Recently, many companies have asked us the above question, and many more should be. The fact is, your company’s hiring processes simply may not be designed to attract and secure the top talent. Great candidates today are hard to find, and when you find them or are introduced to one by an awesome recruiter, you must be ready to move quickly, decisively, and professionally.

It is important to remember that good passive candidates are not generally looking for a new job. However, when they have an event that causes them to look, they are anxious to test their worth. What typically happens when these candidates are sent to your company? From our experience, it is often not good.

Ultimately, they are passed onto the Hiring Manager who looks at them and sees they are very good… maybe even a rock star. Your intentions to move forward are great but unfortunately, you have a business to run and just getting the process started can drag on and on. Once the initial introduction interview (often by phone) takes place and the Hiring Manager confirms that this is indeed a very good candidate, they then decide they want to move forward with this candidate. So, someone else is asked to get involved to talk with the candidate to confirm the Hiring Manager’s opinion. But that all too often gets drug out for a couple of weeks or longer before it finally gets done.

Meanwhile, what happens with the “rock star candidate”? If someone in your company is not communicating with this candidate, they start thinking there is no interest. Remember… this candidate has not applied for a job in maybe 10 or more years, so when they make up their mind to test the water, you might not be the only company they are talking to.

Finally, you reach the point of setting up an in-person-interview, and guess what? They already have an offer or two in their hand. You finally get the candidate in for that face-to-face interview, and everyone likes them and thinks they will be a great fit. But because of your delays, you now have stiff competition for an excellent potential team member that a short time earlier you may not have had.

Now what? Don’t stop communicating throughout the entire candidate evaluation process. Let the candidate know directly or through your recruiter that you really like them. Everyone wants to be loved, respected, and valued. If you are contemplating bringing them on board, be expedient in quickly making that offer.

The interview itself in a passive candidate driven market is more important than ever. Remember that the candidate is interviewing you and your company as much as you are interviewing them. Work through the process timely and respectfully, and if you see this is a candidate you want to hire, you will need to sell your company to them. The fact that you know your company is a great company is not enough; you need to be consistently conveying that to them. Allow all of your conversations to be a back-and-forth dialogue and use the 50-50 rule.

If you are having others on your team interview a quality passive candidate, make sure that they have some basic interviewing skills. Also, update them on your intentions if you are highly interested in onboarding this candidate. And do not have the “Mr. or Mrs. Negative” from your team interview them (yes, you know who I am talking about).

To oversimplify the process of hiring the top-quality passive candidates, it comes down to three basic rules.

1. Move quickly, decisively, and professionally.
2. Promote your company culture and future.
3. Over communicate through your recruiter or directly to the candidate throughout the entire process.

For more information and valuable tips on hiring excellent talent for your team, go to our AGRI-SEARCH website and view our Client Videos, “Winning the War for Talent” and “Client Interview Prep” found in our Links section at