We are operating in an increasingly candidate-led market, where finding and securing the best talent for your finance team is becoming increasingly competitive. We are seeing candidates receiving multiple offers, having the pick of roles, and the length of time for which they are on the market decreasing.
In this increasingly competitive market one of the best sources and often overlooked potential goldmines for finding top talent is passive candidates.
What is a passive candidate?
Passive candidates are candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new role, but if approached about the right opportunity in the right way they will consider it. They tend to be well looked after by their companies, adding value and progressing through their careers with a clear plan. They are the stars of their current organisations and they could be the stars of yours. They won’t be found with their CVs all over the internet but they would be interested in hearing about specific opportunities that will help them reach their career goals.
Your recruiter will be able to source and introduce you to passive candidates.
How you deal with passive candidates throughout your recruitment process is key.
So once I have an interview booked in with one of these top candidates what do I do next?
As a business we help lots of candidates secure interviews and see lots of different interview techniques; some times we even conduct the interviews alongside clients. It is really interesting to see how different approaches to interviewing changes the candidates’ impression and therefore their response to an offer further down the line. I have recently been working with two clients; both had good roles on offer, competitive salaries, benefits, attractive prospects for progression, and personable, likeable line managers. Each client conducted their interviews. From the first client all candidates rated the role 8-10/10 and gave feedback that if offered the role they would accept it. The second client got average feedback of 5/10 and surprisingly…none of the candidates who were offered accepted the role!
So what was the difference?
The first client started with the attitude that they wanted everyone who came to see them to leave with a positive impression of the business, which in turn made candidates want to work there.
How did he do this?
He took the time to understand the candidates’ motivations and reasons for leaving their current role.
We explained to the client the candidates’ motivations and reasons for leaving before the interview; he then conducted his interview as usual, assessing the candidates’ suitability for his role, but then spent around 10 minutes explaining how the company and the role solve the candidates’ reason for leaving, including clear examples of how they have done this for others.
Example – if the candidate is seeking scope for progression, explaining how others have progressed in the business will greatly enhance the role in their estimation.
Example – If the candidate requires a higher degree of flexibility over working hours due to family commitments, giving examples of the flexibility that you currently provide to existing members of the team and what this allows them to do will enable them to envision the role being beneficial to them.
After resolving reason(s) for leaving, the client thought outside the box, highlighting other benefits they offered as a business.
Offering other benefits does not mean you have to throw higher salaries at candidates; if you cant offer healthcare, cars, mobile phones, a high pension contribution etc., don’t panic. Benefits don’t always have to cost money! They can be things you just take for granted, e.g.: stability, growth, free car parking, a social working environment, free tea and coffee, or an outdoor area for lunch.
In conclusion, here are two simple steps to help you secure passive candidates.
At the end of your interview take time to do the following:
1. Explain how you can solve the candidate’s reason for leaving their current role.
2. Discuss all other potential benefits
Using these two simple techniques, our clients have been able to secure candidates who have had multiple offers on the table, even some offering a higher salary.
For help and advice on recruiting accountancy and finance professionals, please feel free to call me or the team of expert consultants at BTG Recruitment on 0115 9607000.