When it comes to candidate sourcing, the conversation of passive vs active candidates feels like it’s been done to death. As Greg Savage pointed out in his blog post “There’s no such thing as a passive candidate”, there are no passive or active candidates…there are just candidates. Most people, if offered a great job would be open to listening to what you have to say.
The question should really be; does your business have a passive or an active sourcing strategy?
How do you know if your sourcing strategy is passive? Well ask yourself some of these question:
- Do you post jobs as standard on job boards or LinkedIn and just wait for candidates to apply?
- Are you or your recruiters spending their days trawling through hundreds of average CV’s with no time to actively source candidates and/or build talent pipelines and communities?
- Do you tweet a job once and then if there’s no response, decide that it doesn’t really work?
- Do the candidates in your recruitment database just sit there whilst more and more are added?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then yes you have a passive sourcing strategy!
Being a passive organisation when it comes to sourcing great talent, is never going to provide you with the best outcome or hit the mark at hiring the best in the business. You’ll always be hiring the best candidates out the talent that saw your ad but not the best talent in the market.
Here are 6 ways to ensure that your sourcing strategy is ACTIVE and that people… namely candidates, are talking about you, your business and your jobs!
1) Sell yourself!
A company that is proactive understands that it’s about promoting the organisation. Show what you’re about and get candidates that approach you, either passive or active to really want to work there because it’s the right place for them to be.
They can see why you do what you do (thanks Simon Sinek), they think that it’s the right environment for them through whichever multimedia you’ve shared and now they want to find a way to get into your company! I call these candidates ‘the identifiers’ – they identify with your goals, environment, culture and vision and now they want a piece of the action.
2) People don’t work for jobs they work for companies
If this is true, then why do we just promote the job 95% of the time? Promote what’s great about the company, the manager, the opportunity.
When I was a recruiter, one of the first things I learnt was ‘tell them what’s in it for them in the first line’. It’s very rare to click into any job board or website ad today (trust me I just looked!) and see the any unique candidate benefits outlined. It’s still full of bullet pointed must have skills and that’s about it.
3) Make your employees fanatical referrers of your jobs within their networks.
I’ve written before about empowering your employees to be brand advocates for you here and here. Find out about what they think of your business; is it somewhere they would recommend to their friends? If it’s not, then why not, and if it is, then how can you sell those opportunities more internally in order to tap into those vast networks and communities? Always remember…top talent, know other top talent, it’s an oldie but a goodie.
4) Be social
Entertain and educate your talent pools and communities. Give them a reason to come back to your website, blog, and social platforms so that you can not only communicate on topics of interest, but you can tell them about your business and the roles that you have available. If you’re not interesting then how will you attract the best people?
5) Be creative
Companies that are using infographics, jobgrams, social sites, photography, video, gamification, etc, they’re the ones being proactive with their sourcing strategies and making an effort to stand out from the crowd. Give something new a try. I loved the line in a recent article about Starbucks that stated:
If you wait for innovation to be perfect you’ll never try.
Social networking is nothing without socializing. You can be on every platform out there, but if you’re not engaging, meeting, talking to, questioning and answering people then your sourcing strategy will have little impact in meeting your hiring needs. A community manager once told me: “everything you post online should have a link”. My immediate thought was, if everything I post online has a link (i.e. I’m sharing something) then when do I just talk to people, respond to their questions or be part of their conversation? Remember that it’s not all about you!
These are just a few tips on how to build an active, creative and attractive sourcing strategy. Don’t just be complaisant in communicating with those who are external to your business. Build a sourcing strategy with energy, creativity, passion and purpose and who knows, you may attract people with similar qualities!