If active job seekers take the lead and make themselves easy to find, the more passive job hunters are slightly harder to reach because they don’t have a structured approach. However, they make excellent candidates. How does one go about searching for them?
“Workforce shortages are a growing problem throughout North America,” explains Rémi Lachance, CRHA and President of Proxima Centauri. “It’s related to demography and education. Some jobs have lost their appeal, like that of the plumber. And in other cases, there is too much demand, like what happened in the field of information technology in 2008-2009.”
The result: companies no longer have the luxury of sitting around twiddling their thumbs while candidates knock at their doors. They must actively recruit those passive job hunters that are keeping an eye out for job offers…here’s how you can recruit them effectively.
The First Step: Create an Applicant Database
Have you ever heard of sourcing? It’s all the rage at the moment in the field of recruitment. Rémi Lachance gives us its accurate definition: “It means to research, select, analyze and maintain a pool of potential candidates. Thus, it’s not limited to the Web! Career fairs are a great place to add to your list of CVs.”
All the same, a large amount of sourcing is done using the Internet. Rémi Lachance explains that website likes recruitin.net and profilr.co allow you to search for professional profiles on LinkedIn using keywords.
Once your applicant database is solid, you can send out job offers in the hopes that those professionals on LinkedIn or other platforms come across your job offer.
In the case of a more specialized need, some people try to charm a qualified candidate that is already working in a similar position at a competitor’s company. Rémi Lachance strongly suggests using the services of an agency in that case: “By contacting a candidate on your own, you may earn yourself a very bad reputation.”
Build a Brand for Your Business
Before resorting to the aggressive tactics of headhunters, there are obviously other options, like choosing to increase the visibility of your company among potential candidates. It’s known as building your brand.
A large part of this is done using social media: “You want to show the more friendly and welcoming side of your business. Show that employees have fun at work while you demonstrate the values and the culture within the company .”
You can also use Facebook to publish specific announcements, like on a university faculty’s page, for example, or to pinpoint a certain demographic that you want to reach.
Encouraging your employees to complete their LinkedIn profiles could also be helpful: “On LinkedIn, a company’s profile page doesn’t attract a lot of attention on its own,” explains Rémi Lachance. “But when the employees start to share and publish posts, then it starts to make a difference.”
Support an Employee Referral Program
One way of getting employees involved is to implement an employee referral program or a “co-opting” strategy, as they say in France.
In this scenario, it’s the employees who refer professionals from their own networks to their employers.
The high retention rate using this method can be explained by the following: “The referrals are first-rate,” says Rémi Lachance. “When an employee recommends someone, they are putting their own reputation on the line because it’s the employee who will be judged for their recommendation.”
However, this strategy is only advantageous if it is a part of a larger, structured program with incentives. “Simply jotting it down and leaving it on your desk isn’t enough,” cautions the consultant. “You have to follow-up on the recommendations consistently.”