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You Are Missing 79% of the Available Talent

May 2, 2017



A survey of thousands of LinkedIn members (conducted by LinkedIn a few years ago) resulted in 79% of the respondents stating they do not view job postings.  So, when you post a job, you are appealing to 21% of the market.  When you consider that a small fraction of them are qualified for your role (maybe) and that even fewer are going to be interested in your company, the whole notion of job postings becomes rather absurd. 


Love Recruiting for Your Business?

How many fellow business owners feel comfortable, confident and actually look forward to the recruiting process?  Yes, you should still post your jobs and hope for the best (“post and pray” is the term in the recruitment industry).  You should also endeavor to build the scaffolding around the process so that it is much less difficult and more consistent and reliable. 


Consider the processes or methods most small business owners use when making a major investment in their business.  So, why should the same rigor and due diligence not be applied to recruiting, assessment and selection processes?  The time and money invested in a new employee can sometimes eclipse the dollars for new equipment, materials, or other overhead. 


Revealing the 79%

The proliferation of tools, resources, and methods to find “hidden” or “passive” talent is at an all-time high.  In an upcoming webinar on May 25, we will dive into the foundational tools and resources that any small business should consider adding to its toolbox.  Many of these tools are free but some will charge you a fee.  The visibility of talent, through these tools and resources, has increased exponentially over the past five years.  The short list of tools and resources to examine (and that we will be covering in the webinar) are as follows:


1.    LinkedIn Recruiter

2.    InsideView

3.    Hoovers

4.    Indeed

5. (Jigsaw)

6.    Associations

7.    Conferences

8.    Google and Boolean


While you may have heard of some of these, we will illustrate how to maximize their potential and show you techniques unfamiliar to most.


Passive Talent

So, you are now in conversation with a passive candidate, now what?  Passive candidates have a completely different mindset from applicants, who are actively in the job market. Those in the job market understand it is incumbent upon them to effectively market and present their strengths. The passive candidate, on the other hand, is, at best, flattered to have been contacted.


When interacting with passive candidates, remember these key points:


All recruiting prospects/candidates are potential or current customers. Every interaction with an applicant is an opportunity to impact the employment brand of the organization and the wallet share for the company.

  • Highly-prized passive talent is likely being treated well by their current management. are very engaged in the day-to-day business initiatives and invested in the success of their current employer. The passive candidate has allowed us to unexpectedly interrupt them at the request of hearing about an opportunity.

  • The passive candidate may not have an updated resume or have effectively prepared for an in-person behavioral interview and therefore, may not perform as expected in the interview process.

  • As a hiring leader or HR/recruiting professional, it is important to try and determine the Career Drivers that can pique the interest of the passive candidate: compensation, work/life balance, culture, business model, benefits, career-enriching, location/geography, etc.

  • Once a person becomes a candidate for your company, they begin to wonder about their market value with other businesses. Time is of the utmost importance.  “Time kills all deals” in the field of recruiting.  Each day that transpires without proper communication can leave the candidate with questions about themselves, the role, and the company.  Communicate decisions or status early and often to the passive candidate, so that the candidate has a positive impression of the company and the hiring process.

Before/During the Interview(s):

  • The hiring leader should always remember the passive nature of the candidate to prevent viewing the candidate as under-prepared or uninterested.  The number one mis-perception of a hiring leader usually comes in the form of the candidate after the first conversation, “She didn't really seem to want the job.”

  • The hiring leader needs to be familiar with the passive candidate’s background and Career Drivers, and savvy enough to translate that information into the company's employment value proposition.  Be certain to review the resume of passive talent in depth and in advance to show you value them and the information they have already provided.

  • Consider preparing an incumbent interview. Document this prior to contacting the candidate and certainly before conducting an interview – this would provide prospective candidates with a view of their decision to join your company and why those already employed by the company choose to stay.

  • Follow the S.A.T. approach, in which you coordinate which members of the assessment and selection team will:

    • SELL key points of the job, the company, and the group

    • ASSESS for key job criteria, experience of the candidate, etc.

    • TELL the candidates what they need to know so they can make an informed decision.

  • Begin the interview by reviewing Career Drivers that may have been captured earlier in the process. Our goal is to speak to what matters most to the passive candidate, and how the candidate might achieve these objectives with the company.

  • Avoid beginning the interview with any variation of, “So, tell me why you want to work here.” Passive candidates arrive at an interview to hear why they should want to work for the company. You need to be in sales mode as much as you are in assessment mode.  

  • A passive candidate’s feelings towards relocation can vary throughout the stages of the hiring process and can make or break a deal.  It is important to stay attuned to his/her thoughts and concerns regarding making a move. Discuss what obstacles might exist; remain apprised of the candidate’s stance at various stages.  Some of the considerations are:

    • the spouse’s/partner’s job,

    • the age of children (many people are reluctant to relocate when they have kids in high school or near graduation)

    • sick family members/parents that he/she is obligated to care for

    • housing market challenges

Most often, this change can be very daunting to a passive candidate, but our job is to try to balance this with other factors such as overall opportunity, salary package, benefits, cost-of-living differential, etc. The key is to keep an open line of communication with the candidate and provide them with the resources he/she needs to make an informed decision they are comfortable with so there is no risk of losing a candidate over relocation.  Useful tools include cost of living comparisons and cost of relocation calculators as well as tools and techniques in our blog article on this topic.  


After the interview(s):

  • Timeline: Feedback from the hiring leader should be given within 2 days, and a second round telephone conversation should be held within 5 business days.  If an on-site interview is the next step, this should be held within 10 business days.  If an offer is to be extended, this should be delivered within 10 business days of the final round interview.  

If more than two weeks will transpire between OFFER date and START date, place a call to the candidate that has accepted to keep him/her engaged and ask if anything has changed (or if they suspect that their situation might change).


Final Thoughts

The attitude, behavior and posture of a passive candidate changes only slightly with the ups and downs of the labor market.  In other words, highly-prized performers know they are in demand and the first step in bringing them to your winning team is to ensure you and your colleagues are ready for them. 


Marc Hutto is the founder and CEO of Reveal Globe Intelligence. He can be reached at



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