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Passive candidate sourcing challenge

Kinju S

Posted in Talent Acquisition

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Talent pool for niche roles is limited. Regular job boards don't work. So you turn to LinkedIn just like many others. Precise search and well-crafted message can swing the odds in your favor.

Your passive candidate is probably already well employed. Typically, passive candidates are content with their current positions and so you won't find them on job boards. Instead you have to search and woo them. You have to build a relationship, stay connected, and look for the right opportunity to position something of interest. Everything sounds great as a strategy. The pain is all this takes time.

What do you do when you have to handle urgent requirements in niche segments?

Let's take an example of technical hiring for some niche skill say 'Scala'. It's is a limited pool. To illustrate the point, go ahead and look up the job posts on LinkedIn, and chances are you may find several positions open for a long time. Next search for profiles with Scala on LinkedIn. Even though Scala is not as widely used as say Java, you will still find plenty. So, suggesting positions is not enough for such a prospect to get them interested. You would need to upsize the pitch. And to do that you need to identify the right people who are likely to respond better to your message and then deliver an engaging note.

Search Smarter

A part of sourcing is "search" and it is even more important when it comes to passive candidates. In fact passive candidates are unlikely to use a lot of keywords on their profile page and this makes regular searches look ineffective. Such candidates on the other hand tend to share posts or write. Look for them. If you identify a good post with lots of likes and comments in the target area, look through the people who have commented or engaged. You get a much better view of your target audience and in fact you got yourself a conversation starter as well. It may seem like this is time-consuming, but in a pinch it actually can be a great way to make progress because even if they are not interested, they will help you point to the right people in their network. You become the insider now. So, focusing on quality works much better than blasting away and quality starts with where you cast your net.

Craft your message

There are so many blunt direct pitches today that it is not so hard to send something refreshing and different. Here are a few ways

  • Some of the obvious such as shared groups or posts they have published. It's not hard to find them and so a good starting point. No pitches please at this time.
  • Events or pieces of news or information. If you are a subject expect this is easy because you would be following the topics anyways. What if you are not? It is still easy to do a Google search on a topic, filter results from last week, and check the blogs that show up looking good. Take a pick on a suitable one and reference that.
  • Common connections can't go without a mention. Takes little time and yet calling out the common connects adds a warm feel.

Get organized.

Start tracking from the first reach out message. Setup trigger points when to get back post the initial connect and keep nurturing.

Doing some or all of these can become quite a task. Gets harder if you are working as a team to track who is connecting with whom. That's where LINKDRA can help you smarten up your searches, keep track of the status and coordinate across everyone in the team so that you go focus on what you do best, "Find top Talent".

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