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Recruiting Passive Candidates through Online Colleges

Finding the right candidate for a job opening is complicated, especially if the position requires specialized skills. Many of the traditional ways of finding candidates (online job boards and classified ads) are not returning the results that employers need.

Finding the right candidate for a job opening is complicated, especially if the position requires specialized skills. Many of the traditional ways of finding candidates (online job boards and classified ads) are not returning the results that employers need. This is due, in part, to a large number of passive candidates – individuals who have the necessary skills, but are not actively looking for work.

There could be several reasons why passive candidates exist. Some could already be employed and unaware that there are better options available, others could be in the midst of training for a new career and unaware that they should be actively looking for work and some may have simply given up on the job market.

You can try to hire the right candidate by advertising on job boards, or finding the right agency to handle the task for you – all of which are geared more toward candidates who are actively searching. Today we will discuss some other avenues you can use to reach out to passive candidates.

Most people are aware of the job placement departments at traditional brick-and-mortar colleges, but may not be aware that those same departments exist at online schools. The added bonus is that students enrolled at schools like Gwynedd Mercy University, are often employed professionals, with years of experience, and could be ideal candidates for their organizations.

Many of these are attending university online because they want to advance within their current organizations, and may not be thinking about going somewhere else. A company reaching out to these students could end up with well-trained candidates ready to transition to a new company, once they have finished their coursework.

Remember that these are candidates who may not be actively looking for work. To reach them, companies can’t just post an opening on the job board; instead, they need to get the information directly to the source.

  • Invitation-only Job Fairs. The company can get the names and addresses of students that are close to completing their coursework, and invite them to attend a job fair. If the company is interested in recruiting internationally, it can host an online session. The recruiter should make sure the invitation highlights all of the benefits the company has to offer, and makes it clear that it is actively seeking qualified candidates. The point is to peak the passive candidate’s curiosity, and get him thinking about moving to a different organization. By making the job fair invitation-only, you will restrict attendance only to those you wish to recruit and you will make it clear to the candidates that they have been specifically chosen. It will make the candidates feel special, and it will plant the seed that their skills and knowledge could be in demand outside of their current organization.
  • Guest Lectures. Have a company representative teach a relevant class, with ample information about how that specific company operates in that arena. For example, a representative of the marketing department at XYZ Company can lead a class on Brand Management, giving students general information on branding as well as how XYZ implements its own branding and what XYZ looks for when hiring brand managers. At the end of the presentation, the XYZ representative can hand out business cards with HR information for viewing and applying for job openings in the branding department. Often, hearing straight from a representative that the company is actively seeking candidates will encourage people to apply.
  • Recruit the Professors. The fact is that the students aren’t the only source of viable candidates. Many online schools hire individuals who are experts in their fields to pass that information on to the next generation. Just like some of the students, these professionals might not be actively looking for work. The same tactics that can put you on the students’ radar can be used to attract the teachers; and you may even find that the teachers are better suited than some of the students.

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