By definition you must be not looking for a job, you are currently working, and, of course, doing the exact work that the recruiter is hiring. That is just the way of it and it has been for a long time regardless of offline or online hiring.
I work assiduously with my clients to get past this roadblock and it is exactly that. Who is to say that someone unemployed, working but actively looking, or is qualified but not in the exact function could not be an exemplary hire for a position? My goal with my clients then is to look the part: doing project work, acting like you are not looking for a job, and re-branding qualifications to align with the position.
Is this being disingenuous? No, of course not. It is an appropriate response to a fallacious construct of parameters for hiring that exist only to ensure recruiters can command their fees. Unfortunately, hiring discrimination against the unemployed is not, yet, illegal as it is with women and minorities.
Self-marketing and effective branding, with a deep and broadly developed network is the only successful response to recruiting search discrimination.
Compelling: you must be able to capture the candidate’s intrinsic motivator on first contact. If you don’t know what this is, don’t bother connecting.
Control: make sure your opening questions require the prospect to tell you about him or herself before you tell the person about the job. If you drop the ball here, you’ll need to make 5-10X as many calls to get one sendout.
Career: during your first call you must be able to convert your open position into a career opportunity on the fly.
Connect: The best passive candidates are typically only one degree of separation from your current candidate. Tapping into your candidates’ connections represents the future of sourcing.
Conviction: Persistence is key. You must understand your job opening, why it offers a career opportunity and you must not take “no” for an answer.
Close: You’ll never have enough money in the budget to pay the best prospects what they want. You can minimize the blow here by selling and closing on the career opportunity your position offers, not the compensation it pays.
For more on this topic and to attend Lou's Webinar on it go here.