Remember the old days when recruiting candidates was easy: you placed an ad in the newspaper or on an internet job board, sorted through the applications, made a few calls, interviewed, and then made your choice. Now fast forward to 2016.

If quality becomes important or when the advertisement does not generate any qualified candidates. When the supply runs dry or when you want your competitor’s best man but don’t know how. Welcome to the club.

Recruiting passive candidates is a lot harder. Passive means fully employed candidates who are not looking to change job, who never read the job classified, who have no up-to-date resume. And worst of all, you have no clue where and how to get in touch with these people.

Since passive candidates are so much more discriminating, you need to have a compelling job to offer (employee value proposition), your job description must emphasize opportunities over requirements, you need to be able to dip into a large network of people and then have a strong enough recruiter to cold call and convince these people of the merits of your job.

High performing executives are almost always employed and seldom look for a job! With less qualified active candidates you need to get used to working with the so-called low-energy candidates (no resume, won't call back). I know that most hiring managers don't bother pursuing this type of candidates using the common excuse, "We don't want to hire anyone not interested in our job." Honestly, giving up right there is the worst thing you can do. Treat passive candidates as potential, but reluctant, buyers. So here is the deal…

I want to let you know that in Thailand there are only a handful of what the recruitment industry defines as executive search firms (read: real headhunters). Firms that don’t shop on the internet but hunt people, who have fine tuned the art of identifying, assessing and hiring management and top executives. They do this every day, week in and week out. Cold calling passive candidates is an art and you only get one shot at getting it right.