Executive recruiters wear many hats: counselor, project manager, interviewer, and communicator. But there’s another important hat every executive recruiter wears: salesperson. Selling the value of a job opportunity to a desired candidate is a crucial component of being an executive recruiter. Search professionals need to develop ways of convincing passive candidates to give opportunities a chance.

Here are some techniques that may help convince passive executive candidates to give a new opportunity a chance.

1. Pin down the corporate culture.

Executive candidates, especially passive ones, are far beyond changing jobs for a salary increase or a change of scenery. Recruiters who can represent the corporate culture of their clients in a way that highlights its attractiveness and uniqueness may have taken the first step in catching the interest of a passive executive candidate.

2. Don’t waste time on hopeless cases.

Many sales professionals rely on their intuition to tell them which prospects are worth pursuing. As a recruiter, you may have instincts developed over long experience that give you a “feeling” about whether it’s worth pursuing a particular candidate. If you aren’t particularly intuitive, new AI tools use predictive algorithms to show how likely candidates are to leave their current job.

3. Do your homework.

As you do research to qualify potential candidates and check references, be sure to pull out information that can be used to form a connection with a candidate. Being able to discuss a particular hobby, alma mater, or other area of commonality will help break the ice with candidates and make them more disposed to listen to your pitch when you do decide to give one.

4. Get to know people organically.

The more relationships you develop in a particular field, the more likely you will be to know someone who might make a good executive candidate when an opening develops. The best salespeople in any field are the ones who know and have established relationships with those who can point them toward sales. Truly enjoying people is the best way to go about recruiting—candidates and contacts can always tell when your interest isn’t genuine.

5. Leave them wanting more.

Sure, you want to lead with your best material, but there’s value in holding a little something back until you know the interest is there. There is a delicate art to this process—you bait the hook with enough good stuff to get them to bite, then reel them in. Nothing deceptive, just generating interest in the opportunity by any (truthful) means possible.

Thrive TRM can help executive search firms function more efficiently by streamlining communications and enabling instant reports in order to keep executive searches moving and not giving candidates time to lose interest. Discover solutions for search firms for ways to improve your executive search process.

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