8-17-15_blog.jpgThe best time to find candidates? Before you need them.

To pursue top talent, some organizations employ passive recruitment methods — proactively contacting potential candidates, instead of posting a job listing and waiting for jobseekers to contact them.

Statistics support the idea behind passive recruiting; studies have shown many workers are at least somewhat interested in finding a new job. An autumn survey from WorkplaceTrends.com and software provider Saba, for example, found that a third of the U.S. and U.K. workforce hoped to change positions in the following six months.

Yet more than half of hiring decision makers say passive candidate sourcing has proved less effective than other recruitment methods, particularly at large and mid-sized companies, according to a Glassdoor poll.

Passive recruiting can be hugely helpful — but it has to be done the right way, and it has to be done consistently.

The following practices can help your organization successfully recruit passive candidates:

Reach out the right way. If you’re cold calling a passive candidate who may or may not be interested in changing companies, you have a limited amount of time to capture the person’s interest; you need to sell the available position and your organization quickly. Inc. advises stressing the job’s performance objectives and challenges, with a focus on how the employee would benefit from accepting the position, including any career-boosting experience it offers.

Maintain an ongoing program. Waiting until a position is vacated to research and contact passive candidates is rarely the most effective way to find high-quality applicants. Continuous passive recruiting efforts, including frequently updating a database that lists personal and other information obtained during regular interaction with passive candidates, can help position your organization to act quickly when personnel needs arise.

Utilize external help. Passive candidate discussions should function as more than just a brief introduction to your organization. You should also be using the opportunity to find out what the person is looking for in a new position, which can help you determine what other passive candidates the same age and career level may want; competitor/general market salary levels; and other valuable information.3-21-16_blog_2.jpg

Obtaining that kind of intelligence, however, can be difficult during a brief phone conversation, when you’re also trying to convince a passive candidate to agree to a job interview. Many organizations, regardless of size, lack the proper resources to dedicate to passive recruiting’s often time-intensive aspects. If your organization is one of them, consider hiring an external talent recruitment provider that can contact passive candidates on a regular basis to supply helpful industry data — and a pool of qualified workers to pull from when positions open up within your organization. Looking for more tips on passive recruiting and general employee recruitment?

Check out our recent blogs on creative ways to find new talent, using social media to reach passive candidates — and, should you decide to outsource some aspects of the passive recruiting process, the three steps you need to take to successfully partner with an HR service provider.