Friday, June 12, 2009

RECRUITMENT: How to Activate the Best Passive Candidates in the Federation

It can be difficult to get potential candidates interested in your company's open positions. How do you make active and passive candidates want to call back seeking more information about a new career move? These are some great-and as ere mentions-not so great tips talking about using the reticular activator part of the brain which separates boring information from the important and critical. Depending on how you formulate the information and questions to candidates, using these tactics can help increase the success of your recruiting efforts to find top qualified candidates. (Full Story) How to Activate the Best Passive Candidates in the Federation

Some Great and Not-So-Great Reticular Activating Voice Mails

• Your mother called and told me she wanted you to consider this job. (This actually worked.)

• Your boss just called and strongly suggested you consider this job. (This didn’t work too well, but it’s worth a shot.)

• You’re the 87th person I’ve called for this senior-level creative director level position, and I haven’t found anyone creative yet. I hope you’re not like the other 86. Even if you’re not interested in the job, I’d love a new idea for a better voice mail.

• We’re trying to adopt the marketing concepts Obama used to become President. We’d like to talk to you, if you think you can help.

• Our team of seven ASIC design engineers is looking for a new leader. Two of them said they’d like that person to be you.

• We just opened a req for a new security analyst cadet for Star Fleet Academy’s Class of 2387. Is this something you’d like to explore? There is some travel involved.

• Have you heard the story about the priest and the rabbi who went into the bar across from Fenway? If not, I’d like to tell you about it and what it has to do with our new Plant Manager position.

• I call every person I’m referred to at least eight times before giving up. This is the 3rd call.

• (Name) just suggested I give you a call. He said you’re one of the best people he’s every worked with, and while you’re probably not now interested in our executive marketing position, he thought you’d know someone who would be. (This one always works if the name is important enough.)

There are a bunch of points and principles demonstrated by these types of messages. First, they’re marketing-oriented. Since they’re not boring, the candidate’s reticular activating system won’t filter them out. This is the critical point. While the person still might not call you back, at least you’ll get noticed. As your callback rate rises, fine tune your messages to get to the 80% threshold.

Now when the person calls you back, don’t blow it and lose your mojo. Don’t be shocked. Maintain your composure. If you don’t, you might say something stupid, like telling the person about the job. If the job has no interest, or it sounds boring, you’ll shut down the person’s reticular activating system, faster than a bear trap on a frigid day in Montana. Not only won’t you secure a great candidate, but also the possibility of any good referrals. (Here’s an article on this critical point you might find useful.)

So instead of flubbing it, keep the candidate interested with more compelling information and clever pre-planned pitches. Think of this as the old carrot and stick approach by withholding some critical information to induce the candidate to reveal more about herself. Here are some ideas on how to pull off this critical step:

• Once you get the person on the phone, just ask if she’d be open to explore a position if it represented a significant career move.

• The candidate is sure to say yes since he called you back. Then say, “Great. Could you give me a super short overview of your background. I’ll then give a snapshot of the opportunity, and if it sounds like something mutually worth pursuing, we can schedule a time to talk in more depth later.

• Don’t push the process. If there’s a relo involved, or if you’re not sure the candidate is ready to move quickly, suggest another call in a few days, after you’ve talked to the hiring manager. Alternatively, suggest there are other strong candidates you want to contact first before setting up a detailed conversation. For a high-achiever, competition is a great way to maintain or increase interest.

• Don’t be the pursuer. The idea here is to switch roles. If you can get the candidate to pursue you, and sell you on her competency and interest, you’ll not only close more deals, but compensation won’t be the decider.

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