What Kind of Candidate are You Part II - Visibile or Invisible?

Michael had a post referring to Lou Adler's definition's of the different types of candidates.

One of those was the Semi-passive Candidate.

In case you missed it semi-passive candidates are defined as follows:

"Top-notch people who have pretty good jobs, [...]. They hope some recruiter will call with something better. You find these candidates by proactive networking"

This got me thinking. If you are "hoping" a headhunter will call you maybe some will. I am sure there are some headhunters out there with very good "hope antennae" but as for myself I don't seem to have one. So if you are sitting there waiting for the phone to ring and it isn't ringing what do you do?

First you have to understand how headhunters work. We spend a good deal of time on a particular search trying to find out who is who in a particular organization so we can target those people who might be a fit for the job we are trying to fill.

Often this is difficult. One of the biggest stumbling blocks we run into is at the switchboard. Most switchboard operators have little information about various departments (by accident or design) and on the surface this might not seem important but if you are a Project Manager IT (for example) and are hoping a recruiter will call you then you better make sure that the people who operate the switchboard know who you are.

I know what you are thinking "Of course they know me! I work here."

Ok, try this tomorrow. When you arrive at work ask the switchboard operator this "Do you know what my exact title is?"

Betcha he or she doesn't.

Why is this important?

Because if I am looking for a Project Manager IT and I am trying to find one I am going to ask for the person by title rather than name. That is how headhunters uncover semi-passive candidates.

We often do searches where we have zero people in our database with that particular title or skill set. So we make lots of cold calls to find out who does this specific position in our target market.

I am always surprised at how hard it is to find out who handles a particular function within a company. And I am not talking about junior positions. I am currently involved in a search for a Vice President with a client. One of the target companies I called has recently promoted this person into another role. I know this person's name. I know their new title; I know their old title. But do you think anyone can tell me who has taken over for her?


Word to the wise - if you have gotten promoted recently make sure people in your company know who you are.

This is one way you can increase your "visibility" and get called more frequently by recruiters.

I will continue on this topic in a day or so.

No comments: