This is a post from my “The Tweet Lifesm” series, where I’ll keep every topic to no more than 10 points (with a short introduction) and every point to around 140 characters.

Recruiting top people, especially those who are passive candidates, is much different than recruiting active candidates. Here are the big differences:

  • They’ll have multiple offers or will get a counter-offer.
  • They’ll take longer to decide.
  • They’ll opt-out quickly if the recruiter or hiring manager is clueless about the job, conducts a superficial interview, sells too soon or makes it all about the money.
  • They’ll accept the position that offers the most upside potential even if the compensation is a bit lower.

Given this, here’s The Tweet Life version of the 10 most important issues that need to be addressed to find and recruit top passive candidates.

1. Implement a passive talent acquisition strategy.

Focus on attracting the best, not weeding out the weak. Recognize that hiring the best is an investment, not a cost or a transaction.

2. Define, measure and track quality of hire.

To exceed expectations you need to define expectations before the hire as outcomes, not inputs.

3. Maximize the size of the passive talent pool.

Eliminate every process like pre-apply tests and behavioral interviewing that acts as a barrier to entry for passive candidates. The 2-Step is a great alternative.

4. Use sourcing to sell the employee value proposition (EVP).

All recruiting messages need to emphasize the EVP. To determine it ask the hiring manager, “Why would a top person who’s not looking want this job for a modest or no increase in compensation?”

5. Job branding is more important than employer branding.

Capture the passive candidate’s intrinsic motivator in your recruiting messages by tying the actual job to an important company mission.

6. Convert to a consultative recruiting process.

Slow down. Use a series of meetings to determine the difference in what the candidate is now doing and what you need done.

7. Offer a 30% non-monetary increase.

A career move needs to provide job stretch, job growth and an increase in job satisfaction. When these total 30%, money becomes less important.

8. Put compensation in the parking lot.

Before the formal offer, set money aside and have the candidate describe why he/she wants the job. If the reasons are not convincing, you’re hiring the wrong person.

9. Use compensation as a negotiating tactic, not a recruiting strategy.

Don’t let your candidates make long-term career decisions using short-term factors.

10. Make hiring managers responsible for quality, satisfaction, retention and turnover.

This is what needs to happen in order to make hiring top talent a manager’s most important performance objective.

Recruiting and hiring the best passive talent is not about you selling your job, your company or your compensation package. It’s about convincing a hot reluctant prospect to sell you. These ten tips will help you make the shift.

* image by Death to Stock Photo