How To Contact Passive CandidatesIt’s been said that the most difficult challenge facing recruiters today isn’t reaching passive candidates – it’s being heard among a sea of recruiters reaching out to those same candidates.

If you’re a recruiter, how do you cut through the noise and reach the candidate you’ve identified as a potentially great fit?

Here are four tips on how to contact passive candidates:

Know who you’re looking for
This sounds obvious, but we recruiters are sometimes of not knowing who, precisely we’re looking for. If you don’t know who you’re looking for you’ll try to reach a broad range of people – and you’ll be wasting their (and your) time. Use a rifle and not a shot-gun approach and you’ll be spending your precious time with the right people.

Make it personal.
If your email is incredibly general and looks like SPAM, only the naive and those with a lot of time will respond to you. Show that you’ve invested a little time in getting to research them before clicking on the “send” button. That personal touch will greatly increase your response rate.

Be humble and be curious
Some recruiters approach prospects with “I have the PERFECT job for you.” How the heck would the recruiter know? Does he know the prospect’s goals and dreams? Instead, recruiters should approach with the prospect with a proper sense of humility and a curiosity to get to know the person.

Follow-up
There’s data out there that shows that almost everybody responds eventually. Follow-up (respectfully) a 2nd and 3rd time if you think your prospect could be a great fit. And don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. In the age of email and digital communications, if a recruiter calls you on the phone, the prospect knows that that the recruiter has a level of seriousness in the opportunity.

Paul Eisenstein Y ScoutsPaul Eisenstein is the Leadership Search Director at Y Scouts, an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.