How to catch the attention of A+ talent that ignores you

November 25th, 2015
Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

As a sourcer of talent, when I find a rock star candidate, sometimes it feels like I’ve won the lottery. That’s when I remember that finding the candidate is only half of the sourcing battle. Next you have to get them to engage. Without engagement, it’s pretty hard to call finding that perfect fit, a win at all.

But, I’m here to tell you that all is not lost. While you may have tried every method you could think of six months ago, there’s certainly an opportunity to resurface and breakthrough the wall of engagement.

Here’s a few strategies to revisit those perfect candidates who seem to have ignored your emails or LinkedIn connection request:

allstar candidate talent sourcingTiming: When you think back to how you tried to get your star candidate’s attention, you remember a desperate attempt of countless emails, LinkedIn messages and voice mails. But every time you worked up the energy to try just one more reach out, you still never captured their attention. Or at least that’s how it felt, and then you made up some reason to rationalize the situation so you could move on. But now that some time has passed, why not try again? Perhaps they actually did see your messages but timing was really bad.  Think of all the events in our lives that we try to juggle. It’s a new day, a new month, or a new year, give it another go!

Woo them: Yes, woo. While you may have told them before, don’t be afraid to reiterate how impressed you are with his or her background. Share that you wanted to try to reach out again, noting your previous attempt. Re-introduce how incredible the opportunity for them would be considering their expertise, and even in the (X) amount of time since first reaching out, he or she is still your ideal candidate.

Show your expertise, ask for theirs: You’re the recruiting and research expert. Explain your understanding of the job market and where the candidate’s particular industry is going. Remember, when working with passive candidates, you need them more than they need you. Maybe he or she is not interested, but would offer their ideas or suggestions for you. They are a ‘rock star’ in their field after all — which means they have deep industry knowledge and likely have some good referrals.

So, when you’re in the valley of desperation during your sourcing journey, don’t lose all hope. There are any number of ways to go back after a “lost” candidate. And in reality, what’s the worst that could happen?

Great sourcing isn’t about just building lists of names or grabbing resumes wherever you can. Great sourcing is about identifying and engaging business-changing talent and passive candidates.

One Response to “How to catch the attention of A+ talent that ignores you”

  1. What is a passive job candidate? | The CBI Group Says:

    […] Passive candidates are often considered to be higher quality candidates, but they can also be more difficult to engage and convince to make a career move. As the economy shifts back and forth from an employer’s market to a candidate’s market, the number of active candidates ebbs and flows. LinkedIn reports that “Passive talent accounts for 79% of working professionals around the world.” Regardless of whether or not passive talent is better or not, targeting passive candidates should always be a part of your recruiting strategy, especially for rare & hard-to-fill roles. Here’s a few suggestions for how to catch the attention of A+ talent that ignores you. […]

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