Gone are the days of posting a job opportunity then sitting around waiting for the ideal candidate to drop in your lap. In these highly competitive times, those looking to hire the person who’s the best fit for their company must reach out to those ideal candidates proactively—often before the candidate is looking for other employment or a position is available.

Proactive recruitment does just that—it involves hunting down the perfect candidate for a position in your company, engaging them, and providing compelling information about your company before a position is open.

Unlike reactive recruitment (where you list a job opening and hope the right candidate finds yours amongst hundreds of other listings), proactive recruitment is all about building genuine relationships with ideal candidates, so they already have interest in your organisation when opportunities do open.

So, how does one go about recruiting proactively? Try following these 4 steps.

  1. Determine Who is Your Ideal Candidate
    Before you can start building relationships, you need to understand who you’re looking for. Finding your ideal candidate will first require assessing what the job will entail:

    • What skills and/or experience must a candidate possess to successfully fill the position?
    • What innate talents and qualities are needed for this role?
    • What types of behaviors and personality characteristics will be an asset?Soft skills certainly come into play here, and you’ll want to consider those incredibly important (but sometimes hard to define) personality qualities that can help the ideal candidate succeed in the position—characteristics like work ethic, communication skills, problem solving skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with coworkers.
      Once you have a clear picture of both the scope of the position and the qualities needed to properly fill it, you’re ready to move to the next step.
  2. Make Contact
    Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn make it easy to connect with candidates, but it’s important to remember that proactive recruiting requires going a step or two further to build a genuine connection.You want to reach out to qualified candidates in a sincere manner, explaining what your business is and why you think they would be good fit. Contact may be made through social media…but email is better, and a phone call is ideal.

    It is imperative that you are honest from the get-go—if no jobs are currently available at your business, tell them up front. The idea is to plant the seed about what your company can offer them through an enthusiastic and sincere conversation.


  4. Maintain Contact
    It’s important to remember that you’re making contact before a job is available, so you’ll need to maintain and nurture the relationship you’re building until a position opens. This means riding that line of staying in contact without becoming a nuisance.In this role, you are essentially a salesperson and the ideal client is the potential customer. Building a relationship means you’re not only talking about the great things happening within your business, you’re actively listening to what’s going on in theirs.

    Showing sincere interest in a candidate’s career can be as simple as sending the occasional email or touching base on social media. You can’t go wrong by following the Golden Rule and treating candidates the way you like to be treated. After all, we’ve all had that one terrible experience with a tone-deaf, insensitive salesperson who only cares about making the deal…don’t be that guy.

    While it can be a slow process, building an authentic relationship with candidates is key—that’s what going to make them consider your company over others when they decide to make a career change.


  6. Close the Deal
    Once a position becomes available, it’s time to let the candidate know. Excitement and enthusiasm are key here—you want the candidate to feel a warm, personal connection to your business (which should be no problem after all of the careful relationship nurturing they’ve received from you).The interview process is oftentimes stressful and unpleasant for candidates, so it’s important to continue to provide exceptional service during this stage of the process (again, as if they are a client) so that, even if they do not land the job, they walk away certain to apply for the next employment opportunity and singing the praises of your business to friends and coworkers.

When done right, proactive recruitment provides a stellar return on the investment you’ve made cultivating relationships with candidates. And, if you have questions about proactive recruiting or feel the need to outsource the process, reach out to us at Acquire Talent Consulting.

Building relationships and assembling world-class teams is what we do, and we’d love to help you do just that. Click here to contact us today.