When business is booming and time is at more of a premium than gas was a few short months ago it sometimes becomes hard to justify spending the time to source excess candidates and fill your talent pool to the brim. Unfortunately for most, that time is not now.
So, what to do with your free time? Why not source a few A+ candidates?
Sure this takes work, and the time could be spent chasing down leads on jobs to fill. However, if you dedicate a little bit of time each day to sourcing some great passive candidates in your niche, once the job orders come in you have a more current talent pool to draw from. The fact that you don't have any specific jobs to talk about may not even be a disadvantage. After all, these are passive candidates you will be sourcing.
The cold (or perhaps lukewarm) call to them will be much less threatening if you can honestly the only purpose for the call is to network and discuss with them how you can both work together to further their career goals and aspirations. It is truly a win-win scenario and there is no downside to the candidate and nothing they have to commit to right away. Chances are if you take this consultative approach during slow times you'll have a lot less hang-ups.
One reason this approach works and can be well-received is that even a passive candidate who likes his or her job can almost always think of a way their situation could be improved upon. There is no such thing as a perfect job, so invest a little bit of time now to find out what would get that candidate a little closer to experiencing Nirvana on the job. You just might find that it makes yours a lot easier down the road.