Master the Approach Call to the Passive Candidate


The fruits of your search are worthless if they do not convert into candidates.

In a world with multiple channels of communication, it can be tempting to drop an email or even a text. However, that will not cut it with the best candidates.

It is a requisite to pick up the phone because you need to grab their attention and stand out.

When you do this, you have less than 10 seconds to make an impact.

Therefore, devising a plan before you pick up the phone is essential.

Blow this part, and all your hours of searching and the excitement of identifying a “perfect” candidate will be in ruins.

Even though here at Exacta, our Research Consultant do this on a daily basis, we still create a plan for each call. The role may be the same, but each person is unique. Each call is unique.

Below we share our top tips for planning and making that important initial call to the passive candidate.

1. Know the job well.

If you are recruiting for multiple vacancies, it can be difficult to get to grips with the role.

However, if you don’t know the job, how can you sell it?

The call may be your only chance to speak to the potential candidate. Saying “I ‘m not sure, I’ll have to find that out” not only shows you in a poor light but will probably cost you that potential candidate.

2. Visualise your ideal candidate.

Put your feet in the shoes of your ideal candidate. Think like them. What would interest them? What are their motivations? How can your role/business fulfil those desires?

What is the one thing that may tempt them away from a role in which they are happy? Don’t assume this is financial; it’s often not. The motivator could be career progression, the opportunity to work on a prestigious project or the opportunity to collaborate with an industy leader.

Prick their ears by stating a unique selling point of the role. A point which sets your role apart from others, and appeals to their motivations and interests.

3. Good time to talk?

Don’t just assume, because they picked up the phone that it is a good time to talk. Always ask if it is convenient.

If they’re at work and surrounded by colleagues, they will focus on being discreet rather than listening to the details of the role.

If it’s not a good time, don’t say “When is a good time?" it gives the candidate too many options and may flummox them. Instead, provide the candidate with a choice. “How about tonight at 6 pm? Alternatively, tomorrow at 8 am?” Limit their options and enable the candidates to process the information.

4. Don’t do the hard sell.

When you’ve found a perfect candidate, it can be tempting to do all that you can to get their interest.

Don’t let this eagerness turn into over egging the role. In the end, it will not do you or the candidate any favours.

Always be honest and use facts to gain their interest.

If you have to oversell the role over, they are not the right candidate. Move on.

5. Be conversational.

Keep your tone friendly and conversational.

Remember your aim of the call is to generate their interest and establish if they’d be a good fit for the role.

Too many quick fire questions during the initial call, when a candidate is unprepared, can be off-putting.

Once their interest is established, you can follow up and drill down the information.

6. Practice.

It does take time to develop your style and find what works for you.

Our Research Consultants are all experienced at making the initial approach and follow the outlines as above, but if you listen to their calls, they all have their individual styles that they’ve acquired overtime. They’ve found out what works for them. Find what works for you.

7. Referral.

Don’t forget if your potential candidate is not interested in the opportunity; ask them if they know anyone in their network who may be. It’s an excellent way to uncover hidden gems.

We hope these tips help you to increase your conversion rates when talking to the passive candidate. If you need further advice, help or assistance, give us a call on 0800 085 6618.

Click here to download our info graphic on this topic. Feel free to print it out and pin it to your wall to remind you of these tips when making the call.

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Registered Office: Pearl Assurance House, New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AQ

Exacta Research Limited is registered in England & Wales, Company Reg: 03915945​

© 2018 by Exacta Research Ltd.

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