Creating a Recruitment Strategy for Passive Candidates

Employers often have to face two different kinds of job seekers. The ones you see the most are often active job seekers. These people go out of their way to apply for your position because they’re looking for work. They’re also the ones that answer any ads that you post. Of course, they may not be the most ideal candidates for the job. After all, they’re heavily motivated in getting a job and may not be thinking about whether they fit in the company culture. According to Jen Picard at LinkedIn, this represents 25 percent of the workforce.

On the other hand, there’s another set of potential applicants, ones that aren’t as obvious as the active types. These are passive job seekers, and represent
about 75 percent of the workforce. These people would be interested in a new opportunity if one came to them, but they’re in no rush to actually get it unless it fits them. Essentially, instead of these people finding you, you would have to find them. In establishing a recruiting strategy, seeking out passive recruits effectively can make a major difference in the ultimate goal of hiring the right person.

A serious worker

There’s a good reason to consider passive candidates as a whole. For starters, they’re currently building up their experience by already working, according to Mashable.
They’re focused more on their jobs, and they’re more likely to discern whether or not the job’s a good fit for them. That shows commitment to their work, which can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand it means that when you hire them, they’re less likely to jump ship quickly. On the other, it can be very difficult to persuade them to switch to your company.

Three-quarters of the workforce are passive job seekers.

In addition, there’s a smaller subset of passive workers that are not only currently not looking for any new work, but are actually happy with the job they have, making it harder to poach them from where they’re working. Rousing them requires diligence and perseverance, with no guarantee that it’ll work.

Talk to them

Because they are passive, these job seekers have to be spoken to directly in order to generate interest in the field. There are a couple ways of doing this. One is through establishing an employee referral program, from which your workers can recommend friends, family and colleagues to specific positions. In this way, you can gather potential candidates based on the trusted word of your employees, along with information to indicate what is common among likely good candidates. Another way of gathering potential candidates is posting about needing specific talents, rather than posting an actual job. That may stir interest among these candidates.

After getting a list of passive candidates, it’s your duty to reach out to them. Even if they have some interest in the company, these job seekers are unlikely to contact you first about opportunities. While communicating with them, your goal should be to develop a rapport. That way, in the event that getting someone interest in your job opportunities fails for whatever reason, you can simply wait it out. Eventually, a passive candidate will pursue, with the end result being a new hire.

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