The ideal experience for the passive candidate online

Have you ever put yourself in the shoes of a passive candidate?

It’s a dreadful experience. You’re happy with your job, you enjoy your coworkers, salary and benefits. The last thing you’re thinking about is working somewhere else.

Yet in the back of your mind is that little voice telling you it’s time for change. “Hey, we’ve been doing this for 5 years now! Can we move on, already?!”

Your goal then as a recruiter is to talk to that little voice, to convince the passive candidate that it’s time for a change and that you have the best match for them.

Easier said than done; even online.

Well, as I wrote about before, if you do it in a highly coordinated campaign, you can’t go wrong. You really can’t. If you can hold on to them every step of the way with a well-branded campaign that actually convinces that little voice to work for you, they’ll be filling out the application before you know it.

While I’d love to go into detail how to achieve such a campaign, my fingers simply don’t have the energy at 10:30 tonight (I promise to continue blogging more strategies though). But I will give you this: the ideal experience of a passive candidate when approached online by a recruiter.

The Ideal Experience

Meet Joe. He’s the guy with the dreadful life, constantly wanting to get back to his office and start another day selling insurance. Don’t worry; his “little voice” is in full force telling him it’s time for a change.

A recruiter finds him on LinkedIn after a search and decides to connect with him, as his profile nicely shows off his sales accomplishments. The recruiter starts off easy: “Hi Joe, I’m really impressed by your profile, you’re clearly doing some great work at Insurance ‘R Us.”

Joe’s “little voice” is doing backflips. We all love getting some recognition, knowing that we’re important and this recruiter has done just that. Both Joe and his “voice” are now listening, very closely.

The recruiter and Joe discuss through a short series of messages his current career status and his future career goals. And then it happens. “Hi Joe, hope all is well with you today. I thought I’d let you know about an opening we have at Insurance Mart that really fits your talent. Check out our careers site to learn more: Also, check out our facebook page to get a glimpse at our culture and feel free to speak with Tim O’Brien on there, who also sells insurance for us.”

The Journey Continues

Oh, boy. We’re leaving LinkedIn now and things are about to get even more exciting for Joe. He heads off to Insurance Mart’s careers site and is immediately met with a video that’s a mere 2 minutes long and brands Insurance Mart as the best at what they do, a community of energized, happy employees and a company that loves what it does.

He notices a sub-related video below the main video. The other video is specifically about salespeople at Insurance Mart. He watches it and learns firsthand from employees at Insurance Mart how fun and rewarding it is working there. Once again, it was only a 2-minute video (not an 8-minute training video). Joe has now seen what a “future Joe” could be like, and his “little voice” is dying to be the guy in that video.

He continues reading more about the company’s culture, benefits, community involvement, etc. until he finally sees links off to Twitter for job posting updates and a link off to their Facebook page. “Oh yeah! The Facebook page! I need to talk to Tim..I’m ALLOWED to talk to Tim! How awesome!”

Facebook is just one step

Feeling empowered and important, he heads to the Facebook page, networks with Tim and gets the downlow on what it’s like to work there. He now already has a “friend” and he doesn’t even work there yet. Joe even checks out some more videos on the Facebook page and notices that not just the salespeople at Insurance Mart are happy and energetic — everyone is!

Joe sees a link on Facebook back to the careers site, so he goes back. He notices now a link to a “Live Recruiter Chat” that occurs every Tues. and Thurs. on their site. He returns on a Tues. and chats with another recruiter and gets more details on the company. He’s now made 3 connections at Insurance Mart…could he have ever done this without a campaign like this? Just 2 weeks ago, he was happy and content and doing no job seeking whatsoever.

Eventually, Joe decides he has nothing to lose and fills out an application on the careers site. You can imagine where it goes from there.

And just to complete his godly, Mac-like experience he’s received from this campaign, Insurance Mart’s VP of Sales sends him a video message via Facebook welcoming him to the company and that he can’t wait to see him on Monday.


A coordinated campaign like this is a sure-fire way to convince passive candidates to work for you every step of the way. As long as you have a well-branded campaign that connects clearly and effectively throughout networks and your careers site, the rest will fall into place. If you don’t believe me, ask Obama’s campaign team, the masters of coordinated online campaigns. If it can win the presidency, it can win you Joe the sales guy.

Views: 90

Comment by Dan Nuroo on January 7, 2009 at 8:09am
Ryan, this is sensational... I have a team meeting on Friday and will take this along to inspire the troops. Thanks for this. Cheers Dan


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