Best ways to recruit passive candidates this year

Sourcing and recruiting passive candidates is a difficult and tedious task. How should recruiters effectively do it? Read on to find out…

Years ago, passive candidate recruitment strategy wasn’t top of the agenda for us because there weren’t so many jobs floating around, meaning candidates couldn’t be too picky. But when unemployment rates are as low as they are now, recruitment becomes a real art. Finding the right people to fill positions can be hard. An online application process may be more convenient for you, but it also opens you up to a flood of applications that you have to wade through to separate the possible from the laughable, and that takes a ton of time. It is highly probable that the people you want are not even applying for the job. These are “passive” candidates“, and they actually comprise 75% of the workforce. However, since passive candidates exert very little to no effort to find employment, they can be much tougher to identify. So what are the best ways to recruit passive candidates?

Who are passive candidates?

Passive candidates are individuals who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job, but who may be open to a good career opportunity if one came along. Many employers target passive job seekers because they are looking for candidates who have positive employment records and who are satisfied with and successful in their work. Employers often target passive job seekers because of the lack of qualified job candidates to fill critical roles. Locating, wooing, and successfully luring passive job seekers are critical for organizations to remain competitive in a tight labor market.

Passive job seekers are perhaps the most difficult category to recruit. They’re difficult to find, challenging to connect with, and exacting in their expectations. Here are some ways recruiters can recruit passive candidates:

1. Source candidates on social media

Networking will help you build passive candidates into your online networks. Since everyone is hanging out on social media these days, social networks can be a great way to connect with talent whether they are actively looking for a job or not. The key to finding passive candidates, though, is more proactive work on your part. Use the advanced search features on Twitter and LinkedIn to find people who are talking about the skill sets you’re hiring for or asking questions about careers in your industry. Posting job listings and application links aren’t likely to be enough to inspire passive candidates to take action. But promoting other types of content can get their attention. Post about your company culture, and offer free advice that your ideal candidates might be searching for.

2. Ramp up employee referrals

Employee referrals are invaluable when it comes to recruiting passive job seekers. Your talented employees have talented friends and they know who might be a good fit for the company and, even better, who might be open to a conversation about job opportunities. Encouraging current employees to make referrals can make the difficult work of recruiting passive candidates much easier, too. It helps recruiters to save a lot of time and energy — and improve the quality of their candidate pool — by getting a little help from current employees.

3. Look beyond job boards

Consider where else you might find candidates outside of traditional online job boards. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, apart from LinkedIn, can prove to be of great help here. Join the social media groups where the professionals you’re seeking naturally gather. For example, this might be a forum for IT professionals where they share resources. But take it slowly when you join these groups. You have to join as a fellow expert and take time to build trust with the group members. When you feel comfortable, you can then mention that you’re a recruiter or hiring manager who has an open position.

4. Showcase the company well

An employment brand is a way to describe the organization’s reputation as an employer. Passive job seekers are often attracted to organizations with employment brands that align with their own goals and values. If your company is off the grid, chances are your potential passive candidates have never heard of it, so it is important to establish an online presence so they can connect. Share interesting things about the company on the website, and post engaging content on social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

5. Have a career blog

Many organizations are increasingly using blogs to source passive job seekers. You can blog about topics that people in your industry would be interested in — not necessarily about your organization though, because people may engage more with content than with company news and updates. The key to identifying passive job seekers is to be creative. More and more companies are posting videos about what it is like to work there. Others run ads on online radio stations because it’s a place where their potential job candidates spend time.

6. Promote emails communication

Email is the most usual way of communication which has witnessed its presence in the professional culture of each industry and establishment. It is the most authentic and convenient method to reach the mass population or the talent pool of prospects. Text messages are the least preferred way of communication as per the candidates of each age group. According to the candidates, the text messages sound unprofessional to them when it comes to recruiting and the job profile. People can relate to text messages only from their friends, family, and social groups, but not from a recruiter. This is one of the best ways through which you can recruit passive candidates.

7. Participate in live events

Connecting online is one thing; face-to-face meetings are another. When you have a chance to meet potential candidates in person, you should grab it. You can join or sponsor trade shows or other networking events and highlight how great it would be to work with your company. You can also host an informal get-together and invite your top picks to your office. Give them a tour and a short presentation so they can see the culture for themselves.

8. Tap your professional network

Your professional network is your one go-to in situations like this, and this has been immensely useful. You may not be able to get the people you want at first, especially if they are happy in their current positions, but it does not hurt to let them know there are positions you need to fill. At the very least, the people you know will know other people whom they may want to recommend for a position.

With these strategies you can recruit the best passive candidates. You need to do everything you can to stand out from the other recruiters looking for the same candidates as you are. Mix up your sourcing techniques, put your most authentic foot forward, and think as far outside the box as possible to connect with your ideal passive candidates.

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Suchismita Panda