According to ONS Labour Market Statistics, 57% of UK workers are unhappy in their current job. That’s 17.4 million people looking for something new.
But even with all of these potential job seekers, how many candidates are you working with? Do you know how to target and attract passive candidates, and are you offering a compelling case for why they should trust you to help them with a career change?
This is the main change in the recruitment sector: candidates want to work with a trusted advisor, an expert recruiter. But how do you make passive candidates aware of your expertise?
What Has Changed in the Market?
Well, the first place to start is by understanding how candidates look for jobs. Gone are the days of newspaper job ads (for the most part), and now candidates turn to Google and other digital platforms to find relevant opportunities.
That means that for you as a recruiter you need to be easily found online. You need to have a strong brand and an enticing web presence. You need to position yourself so you crop up in relevant industry conversations due to your recruitment expertise.
So, things like SEO, content marketing, and inbound strategies should be considered and you need to think of your role as more of a marketer than an old school recruiter. When a candidate looks for a job within the niche you recruit in, your name should come up. That’s how you get found, and that’s how passive candidates can assess the services you offer.
Recruiting Passive Candidates
With a statistic like the one from ONS it’s clear there’s great untapped potential for sourcing candidates. The majority of people would be happy with a new job, but they have to be sold on what that would be.
So, you need to approach and find candidates yourself, and you need to make sure you find them before your competition does. Once a candidate starts actively looking, you have to fight with other recruiters just to get their attention.
However, if you approach that candidate first, you can provide them with a strong case for working with you. If you do your job well, they won’t even approach another recruiter. You need to work with them as a consultant showing them you have their best interests at heart.
Active candidates likely have a good idea of what they want from a new job, passive candidates could be more open to a conversation. At the end of it all, you have to provide them with a strong reason to jump through hoops, step out of their comfort zone and into a new position with all of the resulting stress that that journey entails.
Using Social Media
Approaching passive candidates is difficult, but thanks to social media it has become easier. In the past, when you had to call candidates on the phone, you had to work outside of office hours. No candidate wants to discuss potential job offers whilst sitting at a desk at their current job.
These days many candidates will spend a good chunk of their time at work on social media channels. They’ll be on Twitter, scrolling through photos on Facebook, and checking up on old school friends on LinkedIn. These are prime avenues for reaching out to them personally, or as part of a wider strategy involving paid for targeted adverts.
You can also use SMS to reach candidates, arranging a call or a meeting at a times that’s mutually beneficial. The point is, you no longer have such a narrow time frame to reach and interact with passive, employed candidates. Now, a savvy recruiter can utilise the right channels, at the right time in order to reach candidates more effectively.
Understanding the best practice for each social channel will help, as will researching and getting to know the candidates you’re targeting. The key thing is to provoke an emotional response from the people you approach. You need to catch their eye with whatever messaging you choose.
Become a Trusted Advisor
Perhaps the biggest change in the market stems from what candidates expect from a recruiter. They no longer just want to be shown a selection of jobs, and in fact this isn’t likely to attract passive candidates. Instead they want your expertise, they want to work with a career advisor, a consultant who knows their industry inside and out, and who knows what they want from a job.
So, you need to be niche, you need to offer a competitive service that marks you out from other recruiters within your sector. This type of reputation means that when you approach candidates they’ll feel pride that you picked them, they’ll be happy that you selected them out of all the millions of candidates looking for new jobs and opportunities.
The change in the recruitment market is felt mostly by recruiters. Candidates want new jobs – the same as always. But what they want from recruiters is more; more advice, more expertise, and more value. The recruiters who will be the most successful are the ones who truly embrace being a trusted advisor to their candidates. The more you establish yourself as a stand out recruiter in your niche, the more attractive you’ll be to the millions of potential candidates out there just waiting for the right moment and the right opportunity to make a career change.
Andy Mckendry is a copywriter with an MA in Professional Writing. In the early mornings he is known to gravitate towards the nearest coffee pot.