When I attend recruiting conferences and Human Resource meetings nationwide, inevitably the conversation works its way to attracting the Holy Grail of recruitment – the Passive Candidate.


It is valuable to listen carefully to that person’s definition of whom the Passive Candidate is.  Generally companies define the Passive Candidate as someone who is doing a job at a high level within another company; and is perfectly content to remain there.


Then go to the website of the company seeking to attract the Passive Candidate.  Does the company put up roadblocks while trying to attract the Passive Candidate?  Beware of conflicting goals.  If the company truly wants to attract the Passive Candidate, do they make it easy for them?  Obviously if they are just looking around, they will not fill out an application prior to a conversation.  How many companies are being sold by their Applicant Tracking System vendors that requiring candidates to complete an application prior to the company’s demonstrated interest in the candidate is best practice?  It appears that many companies have bought into this practice.  This practice runs directly counter to the sales process.


Successful recruiting is a sales process – pure and simple.  The processes match perfectly.


Sales Process

1)      Identify Need                                                                               

2)      Develop service or product to fill need                                   

3)      Source potential clients                                                             

4)      Perform needs analysis                                                              

5)      Proposal                                                                                        

6)      Negotiation                                                                                  

7)      Close                                                                                              

8)      Delivery of product/service                                                       


Recruitment Process

1)      Identify Need – new or replacement

2)      Create job description

3)      Source potential candidates

4)      Interview – needs analysis

5)      Offer

6)      Compensation negotiation

7)      Close

8)      Delivery of candidate


In the recruitment sales process, the application should be completed after the interview is set and prior to the interview.  Now you have sufficient interest by the passive candidate to motivate them to complete the application prior to the interview.


Requiring Passive Candidates to complete an application while surfing your website will cause them to continue surfing to another company that understands that recruiting is sales.

Views: 1516

Comment by N.Khan on May 4, 2011 at 3:41pm
That is pretty right i m agry on it about 80%
Comment by Lynette Vallecillo on May 5, 2011 at 12:35pm
Bill, while I agree with most of what you are saying, when it comes to the Recruitment Process, I believe the 'offer' should take place after the negotiaion.  The offer letter shouldn't be used as a negotiation tool for compensation or other benefits.  The offer should contain the agreed upon details of the negotiation.  It should be the final step.  I'm interested in hearing what others have to say.
Comment by Bill Humbert on May 5, 2011 at 1:32pm

I agree the offer letter should be the final document detailing the compensation understanding.  It's pretty tough to negotiate anything unless an offer is made first.  That's why the offer is before negotiation.  Then you write the offer letter confirming the agreement.


I may be mistaken but I believe we are discussing semantics here - and that we agree on this piece.

Comment by Paul Alfred on May 5, 2011 at 2:17pm
I agree with Lynette and Rayanne .. Its close the candidate first then get the offer ...
Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 5, 2011 at 9:34pm
Many times i do a verbal offer first to see what the candidates take on it is.  If all sounds good fine we convey a verbal acceptance pending final written offer.  If the candidate is not sure about salary or vacation time or amount of bonus i hammer out what will make them happy then a written offer is sent to them.  We may have a few more sticking points after that but normally they have already given a verbal acceptance so the written offer is signed and returned pretty quickly.
Comment by Bill Humbert on May 5, 2011 at 9:35pm
Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 5, 2011 at 10:02pm
pax vobiscum :)
Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 5, 2011 at 10:05pm
As to passive candidate definition.  I am continually amused about this trendy burning need to define a candidate as active or passive.  In my book the only passive candidate is the one who having been contacted says.  "Naw, i am gonna pass on this one. "  When it happens three times, that my friends is a passive candidate.


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