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Rethink Your Passive Sourcing Techniques


There’s no question about it. The future success of today’s companies hinges upon recruiting solutions that attract top talent with specialized skills.

Eighty-three percent of Talent and HR Leaders surveyed in LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report say they meet regularly with the C-suite. The same amount say talent is their organization’s number one priority.

Good luck finding that talent though.

The candidates companies want aren’t particularly interested in them. And even if they are a bit intrigued, there’s no real urgency to make a career change. Organizations treat their highly specialized employees well, giving them less incentive to look for greener pastures. This leaves recruiters in a frenzied game of “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” by persistently cold-calling prospects with claims of “the best job opportunity ever”.

Unsurprisingly, this sort of recruiting solution is not very efficient, leaving companies in a rather tricky spot.

To master passive sourcing techniques, recruiters must re-think their ways of approaching talent

It’s time for recruiters to flip their script.

Gears of a watch with "passive" and "active" written on them.

Passive sourcing techniques rely heavily on understanding a prospect’s needs. We call this way of thinking “Purpose-Driven Recruitment™”, and it completely changes how you view the process. With Purpose-Driven Recruitment™, you’re meeting passive talent where they are and helping them figure out where they want to be. Instead of automatically assuming their needs, you take the time to sincerely learn.

To improve your passive sourcing techniques in this way, you need to understand a prospect’s Career Drivers, which typically fall into five categories:

1. Compensation and benefits

2. Meaning and impact of the work

3. Environment (i.e work/life balance, culture, physical layout, people)

4. Opportunity for personal and professional growth

5. Leadership and management

Once you understand what makes a prospect enjoy their job (and what they wish they had in their current position) you can begin to illustrate how the position might align with their stated needs. If you are prepared and use the proper tools and methods, you can efficiently assist the prospect in getting clear. We frequently offer the analogy, “Don’t go to the grocery store when you are hungry.”

When using passive sourcing techniques, think of your relationship from first contact to (hopefully) placement in three key stages:

1. Anticipation

2. Preparation

3. Action

In the anticipation stage, you anticipate the fact that your prospect will likely respond with disinterest. By understanding this, you can structure your first call or email in a way that lets them know you’re interested in simply connecting. Be genuine in stating that you want to explore if today’s opportunity makes sense or, if the timing might be better in the future.

In the preparation stage, you put yourself in the prospect’s shoes to try and understand what drives or motivates them. One example of preparation here is to examine the career paths of others in similar roles. And in the act stage, you diligently play the role of “career coach” by helping your candidate identify what exactly it is they’d like out of their work if they don’t already know.

Anticipate, prepare, and act. Dig to find the deep-seated needs of your prospects. Figure out what makes them tick and help them see the aspects of your job opportunity that match their Career Drivers.


Download our Career Drivers Tool Here


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