Why Are Recruiters So Passive Aggressive? by @BryanChaney

Feb 23, 2015
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

6809751239_bd934b4352_oThe difference between a passive and an active candidate? About 90 seconds.

That’s the time that it takes a good recruiter to get the first ‘Yes’ in a conversation.

“If I could share an opportunity that would advance your career, would you be open to learning more about it?”

Yes. That’s it. That just happened. And it took less than ninety seconds. Is it always that easy? Definitely not. But it’s also not always that difficult to get someone engaged.

By focusing the message on one leading motivator, you can cut through the noise. Motivators typically fit into one of four main categories:

  • Advancement – roles, responsibilities, title
  • Money – salary, commission, benefits, stock
  • People – team, co-workers, culture, balance
  • Technology – envelope-pushing innovation

“If I could share an opportunity that offered better __________, would you be open to learning more about it?”

This is what gets a prospect AMPT to consider a career change. See what I did there?

But I’m not just the creator of the method, I’m also a client.

As a country, we’re still hung up on passive talent. So much so, that some hiring managers are even screening out people who are unemployed. They only want to talk to the elusive passive candidate. Which is really a misnomer anyway. These are the upstream stages as I see them:

Suspect – We don’t know you, you don’t know us, neither knows why we should care.

Prospect – We’ve identified you as a potential fit for one of our hiring needs, but you have no idea who we are or why you should care.

Applicant – You’ve identified our company as a potential employer and indicated your interest (most likely) in one of our opportunities. We have no idea why we should care.

Candidate – We’ve determined that based on your qualifications, our requirements, and your interest, you may be a potential fit for one of our open roles.

Are they really passive…or are they semi-active? Do we really care as long as they have the qualifications and will fit the culture?

Also, when did we start buying into the belief that people are ‘better’ if they don’t know who we are?

So let’s bring this back to sourcing.

Do you limit your database search ranges, based on when a resume or profile is updated? Why is that? I have found more prospects that I wouldn’t have seen, simply by opening up the date range. If you’re only focused on the keywords and skill sets of right now, you may miss out on what that person has done in the past.

And let’s not forget about referrals. Those people who used to do the job? They likely know folks doing the job today. And I’ll bet they’re “passive.” At least that’s what you can tell your hiring manager.

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This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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