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passivecandidates RSS feed Tag: passivecandidates

What President Obama’s Reelection Can Teach About the Importance of Talent Communities

by Nov 30, 2012, 5:12 am ET

Just weeks after I wrote a piece for about talent communities, something happened on the Internet that excited much of the tech blogs and was acknowledged by many traditional press outlets; President Barack Obama held a 30-minute “ask-me-anything” session on the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet” There is an important take away here for professional recruiters.

First things first.

Closer to the election, a day before in fact, the President took some time to once again drop in on redditors to ask for their votes. Contender Mitt Romney’s appearances? Exactly two less than Mr. Obama’s.

The President invested some of his campaign time into a site like reddit because of its demographics.  Google’s Double Click Ad Planner reports that reddit traffic is overwhelmingly dominated by people under the age of 35. In addition to reddit, Team Obama also spent a lot of effort on getting content broadcast on Tumblr, another social site that hosts far more under-thirty-somethings than overs. And while it is not possible to determine specifically whether or not Mr. Obama’s investment paid off, election results sure do look like the strategy of going where the youth vote was more than likely paid off.

Not only did the President dominate the youth vote nationally (see the graphic below, click to enlarge), more importantly in critical swing states he actually improved upon his 2008 performance in the youth vote (also see the figure below), something he was unable to do nationally.

The evidence suggests that the President’s investment to meet the key youth demographic where they were digitally clearly paid off.

Now to what it means to you. keep reading…

Stop Killing My Passive Candidate!

by Oct 31, 2012, 5:56 am ET

My philosophy is that the best candidate is the one who is not, and does not need to look for a position. I am finding that in the past 12 months, there are fewer and fewer candidates who are not in the market for a position. People are more willing to speak with a recruiter, there are fewer objections I need to overcome, and it has been easier to reach people. I am sure I am not alone, and that these previously “passive candidates” are also speaking to the other recruiters reaching out to them. The data supports this; the recent Careerbuilder 2012 Candidate Behavior Guide showed that 74% of currently employed individuals are looking for a position in one form or another.

There are a few reasons for this: keep reading…

Jobvite Social Survey: We’re All Becoming Passively Active Seekers

by Oct 8, 2012, 8:00 am ET

Just out this morning: Jobvite’s annual Social Job Seeker Survey and this third edition says fewer working Americans are actively looking for a job, even as the survey found that most of us are open to opportunity should it come knocking.

Of the 1,029 employed workers taking part in the survey, 9 percent said they were actively looking for a job. Last year, 16 percent said they were looking.

Yet even as the active seekers declined, more employed workers moved into the “active” passive category this year. Jobvite says 69 percent of the employed are either seeking a new job or would be open to hearing about one. Last year, 61 percent were in that category.

Add in the unemployed respondents, and it turns out 75 percent of the workforce — employed and unemployed alike — are open to opportunities. Last year, that percentage was 69 percent. keep reading…

What’s New: Entelo; Jobdreaming; The Needle; Trucking Jobs; InsideTrak; Avature

by Oct 3, 2012, 12:02 am ET

A little of what’s new, from a “matching” site, to video, to job boards, a tool to find passive candidates, a place to review employers in Australia … and a look at what might happen if LinkedIn and eHarmony had a baby.

Let’s start with Jobdreaming. In short, here’s how it works. A candidate (U.S. only for now) puts in the type of job they want (let’s say a design job making $50,000 within a certain number of miles radius of a given zip code). An employer — right now for free — sends in a job listing to Jobdreaming. It gets sent to candidates who match, along with a question of the employer’s choice. The candidate is still anonymous at this point. But, if the candidate is interested, they can express interest, and answer the question. The employer receives the contact information on the candidate, as well as the answer to the question the employer posed.

Jobdreaming has under 10 employees and is funded by two VC firms. In response to my question asking how this is different than the laundry list of matching sites we’ve chronicled on ERE, the company mentions simplicity. Instead of starting with a specific job description and trying to match a long list of personal traits with it, this begins with the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” concept.

Entelo’s Passive-candidate Sourcing, and More keep reading…

Everyone Loves a Passive, but We Hire Mostly Actives

by Oct 1, 2012, 3:19 am ET

Attend any recruiting conference, or read just about any recruiting blog, and you’ll find a steady drumbeat about passive candidates: Why they’re better; How to source them; What to say to convince them to work for you, and; What you need to do to attract them and then keep them.

Active candidates are OK. But current fashion is to go find the people who don’t want your job.

Now we find that some of America’s biggest companies — collectively hiring hundreds of thousands of workers annually — hire only active job seekers, while more than two-thirds of them fill three-quarters of their jobs with actives.

These no-so-surprising revelations are in a new survey from the recruiting consultancy CareerXroads. keep reading…

Use Prospect Research and Failure Analysis to Learn Why Recruiting Underperforms

by Sep 10, 2012, 6:25 am ET

When you are battling for talent in a highly competitive environment, you are likely to encounter more than your share of failures. In fact, because underperformance in recruiting is so common, I am constantly surprised when corporate recruiting leaders have no formal process for identifying specifically why their current recruiting efforts don’t produce their desired level of results. The formal method for identifying the factors that cause a process to fail is known as “failure analysis.” But unfortunately, even though it is used throughout business, failure analysis is seldom applied to the recruiting process.

I was recently reminded of the need for failure analysis while researching the extensive recruiting problems of oil and gas firms in the booming area around Alberta, Canada. I’ll be presenting my recruiting solutions at the Talent Hub Conference, Metropolitan Centre in Calgary, on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. But if you’re not involved in the petroleum industry, don’t worry because the same failure identification and prospect research processes can and should be used in any industry.  If you’re unfamiliar with the term “prospect research” it is a form of market research which involves the use of surveys and interviews to identify what worked and what didn’t work during the recruiting process and precisely what factors attract and turn off top prospects.

Prospect Market Research Is Required keep reading…

The 20/20/60 Sourcing Plan

by Sep 7, 2012, 12:17 am ET

I was holding a confab last week with a few recruiting directors from some global companies discussing the future of sourcing and recruiting. The emphasis was how to get better results from LinkedIn Recruiter. Their contention was that more could be done, but their recruiters were balking. The discussion started with a few questions. Imagine you were there at the meeting. How would you respond to these points?

  1. Do you want to increase your emphasis on hiring passive candidates?
  2. Are you in a talent scarcity situation where the demand for talent is greater than the supply?
  3. Do you want to raise the talent level of your total current workforce, sustain it, or lower it?

All said they want to accelerate their passive recruiting efforts; they all thought they were in a talent scarcity situation for most critical positions; and, of course, they all said they wanted to raise their talent level. I suggested that to begin achieving these three results they needed to implement a 20/20/60 sourcing plan. This means that no more than 20% of their sourcing resources and efforts should be spent on job postings, about 20% on name generation and targeted emails, and 60% on networking.

This 20/20/60 sourcing plan maps closely to the job-hunting status of LinkedIn members. This is shown in the pie chart summarizing the results of a survey we conducted with LinkedIn last year. Based on more than 4,500 fully-employed members, 17% categorized themselves as active (Searchers, Networkers, and Hunters), 15% Tiptoers (only telling very close former associates), and 68% passive (Explorers were open to receiving calls from a recruiter to discuss a possible career move). To source and recruit the best of these people you can’t just post traditional job descriptions, send boring emails, or make dozens of phones call a day, and expect to attract and hire many good people.

Implementing a well-designed talent scarcity approach to hiring top talent requires that each part of the 20/20/60 plan be optimized to attract the best people in each job-hunting category. This then needs to be combined with rigorous performance-based selection standards and exceptional recruiting skills, to raise a company’s overall talent bar. I contended that without this type of overt and proactive approach it was very difficult to even sustain the current talent levels, since short-term needs dominated long-term decision-making.

The Essence of a 20/20/60 Sourcing Plan keep reading…

13 More Bold and Outrageous HR Practices That May Indicate Your Approach Is Too Conservative (Part 2 of 2)

by Aug 27, 2012, 5:06 am ET

The Hilton in Istanbul

In part 1 of this article, I highlighted my top 10 recently implemented bold and outrageous practices in HR and talent management.

The goal is not to recommend these practices, but instead to more clearly define the leading edge of current practice.

In this part 2, I will highlight 13 additional practices that define the leading and “bleeding edge” of HR. If your goal is to “push the envelope” in talent management, this list can give you an idea of where the average ends and the truly bold practices begin.

Although every firm cannot directly adopt the practices listed here (some are reprehensible), I find during my corporate presentations that merely becoming aware of these bleeding-edge practices can create great energy and a strong desire for individual HR functions to do more and be bolder.

Additional “Bold and Outrageous” HR and Talent Management Practices

Here are my selections for the remaining top recently implemented bold approaches that define the bleeding edge of HR practices. keep reading…

The Single Most Important Recruiting Technique Since My 1-Question Interview

by Aug 24, 2012, 5:48 am ET

After 30 years of recruiting outstanding senior staff, mid-level managers, and company executives, I can now state unequivocally that the single most important step in the passive candidate recruiting process is the 30-minute exploratory interview. Here’s why:  keep reading…

Physical Therapists Are in Demand, But Not Much Interested

by Aug 15, 2012, 5:20 pm ET

Physical therapists are the new nurses of healthcare recruiting, so much in demand that help-wanted ads for them are now among the most commonly advertised healthcare jobs online.

In fact, Wanted Analytics reports there are now more jobs advertised for physical therapists than any other job in any occupation, exceeding even those for nurses, which have held the top spot for years. And that’s after accounting for a 26 percent year-over-year decrease in the number.

Now a survey done by CKR Interactive’s Peer Group U.S. and healthcare marketing specialist Katon Direct helps explain why it’s so difficult to fill physical therapist openings. Besides simply the growing demand for those services, professionals in the field simply don’t want to change jobs.

“Only 4.1 percent of survey respondents say they are currently looking for a new job,” according to the 2012 National Physical Therapist Survey. That’s far less than the 38 percent of all workers a Globoforce survey said were looking. And it’s less than half the national unemployment rate. keep reading…

Stop Just Gathering Names With Your Talent Community and Start Serving People

by Aug 15, 2012, 5:29 am ET

Recently I came across a post on a blog that I visit from time to time, Inside Talent Management Technology, entitled “Talent Communities Are a Big Farce.” The premise of the post was that the majority of so-called “talent communities” are simply fronts for a company to capture the name and contact information of active candidates. There was, in the author’s opinion, no community at all.

Sadly, the majority of self-defined talent communities exist for the sole purpose of building a recruiting team’s list of possible candidates. Compounding this problem is the fact that there are some cases in which a job posting is placed not because there is a specific opportunity open at that very moment, but that there may be an opportunity open that is similar to what is in the job posting in the foreseeable future. This basically allows recruiters to begin to passively source candidates ahead of an anticipated demand.

The term talent community seems to have gained much traction in the latter half of the 2000s and has gained much momentum as recruiting moves in a decidedly social direction. What has not matured along with the term, however, is the understanding of what a talent community must be.

List building and mining active candidates is a necessity, but it is certainly not something which could be called communal. So the question for recruiting professionals is really twofold. One, what is the proper definition of a talent community? And, two, how is a talent community developed? keep reading…

To Recruiters, Hiring Managers and Candidates: Violate These Laws of Human Nature at Your Peril

by Aug 10, 2012, 1:28 am ET

Here are some basic truths about people regarding hiring and getting hired:

  1. There are very few people who have an economic need to look for another job, are willing to take a lateral transfer, and are high achievers. Yet most companies spend most of their time and resources looking for these kinds of people. For proof, look at any 20 job postings on Dice,, LinkedIn, or and see who they’re trying to attract.
  2. The military has a tough screening process for selecting officers. But once selected — and with no experience — they are given some serious training and responsibilities far in excess of their current ability and asked to deliver extraordinary results. Most of them succeed. Yet these same people when they leave the military aren’t given a fair chance because they don’t have the “right” experience. keep reading…

Forward to Your Recruits: Why a Passive Candidate Should Take a Recruiter’s Call

by Aug 1, 2012, 6:17 am ET

The candidate is happy. They get a call from a recruiter. Why should they be open minded enough to have a conversation? Well, there are many advantages to discussing an opportunity even when they’re content where they are. Hopefully, this article gives you some insight on why it makes good career sense for the prospective candidate to be a little more open-minded when they get a recruiting call.

Yes, it’s information you already know. I wrote it so you can forward it to the prospect!  keep reading…

A Facebook Job Board — Yawn

by Jul 12, 2012, 4:47 am ET

Someone I know who works for a struggling social media company recently asked if I’d heard about the excitement in the space. Not sure what he was referring to, I asked, and he mentioned Facebook’s plans to launch a job board. Oh, that. Yes — very exciting. I’m ecstatic — haven’t slept properly since I read about it. In case you missed the announcement, the board “will aggregate the job postings of third-party providers, making them available for search by Facebook users.” What an original idea. It’s not like one can find another site that aggregates jobs. Who says innovation is dead?

Given the less-than-stellar performance of Facebook’s stock and limited potential of the site to generate revenues, a job board looks like an easy solution to mop up some dollars that would otherwise go elsewhere. Given the perceived reach of Facebook, a job board is guaranteed to garner some interest from employers. The question for Facebook, or for that matter anyone posting jobs to it, is will it work? keep reading…

20 Reasons Why LinkedIn Will Be the #1 Recruiting Portal of the Future

by Jul 2, 2012, 6:09 am ET

This week on, there is a unified focus by a wide range of authors on the use of LinkedIn. To me, this focus is justified because LinkedIn has the potential of becoming the #1 corporate recruiting portal.

I’m the first to admit that LinkedIn still has many flaws, but even with them, the power of the portal in the recruiting field is unmistakable. If you are a corporate recruiter and you are looking for a database or source that includes a large percentage of passive prospects, LinkedIn is simply alone at the top. It is superior for many additional reasons, including that its profiles are accurate and consistent, it allows your employees to find quality potential referrals, and it enables a firm to conduct phenomenal talent management research. In this article, I will highlight what I have found to be the top strengths of LinkedIn.

The Top 20 Reasons to Use LinkedIn keep reading…

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Hiring Pyramid According to Adler

by Jun 28, 2012, 5:39 am ET

Just about all of us are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow was a mid-20th century psychologist who studied the behavior of high-performing individuals. In a 1943 paper, he suggested that people make fundamental and predictable decisions based on different behavioral needs. These needs range from primitive; e.g., requiring water or food to being completely fulfilled. He separated these states into five distinct levels and referred to them collectively as a hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, a person couldn’t move to a higher level unless the needs of the lower level were satisfied first.

While this is interesting stuff, the point of this article is to suggest that both people and companies have similar underlying needs, and when these are at cross purposes, hiring top people is inefficient, ineffective, and problematic.

A very simplified business version of Maslow’s hierarchy is shown in the diagram. The idea behind this is that when assessing a candidate’s motivation for work, it’s most likely one of three core needs: economic, social, or achievement. These are shown in the diagram. The problem is that while companies all want to hire those with the need to achieve, they only consider those who first have an economic need to apply, and second,  those among this group who the screeners believe also fit some idealistic and unspoken personality and first-impression standard. I’d suggest that this two-step, bottoms-up process, is at the root cause of why companies can’t hire enough top people. keep reading…

The Illusion That Is a Transparent Labor Market

by Jun 21, 2012, 5:24 am ET

As long as I can remember, there has been an ongoing discussion about the lack of transparency in the labor market. An improved transparency should lead to suppliers (job seekers) and buyers (employers) of labor being able to find each other easily. However, improved transparency will remain an illusion until we realize that the dominant recruiting model is precisely what makes for a non-transparent labor market. For the record, this is the passive model of recruiting where we publish a job opening and then wait for applications (post and pray).

Why Put the Burden on an Amateur?

Passive recruitment has the implicit expectation that job seekers are able to find the right job opening(s). But job seekers are certified amateurs when searching for and finding the right opening(s). Why? Because they only once look for a new challenge every two to five years. At this rate, they act like explorers that without any preparation go looking for the source of the Nile. Indeed, life-threatening.

Meanwhile, on the other side we (should) have a professional, the recruiter — who regularly has job openings and whose mission is to find the right people to fill those vacancies. But instead of going out and looking for people themselves they place vacancies on their own career site, on commercial job sites, with staffing agencies, on social media, and even in newspapers. To add to the complexity from the perspective of job seekers, job aggregators collect online job openings and starts front-running all previously mentioned sources … in other words, the jungle where the unprepared explorer must try and find his or her own way.

As a result, passive recruitment has a built-in guarantee for a very inefficient process with an unpredictable outcome. After filling the vacancy the gnawing question remains: Have we found the “ideal” person? And that while the same question doesn’t need to be asked if the recruiter would engage in active recruitment — going out to find the “right” person themselves.

keep reading…

The Strategic Recruiting of Purple Squirrels, Innovators, and Gamechangers

by Jun 18, 2012, 5:18 am ET

There is no more valuable recruit than a “Purple Squirrel.” In fact, a single Purple Squirrel recruit may be more impactful than all of your other hires combined during a single year. If you’re not familiar with the term, a Purple Squirrel is the moniker that denotes an extremely rare and talented recruiting target. Purple Squirrels are valuable because they are extreme innovators. Once hired, they can change your firm’s capabilities, direction, and marketplace success almost instantly.

The benchmark Purple Squirrel was Tony Fadell, who conceived of the concept of the MP3 player while he was at Philips. But Apple recruited him away, allowing them to dominate and make billions in a product area (the iPod) where they had little expertise before recruiting him. This single Purple Squirrel acquisition made Apple billions and set the expectation for future market dominating innovations at Apple!

The most stunning thing, however, about Purple Squirrel recruiting is the fact that there is literally a zero chance that these valuable game-changers and pioneers can be recruited using the existing recruiting process at 99.5% of the world’s major corporations. For example, everyone would agree that Steve Jobs, even in his youth, was a Purple Squirrel, but the fact is that he was rejected by the recruiting process at HP, despite all his talent, simply because he had no college degree.

These purple squirrels are true pioneers with the capability of not only coming up with original ideas but also in successfully implementing them. Purple Squirrels are generally not senior executives, but instead, they are often mid-level employees in product development, technology, mathematics, social media, or the monetization of products and services. Each of these areas are essential for market domination.

Why You Should Develop a Process for Recruiting Purple Squirrels keep reading…

Attracting Passive Candidates

by Jun 7, 2012, 3:00 pm ET

This webinar will provide Recruiters/Human Resource Professionals with the training required to create a solid foundation for the Recruitment Process. Using this process, the company will be able to recruit, screen, and select the Passive Candidates. The selection of better and more engaged employees leads to greater profitability, fewer Human Resource challenges, and greater retention.

For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out!

[podcast format="video"][/podcast]

Your Customers: A Near-perfect Recruiting Target

by Jun 4, 2012, 5:07 am ET

They are the perfect recruiting target because these prospects are currently employed (i.e. passives); they are diverse; it costs almost nothing to get a recruiting message in front of them and best of all; and they already know and like your company and its products. These perfect candidates are your customers.

Even though customers are generally the most-ignored recruiting source, some firms like Google, McDonald’s, Marriott, and Wells Fargo have realized that some of the best recruiting targets are their own customers.

Let’s take Wells Fargo as an example. It literally has millions of customers that use their ATM machines every year, so it only makes sense to try to recruit them as employees. Its approach is simple and cost-effective. It is reaching these customer prospects by merely adding a recruiting message to the receipt printed out by its ATM machines. The message is: “Now hiring. With you when you want a career opportunity that is right for you” (see the inserted sample of a “recruiting receipt”).

Why Customers Are Near-perfect Recruiting Targets keep reading…