As leading executive recruiters in Northern California, Pacific ExecSearch knows that sometimes the ideal candidate for your executive position isn’t actively looking for a new job. Known as a “passive candidate,” he or she is currently employed and reasonably content in their position.

However, they might also be willing to make a move for the right opportunity and offer. The primary difference between active and passive candidates (besides the fact that the former is pro-actively searching for an opportunity) is that passive candidates tend to be more selective. So how can you appeal to them and recruit them to your company? Here are 5 essentials for sourcing passive candidates:

#1: Leverage your database.

Your company should have an existing database with passive candidates in it. These are the people who have interviewed with your company in the past and either turned down an offer or didn’t get the job. Take a dive into it and then cross-reference high potential individuals on social networking sites, like LinkedIn. In many instances, you’ll find candidates who might not have been the right fit a few years back, but now have the skills and experience you need.

#2: Ask for referrals…and get specific about your needs.

Ask your most successful employees for referrals to other top professionals who might be interested in your opportunity. When you ask for referrals, don’t simply inquire about those who would be interested in the job. Ask for those with A, B, C skill set.

#3: Treat your people well.

One of the biggest obstacles to hiring great leaders is having a poor employer brand. However, when employees are happy at work, then they’ll naturally act as brand advocates, communicating to friends, colleagues and others in their network why they like working for your company. Having such a positive reputation can go a long way in attracting and recruiting passive candidates.

#4: Keep your eye on the great ones.

When you meet someone you’re truly impressed by, don’t let them get a way. Make a note of them and connect with them via LinkedIn and also add them to your candidate database. Even if you don’t have a current need to hire someone with their background and experience, if you already have a relationship established, it will be much easier to recruit them in the future.

#5: Listen well and find out what’s important to each candidate.

When it comes to recruiting top talent, it’s not all about the money. Many candidates are also interested in excellent benefits, the ability to learn new skills, challenging and rewarding work opportunities, and maintaining a healthy work life balance. So when you do connect with a high potential passive candidate, ask questions and actively listen so you find out what’s truly important to them.

While recruiting passive candidates may sound like a lot of work, it’s well worth it when you find your ideal executive candidate. If you’d like more help with the process, call Pacific ExecSearch. As leading executive recruiters in Northern California, we have extensive experience in sourcing, evaluating and helping companies hire top industry professionals. To learn more about how we can help your company, please contact us today.