5 Ways to Source and Engage Passive Candidates

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When it comes to recruitment, finding the most qualified candidates is the key to success. But not all potential candidates are actively looking for a job change. These are what we call passive candidates.

85% of the workforce is made up of passive candidates. But 45% are open to speaking to a recruiter and changing their job. It is therefore important that recruiters expand their talent pool to include the non-active section of candidates.

What is a passive candidate? 

A passive candidate is someone that is already employed and not currently looking for a new position. With 45% of the workforce not looking for a new job, but willing to discuss a new opening, proactive sourcing like the social network will be your best bet for finding this group of candidates. Different types of candidates have different levels of interest, so your recruitment strategy must be specific to effectively find, recruit, and then hire the best candidates.

How to Successfully Source and Engage Passive Candidates

Passive candidates are typically more satisfied with their current role than active candidates, which means that it will be harder to win them to your company. However, that does not mean that they are not open to better opportunities.

1. Take Advantage of AI Tools for Sourcing, Screening and Matching 

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools, like candidate sourcing, screening, and matching, can improve a recruiter’s ability to find the best passive candidates quickly. These tools integrate with platforms to help recruiters find candidates based on specific criteria, quickly delivering the ideal candidates right to the recruiter’s inbox. When choosing an AI-enabled recruitment solution for sourcing and engaging passive candidates, be sure you can accomplish the following:

  • Quickly find internal candidates using AI-powered matching
  • Locate resumes of candidates through AI-powered resume harvesting from popular job boards
  • Quickly find internal candidates using AI-powered matching
  • Use AI-powered Symantec search to locate internal candidates
  • Intelligently match jobs to candidates and candidates to jobs using custom algorithms
  •  Uncover similar candidates using AI-based matching
  • Uncover internal candidates who had been considered for similar jobs 
  • Pull matching jobs from external sources for candidates using AI ranking and matching

2. Leverage Social Platforms to Source Passive Candidates

The best way to find passive candidates is through social media platforms. Recruiters can join these communities and engage with candidates to find those that would be an excellent fit for their open roles. 

  • LinkedIn. You can use LinkedIn to find candidates in several ways. For example, you can search for keywords related to their industry or companies that employ similar candidates. You can also use LinkedIn’s advanced search features to find candidates who meet specific criteria. 
  • Facebook. Recruiters can use Facebook’s targeted search features to find high-quality candidates that you may otherwise miss. According to Glassdoor, Facebook is a great way to connect with passive candidates who may not respond on LinkedIn. 
  • Twitter. Recruiters can find passive candidates on Twitter via marketing-specific keywords and hashtags.

It’s also important to ensure that the recruiting solutions you are using integrate with these platforms. For example, Oorwin clients around the world have seen success when integrating the Oorwin ATS with Linkedin.

3. Focus on Building Trust

Recruiters expect their candidates to have tailored CVs for open jobs. That works both ways. You have a bigger chance of winning a passive candidate when they see how dedicated you are to their needs. Focus on tailored ways to build trust and confidence with each passive candidate. These include understanding their skills, hobbies, and professional development interests. Ask questions that get to the heart of their career goals: 

  • What do you enjoy most about your current role?
  • Do you feel you are being fairly valued at your company?
  • How do you interact with your manager? 
  • What are your long and short-term goals?

4. Entice Passive Candidates

A crucial way to engage passive candidates is by showcasing what they will gain by working with you. This is important because they may already be comfortable in their current job and location. Gently let them know how this new position will benefit them. Another way to entice candidates is by highlighting your company’s culture. This is a great way to attract passive candidates and encourage them to explore the job opportunities you are presenting. A few ways to do this include:

  • Showcase company culture. Branding could include videos, social media, photos and images, articles, or even podcasts. 
  • Highlight civic responsibility. Sponsoring charity events, taking initiatives to reduce your environmental impact, and publicly showing that your organization is committed to positively impacting society can help you build a good reputation as an employer. 
  • Emphasize your DEI focus. More than half of job candidates say that a diverse workforce is paramount when deciding which companies deserve their applications. Your employer brand should reflect your commitment to DEI initiatives. 

6. Use a CRM 

Finding and hiring passive candidates can seem like a challenge. But, it doesn’t have to be. Engaging with prospective employees in the right way can help you source the best talent out there. A CRM (customer relationship management) software system can help.

A CRM tracks all passive candidate contact information, and any notes about the conversation. Using this software will help you avoid duplicating your efforts and ensure that you do not forget any potential leads. It also allows you to understand which passive candidates might be open to new opportunities in the future. 


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