t ultimately responsible for making the hire, but delivering prospects that are more likely to engage with your recruiters is still a top priority. By identifying talent that is more likely to consider a new opportunity, you are increasing hiring odds and stacking the deck in your favor, so to speak. At the end of the day, a sourcing win is about finding the right candidate at the right time.

Ready to start predicting the future? Get started here with a free trial of ENGAGE.








This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!