Passive candidates, those workers that are currently employed in your industry but are not actively seeking a change in employment, are often the best qualified for your open positions. However, passive candidates, especially those in the electrical construction industry, can be difficult to attract. We suggest a few key strategies to help you gain a competitive edge when trying to pursue and ultimately hire these highly desirable candidates.

Use an Industry-Specific Recruiting Agency with Local Market Knowledge

Cross-industry recruiters at large agencies often suffer a poor reputation with employers due to recruitment tactics that will often have an unqualified candidate applying for the wrong position in a push to earn an easy commission. On the other hand, using an industry-specific recruiter that is intimately familiar with your industry and truly understands your job descriptions will increase your chances of finding the right candidate. Going this route, you’ll spend less of your time trying to educate your recruiter and more time focusing on well matched candidates.

Industry-specific recruiters will usually have existing networks in your industry and may already have a few good potential passive candidates in mind, and because of their industry experience, they can communicate your open position to those candidates in a language they can relate to and clearly understand.

Local market knowledge is also an important component, especially if you are looking to hire in an area you aren’t familiar. A local recruiter will know the labor market in their region better than someone outside the area. They will be more familiar with local trends, income requirements, and the local competition. Area focused recruiters must also take better care of their reputation than general nationwide recruiters, so they are more likely to be trustworthy and ethical in their recruiting practices.

Have a Well Organized Hiring Process and Company Presentation

Having a well organized recruitment process is vital to attract passive candidates. While posting on job boards may get a large response from unemployed candidates spamming out their resume to every post, remember that passive candidates are skilled employees who may be happy with their current position. If you approach them without a solid strategy, you may lose your one chance to make a good first impression. Not only will this cause them to lose interest, but it may permanently damage your reputation with them. Presentation goes a long way to showing that you care about these candidates and value their time enough to come prepared.

Make sure that your hiring process is understandable and accessible. Communicate that process with candidates so they never have to wonder about it or where they are in the process. Any potential uncertainty may lead them to back out early in the process.

To accomplish this, make sure your initial presentation is clear about who you are, your goals related to them as a candidate, and what you have to offer. Be sure to create a dialogue with the candidate so you can understand what attracted them to your position in the first place and find a way to speak to that. This could be money, location, job satisfaction, or a mix of all. So be ready to address those points.

Passive candidates usually want to be sold on why they should move. The majority of potential candidates are open to a new opportunity, as long as that opportunity can improve their situation. However, subconsciously, people are more likely to avoid risk than they are to seek gain, so it is critical to stay organized and professional so that they feel safe throughout the recruitment process.

Keep Formal Offers as Just That: Formalities

This is very important and requires you to walk a fine line. Don’t risk pushing away a great candidate with contracts and legalities before you have fully won them over. Make sure you have taken the time to listen to them and know what is important to them. If you push too hard with a formal contract without building a relationship and agreeing on terms first, it might seem overly aggressive or even desperate. Remember, they already have a job, they may not need you as much as you need them.

Of course, some sort of agreement will be necessary to move forward, but all negotiations should start with simple verbal agreements. While it is still important to document these conversations for both parties to reference, the initial focus should be on making sure you and your candidate are on the same page prior to getting “formal” about things.

Once you and the candidate have reached an agreement on the key contract points, an official offer can then be introduced as a formality. Ultimately, it is the personal relationship built between the candidate and employer that constitutes the primary agreement, but written contracts are still important to reassure both parties that it is a done deal.

The Electrical Construction Industry and ESG

Finding top quality candidates in any industry is a challenge and one that an industry dedicated recruiter can really help with. Electrical Search Group (ESG) is dedicated to connecting the best electrical construction candidates with the best commercial and industrial contractors. ESG has in-depth knowledge of the industry and features a territory system in which expert managers in specific regions throughout the United States handle electrical construction candidate searches in their local markets. ESG upholds the highest possible ethical standards and always respect the privacy of our partners and potential candidates. Call us today to learn more.

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