We all know how competitive the hiring landscape is these days. The economy is healthy and companies are rapidly hiring talented people with specialized skills. Often times it seems like there aren’t enough qualified candidates to meet the demand.
The prevailing wisdom among recruiters and hiring managers is companies need to be aggressive in their recruiting efforts. When you find a great candidate, you have to shower them in compliments and convince them your company is the opportunity they’ve been waiting their entire career for. If you don’t woo them, the next company will.
The aggressive recruiting approach seems to make sense. However, the results of Indeed’s “Talent Attraction Study: What Matters to the Modern Candidate” suggest otherwise. The study is full of illuminating statistics but three in particular make the case that companies don’t need to aggressively recruit:
The overwhelming majority of recruiters prefer hiring active candidates over passive ones. Active candidates have already come to the conclusion they need a new job and your company might be the right next career step. They’re not content in their current role and don’t need to be convinced they can do better.
According to the study, recruiters prefer active candidates because they tend to be better employees than someone persuaded by a recruiter. They end up having more passion for a company they discovered on their own, as opposed to one that was brought to their attention by someone else. Active candidates also have a firm understanding of the role they’re applying for, so they can get right to work with little confusion.
Modern job seekers want a great opportunity and know it’s easier than ever before to find one on their own. Between all the online job boards, professional social networks and company careers pages, there aren’t many stones that remain unturned as a person job hunts.
Most candidates are still happy to hear from eager recruiters but they don’t rely on them like they used to. They understand they have plenty of resources to find the right job opportunity on their own and don’t need to put their trust in another person.
Passive candidates are a dying breed. Nearly three quarters of people are participating in some sort of job search. And 65 percent of people look at openings within three months of starting a new job, according to Indeed’s study.
If the purpose of aggressive recruiting is to engage a talented, yet dormant candidate, what’s the point if no one is truly dormant? Many of these people may be content in their current role and are only looking at jobs to get a sense of what’s out there. But they qualify as an active job searcher who may already know about your company and its open positions.
Actions speak louder than words
Recruiters prefer to hire active candidates. Job searchers prefer to be active candidates. And nearly everyone is an active candidate. So companies should ease up on the aggressive recruiting efforts and engage the active job searcher.
Recruiters should always contact great candidates. Just be aware that an aggressive approach may be overkill. You can instead focus your efforts on creating an appealing careers section on your website, posting your openings across multiple job boards and encouraging your current employees to share their experiences working for your company. That way when you do connect with a candidate, they’ll already have some idea if your company is the right opportunity for them.
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