Recruiting Passive Candidates

With the U.S. unemployment rate decreasing, employers across many industries continue to have trouble filling open positions. Many companies are increasing their efforts to identify and engage passive candidates in addition to active job seekers. According to LinkedIn, “70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent who aren’t actively job searching, and the remaining 30% are active job seekers.1” Passive candidates are often viewed as more qualified or a more ideal fit because they are still part of the workforce, and potentially an asset for another organization.  An employer will often prefer someone changing jobs versus the unemployed applicant who might be willing to accept the first offer they can get.  Eventually, if the fit is not right, or another offer comes along they will jump ship, costing the employer a tremendous amount of financial resources in the process.  Passive job seekers, or as I like to refer to them “employed individuals who are ‘open’ to new opportunities”, are also less likely to misrepresent their experience and their interests because they are not in desperation mode to secure a new source of income.

Let’s discuss some strategies for recruiting passive candidates.  Attend networking events such as industry conferences or trainings with the intention of seeking out potential candidates and making an initial connection with them.  Leverage your social media connections and keep an active presence on social media that makes the company look attractive to potential candidates.  If you don’t already have one, set up an employee referral program.  Employees can be a great source of potential applicants.  If you give your employees an incentive to tell their friends about a job, there’s a greater chance they’ll think of someone who may be qualified and interested.  Also, review your own files for applicants who were qualified but simply were not the first selection when they originally applied. You never know, previous applicants, who were not selected, may still be eager to work for your organization if their rejection was handled appropriately.

Develop a relationship over time with passive candidates so that when a new opportunity comes available or when that passive candidate wants to look for another opportunity, your company stands out to them. This activity is directly related to your branding efforts.  Having a talent pool of passive candidates will greatly support your company’s recruitment efforts and reduce the time needed to fill positions.

Article Written by By Laura Goad

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