Finding the Diamond in the Rough Requires Patience & Speed

Finding the Diamond in the Rough Requires Patience and Speed

When your company is searching for the best candidates for a position, that may mean engaging candidates that are already gainfully employed somewhere else. Passive candidates may have the specific skill set needed to be successful in a role, and astute recruiters are willing to approach these candidates about a position and show them why it might be in their best interest to make a change.

Job candidates who are rocking it in their field and happy with their current role and employer may not be willing to make a change at the moment, but we will still reach out to them, because they no doubt possess the skills we may be seeking.  And while some may not be willing to change today, some will, and those are the people we are set on finding for our clients.  The candidates who are NOT looking to make a change are our targets, but if we can present a role that will make certain things better, they are willing to discuss.

Finding Passive Candidates

Successfully securing a passive candidate into saying yes to looking at a new position takes time—it doesn’t happen overnight. At any job, there will be aspects that get under an employee’s skin. Most employees aren’t happy 100% of the time. Recruiters are looking for candidates who have the right skill set and may be ready to consider making a move. However, passive candidates may take their time with processing, evaluating, researching and ultimately deciding to move forward with exploring a new role.

Recruiters look to their own personal networks when looking for excellent passive candidates. Depending on the role, they may look at companies within the agriculture industry that are currently experiencing shifts or uncertainty, as their employees may be willing to entertain a position from a more stable company.

Smart recruiters will also leverage tools like LinkedIn to seek out candidates with the right skills and management experience. At Ag1Source, we have a huge database with candidates our recruiters have connected in the past that we search for those candidates who may be a fit for the role we’re helping a company fill.

When a recruiter is talking to a passive candidate, they’re listening more for what’s NOT being said as much as what IS being shared. For example, a passive candidate may mention that they just got another new manager, or that they didn’t get a bonus at the end of the year like they’d hoped, or upper management has changed, and their direction is different. Or perhaps a passive candidate has been with a company for several years and is getting bored. Recent mergers or acquisitions—or even rumblings of a merger or acquisition—can also lead to discontent. The agriculture industry is experiencing many mergers right now, so there are many potential candidates who may be seeking security or just something different.

Building Relationships

Good recruitment is all about building relationships. It can be challenging to call up a candidate and try to establish a relationship with someone you’ve never met before. Recruiters also have to delicately handle questions with brand-new candidates about their current situation to assess their interest in a new role—pushing is not advisable. Recruiters may ask a potential candidate questions about:

  • What their current position entails
  • What aspects of their current role they like and/or enjoy
  • Their specific niche of the agriculture industry
  • What struggles they have with their current position
  • Their future plans—are they looking to relocate?

No one likes when a salesperson comes on too strong—that approach smells too much like a used car salesman and can be more off-putting than anything else. It’s really just about getting to know that candidate and what makes them tick.

Help Your Recruiter Help You

If your company has engaged a recruiter to fill a position, you can help the recruiter be more successful by having a well-written job description with clearly outlined responsibilities, skills, experience, and desired pay range. If the recruiter has all the information they need, they can better help your company in finding a good fit for the role.  Also know your WHY as a company.  WHY does someone want to come work for you?  Your story is just as important as the role in recruiting passive candidates.

In return, you can expect that your recruiter will provide weekly updates as to how the process is unfolding. Each week may look different—one week, you may need to have a call to discuss what the recruiter has found; another week, it could just be a quick email. Your recruiter will keep you in the loop and provide feedback on what they’re seeing in the agriculture industry job market.

Like a diamond in the rough, it can take time to find the right candidate and have the right conversation with that candidate to convince them to consider a new opportunity. Good people are hard to find, and they may not be ready to explore something new after the first conversation. Passive candidates may have more questions than a typical candidate; they may also reach out to their own personal networks to vet a potential employer before opting to move forward.

Once a passive candidate has made the decision to move forward with finding out more about a new role, it’s in the potential employer’s best interest to move as quickly as possible. If a potential employer begins stalling or decides to make changes to the job description, the candidate may become hesitant to say yes to a new job. Quality candidates may even get snatched up by other companies that are ready to move with the hiring process.  It’s typical that when a passive candidate’s mind is opened up to considering a career change, many opportunities seem to come forth for their consideration.

The key with passive candidates is communication—letting them know what’s going on with the process. It may seem like over-communicating, but that’s preferable to not hearing anything. If the passive candidate doesn’t hear from your company, that leaves a bad taste in their mouth, making them reconsider why they would want to work with your organization.

Companies should also be aware that every touchpoint a potential candidate has with that company represents them—and each person should be able to sell the company. If a company can’t sell themselves through those that meet with a candidate, then it can also turn candidates off, making it harder to land an excellent candidate in the role. For example, in one video interview, the interviewer never once smiled during a 30-minute call or showed any kind of positive emotion. What message does that convey to the candidate? Why would the candidate want to work with them if they aren’t happy in their role, or don’t have any people skills?

Finding the right people may take more patience on the front end, but once a good candidate has been found, the potential employer needs to act quickly, because the candidate won’t be on the market long!

We at Ag1Source have been recruiting top passive candidates for our clients for a long time with great success.  If you are interested in talking further about Ag1Source, our recruiting process, or how we can help you find that diamond hiding out, please just connect with your recruiting contact or find us at