The Great Balancing Act: Selling the Position while Qualifying Passive Candidates

Qualifying Passive Candidates

Qualifying Passive Candidates

So, you may have found the perfect candidate for the job. You think this candidate has the skill set, expertise and experience you’re looking for and would be a strong cultural and environmental fit to your company. Time to start interviewing! But have you considered what the candidate thinks about you? If passive, the candidate is most likely qualifying your company more than an active candidate would. In order to leave his or her current position, the compensation as well as the culture, specifics of the job, company brand, and understood ability to make an impact should all be appealing.

When interviewing passive candidates, it is imperative for employers to qualify the candidate while also selling the company and position. This can be a difficult balancing act, one that many hiring founders, executives and managers have trouble executing. Sometimes, the employer focuses on their own assessments while neglecting what the candidate needs to know about the position and the company. Other times, it is the opposite – the employer sells a candidate who looks highly appealing without really determining if the fit is strong. In reality, the best passive hires for the C-level come from mutual interest and understanding between the candidate and the employer. Although this can be challenging to achieve, here are some ways to keep candidates attracted throughout the demanding interview process.

They Know Your Needs And Requirements; Make Sure You Know Theirs

You go to great lengths to make sure your needs and requirements align with the candidate’s abilities, skill sets, and experiences. Make a conscious effort to determine their needs and requirements, and make sure they are aware of you doing so. Candidates may be looking for more than just adequate compensation; consider the type of work, company culture, brand appeal, and opportunity for growth.

They Address Your Questions And Concerns; Make Sure You Address Theirs

Good qualification gets the right information from the candidate. Candidates should take the same philosophy, and interviewers should prepare themselves to answer candidate questions in detail and with as much transparency as possible. Just as the candidate should be selling him or herself to the interviewer, the opposite should also happen. Don’t only highlight the company’s good qualities or achievements, but be as honest with information as you can.

They Stay In Contact With You; Make Sure You Stay In Contact Too

Interviews are generally stressful, even for the most confident and well spoken people. Not every conversation needs to be a screening, nor should it be. Have genuine conversations with the candidate. Get their perspective on how things are proceeding. Ask about concerns, and clarify misunderstanding, misconceptions, and missing information. An open communication channel allows for both a stronger relationship and a better impression, which are both paramount when hiring at the C level.

They Prepare For Your Interviews; Make Sure You Prepare Them Too

Good interviews can (and should probably be) intense, but can leave candidates feeling like the process may not being going in their favor. Applying pressure and thorough selection and qualification is necessary, but doing so using unusual or unexpected methods may give the wrong impression. What can you do to help better prepare the candidate? Communicate clearly what the interview process looks like. When sending a candidate to a high pressure interview, tell them in advance and prep them accordingly. This not only allows the candidate to shine, but shows consideration towards them.

They Communicate Clearly And Effectively; Make Sure It Goes Both Ways

Check to be sure that communications from you are clear and convey what is important. Misunderstandings and miscommunications can create unnecessary points of stress and contention where none may even exist. The key to sending the right image of your company is found in how you communicate. Without clarity, the correct message may not get across, and that could deter the candidate from considering any offer.

Of Course, A Recruiter Can Help…

Because striking a balance between qualifying passive candidates and selling your company can be a challenge, many founders and executives find benefit in enlisting the help of a recruiter to manage the process. Good recruiters know how demanding this balancing act can be for employers. Hiring may not be the current priority at your company, which means managing candidate relationships can get put on the back-burner. Having a recruiter on your side gives you a dedicated resource to manage these important relationships, guide candidates through your interview and hiring process, and sell your organization while also helping to qualify for the right skill sets, experience, and fit.

Millennium Search considers managing relationships an integral part of Our Recruiting Process.

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