Tips to Identify, Attract & Land a Passive Prospect
I cringe when I think of what I didn’t know back in the 90s when I started my recruiting career. I wasn’t offered any training, so I am sure I broke many rules. I can’t even be sure that we had job descriptions, and my employer paid little importance to culture and turnover. Hiring today could not be more different.
Over the last few years, when unemployment was low, many industry employers struggled to hire and to retain talent. If I had a dollar for every time someone said “I advertised our job, but we just don’t get quality applicants” I would be a rich woman. For success in talent acquisition, a reactive strategy will not deliver what you want or need. Companies need to be more proactive to win at hiring and retention, especially when we read that the younger generations will not offer the loyalty or longevity of previous generations--we can all expect more turnover in the future.
Now with a
higher need than ever before, our staffs need to be
filled with top-notch professionals who can be trained
to represent our products and services. Relocation is
getting more difficult so that brings on another challenge,
where can we find strong candidates?
Start with the Job Profile
The first step to identify who should
be on your pipeline of potential hires is to review
your job profiles. These should be updated annually
and be more than a few paragraphs long. They are a selling,
hiring, review and exit tool.
Too often media companies limit their
potential by including too narrow of qualifications.
Does a seller really need a 3.5 GPA? Will you only consider
someone from media as they are easier to train? Are
only those looking for full-time jobs being considered?
Do they need to live near so they can be at the office
every day? Really think about how you may open up some
qualifications to reach a larger pool of prospects.
Brand Your Culture
Are you known as a great place to
work? Do your employees brag about how much they love
their jobs? In media, we all do a lot for our communities.
The more you can highlight how you care for your staff,
their families and the community, will greatly benefit
you in the quality of people who want to learn more
about employment at your company.
To have an effective talent acquisition
strategy, you need to have a strong story. You must
be prepared to sell your opportunities and to promote
your brand as a top employer. People want growth potential,
flexibility, training, and the ability to earn a strong
compensation, all in a family-like atmosphere—so
be sure to position your offerings.
Have an informative, up-to-date website
where people can learn about you as an employer. Include
your mission, how you help people grow their careers,
an overview of your training and of course, fun stuff
that you do. Include testimonials from a diverse group
of staff, use video and pictures. Also, leverage social
media to ensure your employment brand has ongoing visibility.
Develop Your Pipeline
a professional recruiter, I always encourage clients
to do their due diligence and see who they can find
on their own before investing in our service. Once it
comes to me, my search focuses on passive prospects,
non-job seekers who are happy in their careers and are
not looking to make a move. The majority of my placements
are with those that I have identified and built a relationship.
It is not a quick process, and I often go through hundreds
of prospects to find the right person who is open to
To build up your pool of passive job seekers,
research your community, ask for referrals, search on social
media, and see who fits your qualifications. Create a list
where you can add names, contact information and notes.
Use this list to track your prospects, communications, and
action steps. You may have an applicant tracking system
which should do this for you, but if not, create your own.
Use this list as a marketing tool to keep them apprised
of what is going on at your office and to promote your company
as a place they should consider working.
Reach out and get to know those on
your list. Keep in mind, you are going after them, much
like you would a target account. They may not take your
call or respond to your email, but you can’t give
you do connect, keep it conversational. Do not expect
them to have a resume or be ready or willing to enter
into an interview-like discussion. Share what you know
about them and suggest you would like to know more.
Could they meet for a cup of coffee? During the conversation
look for selling points to use when both of you are
ready to move forward. Do not ask them to fill out an
application or do a project until they are sold on your
opportunity, if not, you may lose them. Always ask them
Keep track of what is going on with
them, follow up regularly, build that relationship.
People want to work for people they like, and trust
so be patient. In one instance, a prospect did not pay
attention to our recruiter until she made eight attempts.
Today, he is happy he took that call, as now he is not
only a General Manager, he owns a group of radio stations.
Building and maintaining an active
pipeline is essential to pursuing and landing those
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