Most things that are advertised as “one size fits all”, aren’t. Freebie baseball caps are the exception and that’s because they are adjustable.
And that’s exactly what companies need to do when they set out to attract top candidates – they need to adjust their tactics and procedures.
For example, professionals who are actively seeking a new job will be okay with many of the typical requests companies make of new job applicants, such as filling out job applications and psychological assessments. However, professionals who are being recruited will often not have as much patience – at least during the initial steps – for the standard screening process.
Here’s the major difference: Candidates who are looking for a new position are – in many ways at least – trying to sell themselves. Candidates who are approached by a recruiter (internal or third-party) are generally exploring – focusing on the right next step for themselves. And that’s the fact that needs to be accommodated when recruiting top candidates, especially at the beginning of the interviewing process.
To make those first steps comfortable:
- Let your candidates break away from the standard screening process, and have them meet with people who are on the front lines, who can talk at their level of expertise. This should quickly give the candidates the information and insight they need to determine if it’s a good fit.
- Realize that a passive candidate may not have the most polished resume ready to share. So, give them a break if the format or content lacks information.
There’s plenty of time to get additional information later, when interest is expressed and there’s a mutual agreement to proceed with the interviewing process. You can then begin steering the procedure back to more traditional ground. Request references, assessments, writing samples, an updated resume and whatever else your company needs to make its decision.
Laying the right foundation in these cases helps you build stronger professional relationships and attract highly desirable passive candidates. When you handle top candidates in this manner, you’re creating goodwill. And, even if things don’t work out this time, there’s always tomorrow.