What Recruiters Need To Know About Passive Job Seekers

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January 6, 2014

These three concepts will show you how to snag a “game changer” for your team.

By Peter Weddle for BioSpace.com

In this season of football, basketball and hockey, there is a lot of talk about game changers – the individuals who, more often than not, spell the difference between victory and defeat. They are every team’s dream player and, in every other facet of the economy, they are every employer’s dream new hire. The goal of recruiting, therefore, should be to recruit more game changers than the competition.

While recruiters have always focused on the best talent, it would be a mistake to describe game changers as “A” level performers. They are much more. They not only excel at their own work; they raise the level of work done by everyone else around them. They change the game because they turn the team—or the business—into an “A” level performer.

So, where do you find these game changers and how do you recruit them? In my book, The Career Activist Republic, I introduce a number of concepts for identifying and engaging these extraordinary individuals—men and women who are best described not by their impact, but by their defining characteristics.

Concept #1: Focus your time and effort where it is likely to have the greatest payoff.

It is, of course, both politically correct and accurate to acknowledge the presence of game changers among active job seekers. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at any point in time, just 16 percent of the American workforce is actively in transition. In other words, four-fifths of the workforce is composed of what is conventionally known as “passive job seekers.” And, the probability is simply much higher that you will find the game changers you need in that larger group.

Concept #2: Recognize (and accept) that passive job seekers aren’t job seekers at all.

The 84 percent of the workforce who are not actively engaged in a job search are “prospects.” They aren’t seeking a job or a change in employer. They don’t visit corporate career sites or job boards unless they are drawn to those locations by something they value. What do these passive prospects value? Anything that will make them better. They may not be job seekers, but they are always looking for ways to advance in their field. That’s why I call them “career activists.” They can be activated to consider employment opportunities by content they find useful.

Concept #3: Use a pull-pull approach when developing content for career activists.

First, transform your career site into a center of excellence for career advancement by featuring one or both of two kinds of content:

Then promote that content to pull the right passive prospects to your site.

Second, transform your job postings into electronic sales brochures targeted directly at game changers. These individuals don’t care about the “requirements and responsibilities” of a job; they want to know the answers to five questions:

This content is the best way to pull passive prospects into an active state or what is commonly called an applicant.

Game changers are the key to victory in today’s highly competitive global economy, but game changers can’t be recruited with traditional strategies and tactics. What’s required, instead, is a focus on that segment of the workforce where there is the highest probability of success, an understanding of this population’s unique interests, and techniques that leverage those interests to pull them into the enterprise.

Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com

Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet, The Career Activist Republic, and The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hold Onto the Job of Your Dreams Get them at Amazon.com and www.Weddles.com today.

Attract the best candidates with Biospace Job Postings. Post a Job in minutes and find top life science candidates.

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