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Recruiting senior executive roles can be a difficult and protracted task. Employers tend to look for candidates who are well-established in their field, but these are not always easy to come by, which is why exploring possibilities with passive candidates is essential. Passive candidates are those already employed by other companies, but who remain open to discuss new and better opportunities. They represent 75% of the entire workforce, so chances of wooing a potential employee are quite high – that is if you do it right.

A great deal comes down to timing, but most senior people are open to talking about career advancements; it is part of why they are at the top. According to Jobvite, the key motivational factors for passive candidates are; money (ranks as number 1), followed by better work/life balance and more challenging work. Understanding what each of these means to the individual you are pursuing is essential to opening up lines of communication.

The key to finding the next big wig is to use multiple channels and strategies to attract candidates are prepared to look seriously at a new career opportunity. We use our extensive network, online communities and social media to find and cherry pick great talent.

The pursuit of the best talent in the industry is often highly competitive but investing in passive candidates can prove worth the hunt because they are not actively looking for a new job, so they are not likely to be pursued by anyone else. This gives us the opportunity to really frame our approach in ways we can’t with active candidates. It is important to speak directly to their needs, values and motivations. In essence you need to find the important drivers of passive candidates and if they align with the organisation you are representing, it could be your lucky day!

What companies can do

Companies can help themselves by ensuring their branding is up to standard. One way of doing this is to check that you have an active and engaging social media presence. A candidate on the cusp will undoubtedly do a bit of research themselves and look up your business through social media and Google. If you have an outdated website, a nothing special careers page, boring and inactive social media pages, you are not really delivering a compelling case.

One way of attracting the best people is by asking your trusted employees to become brand ambassadors. There is no better way to attract new people to your business than by getting staff to actively endorse your company as an employer of choice. A simple, but effective way making your job proposition more alluring.

Leave box ticking behind and see the people

Companies will often look for a person, who ticks all the boxes, but they might not necessarily be the best fit for the company. This is where the expertise of recruitment agencies comes in handy. Hiring the wrong people, solely based on skills, can cost dearly. The most obviously answer might not necessarily be the right one.

Taking the time to discover, analyse and interpret the suitability of a person and reviewing them in their entirety is hard for businesses to do, because it requires time. In these instances, hiring a recruiter can be very beneficial, because they have years of experience spotting talent, especially talent that may not be immediately apparent to business owners.

If you are looking for your next big wig, there a couple of things to consider:

  • Ask yourself what would attract a passive candidate to come work for you? Are you branding yourself actively through social media and other platforms?
  • Get a great recruiter to do the hard yards, and find the best fit for your company. They know your company inside and out and they know exactly what to look out for in your next employee.
  • Don’t immediately dismiss the ‘wildcard’ candidate, who doesn’t tick all the boxes.

Best regards

Neil Chandaria
Managing Partner


Trust Advance Careers when you are next looking to fill a senior executive role. Please contact us on +61 3 9280 8020 or submit an online enquiry.

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