10 Ways to Source and Engage Passive Candidates

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anirban sengupta

What is a Passive Candidate?

The term “passive candidate” describes people who are satisfied with their jobs and are not actively looking for new ones. A quality marketing recruitment technique, such as inbound recruiting, can be used to find passive applicants.

The phrase “passive applicant” was created to refer to a target audience of potential candidates who do not submit their applications. These are frequently accomplished people with highly sought-after expertise and skill sets.

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 recruiting this group of passive 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. 

Active vs. Passive Candidates: a Comparison

Active job seekers typically have a great deal of motivation for their hunt. They attended your most recent webinar, have updated websites, and have submitted applications for the position you have listed on your careers page. They also tend to be more responsive and easier to engage throughout the hiring process.

It is considered very difficult to do passive recruiting. If they are happy in their current position, they won’t be interested in interviews with other businesses. Additionally, they might need additional latitude during the hiring process to accommodate their present job. If you’re successful, plan for delayed start dates to ensure they give their current employer enough notice.

When you go ahead with passive recruiting, you can still make an offer even if they outright reject it.

10 successful strategies for sourcing and recruiting passive candidates

Active candidates are typically more satisfied with their current role than active candidates, meaning it will take more work to win them to your company. However, they are still 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 quickly improve a recruiter’s ability to find the best passive candidates. These tools integrate with platforms to help recruiters seek candidates based on specific criteria, quickly delivering the ideal candidates right to the recruiter’s inbox. When choosing an AI-enabled recruitment solution for passive recruiting, 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 famous 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 and recruit 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 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 essential to ensure that the recruiting solutions you use integrate with these platforms. For example, Oorwin clients worldwide have successfully integrated 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 and recruiting passive candidates when they see your dedication 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?
  •   Are you 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 source 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. A few ways to do this include:

  •   Showcase company culture. Branding could include videos, social media, photos and images, articles, or 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.

5.   Use a CRM

Finding and recruiting passive candidates is a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. Engaging with prospective employees correctly can help you source the best talent. A CRM (customer relationship management) software system can allow this.

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 remember all potential leads. It also allows you to understand which passive candidates might be open to new opportunities in the future.

6.   Set up a Referral Program

The best source of passive candidates for recruiters is frequently current employees. Recommendations have long been a cornerstone of contemporary recruiting techniques, and for a good reason. According to studies, referred employees outperform non-referred hiring by up to 15%.

Each of your employees is connected personally and professionally through their networks. Additionally, these networks frequently include a lot of excellent candidates who could be a match for open roles at your business. However, passive candidates are significantly more likely to consider an opportunity presented to them by a personal connection than they are to reply to a communication from a recruiter.

7.   Keep up with the industry developments

Recruiters might find more passive candidates by being aware of industry developments. It streamlines the procedure by generating alerts for events like mergers and acquisitions, recruiting intentions, layoffs, new projects, etc. Any upheaval or unpredictability could prompt workers to think about leaving their current position. Even if the news doesn’t directly affect the prospect, passive candidates will see recruiters familiar with their sector more favorably.

8.   Convey personalized sourcing emails

Most passive candidates are content with their positions. They aren’t aggressively looking for new ones because of this. Gaining their trust and directing their interest are the only ways to get them to break out of their routine. Both tasks cannot be accomplished by a general email that may have been distributed to hundreds of recipients.

Emails that are personalized demand more thought. To save time, you could employ a general template. However, the email’s body should discuss what brought you to a candidate’s profile in the first place. Mention how their (particular) accomplishments relate to the position or business you’re looking to source for – just enough information to get a conversation going.

9. Offer candidates a work-life balance

Nowadays, passive candidates are more inclined towards a position with remote working policies rather than higher pay. This differentiates them from active and passive candidates, as they prioritize work-life balance more.

Employers unwilling to provide staff members additional flexibility, whether through a wholly remote position or a hybrid work arrangement, are more likely to lose out on top-tier passive candidates. According to a survey, 72% of respondents said their family’s safety and protection are priorities. They are seeking employers who will safeguard their overall well-being.

10.   Include opportunities and possibilities for advancement

According to a poll by Koan, a goal-setting platform for teams- Employee engagement and communication are essential for maintaining employees’ motivation in their jobs. Engaged staff members are:

  •   If they are involved with the company mission, they are more likely to achieve their goals.
  •   If satisfied with their direct manager, team members are more likely to progress toward their goals.
  •   If people believe their job counts, they are 7x more likely to produce work they are proud of.

You can learn more about what an “amazing opportunity” might be for possible new workers by doing a little research on them.

Benefits of Recruiting Passive Candidates

Recruiting passive candidates requires more effort than conventional methods but comes with a wide range of benefits:

  • These individuals already have experience and knowledge from their current roles
  • They are more likely to stay with the company for the long term
  • They have already demonstrated ability and competency
  • Companies are under less pressure to train individuals quickly
  • Companies can make more informed hiring decisions

Challenges and Solutions for Recruiting Passive Candidates

Recruiting passive candidates presents some challenges, including:

  • Finding passive candidates in the first place
  • Convincing them to switch to a new company

Recognizing these common challenges and having the plan to handle them is essential. For instance, companies can mitigate the challenge of finding passive candidates by leveraging their employer brand, expanding their digital presence, and connecting with passive candidates one-on-one. Developing a comprehensive reach-out strategy and putting efforts towards creating and sending exciting content about the company’s activities to potential passive candidates can help reduce the risks associated with the recruitment of passive candidates.

In conclusion, recruiting passive candidates is a viable way to hire the best talent with the right strategies. It is essential to understand the benefits and challenges associated with this way of recruiting and strategize accordingly.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a passive candidate in recruitment?

A candidate under consideration by an employer for a particular position but not actively looking for a new job is known as a passive candidate. Passive candidates have yet to apply for any vacant positions and are not looking for work.

What are the benefits of recruiting passive candidates?

As passive employees are not hunting for other opportunities, there is less pressure to decide immediately. As a result, there will be a little rivalry to employ that top talent, and recruiters will have plenty of time to make rational data-driven choices. In contrast to active candidates, passive candidates already have a job and skills; therefore, they won’t embellish the qualifications on their resumes. Thus, the need for honesty and openness to foster trust will grow.

What strategies can I use to engage passive candidates?

Only passive candidates respond to traditional outreach such as networking, job postings, and recruitment ads. They are more likely to be attracted to and actively target companies with desirable cultures and core values that align with their ambitions. For this reason, building a strong employer brand to attract the best passive candidates is among the most effective avenues of approach.

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