Here’s a statistic for you: up to 73% of job seekers today are open to new opportunities but not actively looking for a job. Another statistic you might find interesting is that 42% of these passive candidates haven’t been contacted by a recruiter in the last year. That means that passive recruitment offers a huge opportunity for HR teams that master it.
So, although this passive recruitment can be tough, it's a challenge worth taking on. If you’re looking for ways to source and recruit passive candidates, we’ve put this guide together so you can take advantage of this opportunity.
What is a passive candidate?
A passive candidate is anyone open to new opportunities but not actively searching for a job.
These candidates are generally content in their current position and are normally considered an asset to their present employer. Since these candidates are not searching for jobs, passive recruitment can be challenging for hiring teams.
But just because they're not looking doesn’t mean that passive candidates don’t want to hear from you. In fact, 46% of top talent, including active and passive job seekers are interested in hearing from corporate recruiters.
The benefits of passive recruitment
There are many reasons why passive candidates make great hires. A few of the benefits of passive recruitment are that these candidates are:
- less likely to be interviewing with other companies
- less likely to misrepresent their skills and experience
- have the skills necessary for the role they're performing, which means they’ll perform well in skills tests
- tend to have more experience than active candidates
- are 120% more likely to make a big impact on your organization
By engaging these candidates, your organization will benefit significantly. But how do you go about the passive sourcing process?
Sourcing passive candidates
Passive recruitment relies heavily on the sourcing process. Through passive sourcing, you can identify and recruit candidates who aren't actively looking for a job. What exactly is passive candidate sourcing?
Compared with traditional recruitment strategies, like posting a job and waiting for candidate responses, passive sourcing requires more action on your part.
It will require your team to be proactive, search for potential candidates, and make them aware of your job opening. There are various ways to do this, which we'll cover in more detail below.
The following passive sourcing approaches and best practices will increase your odds of success.
3 passive recruitment tactics
Here are the top three ways you can attract passive candidates to your organization.
Networking and getting referrals is essential
The best place to start your passive recruitment efforts is with your existing network.
Asking your existing employees if they know anyone with top credentials is one strategy that helps you lay the groundwork when it comes to engaging passive candidates. It’s a faster way to make the right contacts, and it’s also more reliable. 78% of recruiters say they find the best candidates via referrals.
To help with this, social media is ideal. Making LinkedIn connections with passive candidates can help you spread the word about your organization, and it’s an easy way to stay in contact with these potential candidates and inform them of future vacancies.
Highlight your employer brand without hard selling
Your organization’s brand is essential when it comes to passive recruitment. Establishing your organization’s brand is a cost-effective approach to engaging passive candidates, and you’ll find that when your hard work begins in terms of active recruiting, half the battle is already won. Bear in mind that when engaging candidates who aren't actively looking for a job, avoiding the hard sell is important.
An alternative approach would be to sell the conversation and not the job itself. To do this, you might ask if they are interested in having a conversation about a great career move opportunity. Then, you might consider painting a picture of the future opportunities your passive candidates would be a part of.
Prioritize the candidate experience
Of course, you won't successfully hire everyone you reach out to. But if you deliver a great candidate experience, even when you don't make a hire, your passive recruitment efforts will enhance your employer branding. This can, in turn, lead you to other recruitment opportunities.
Carefully craft your initial contact message
When you first reach out to a candidate through LinkedIn, a generic message won't do. To get their attention, tailoring your message will yield better results.
Not only should you emphasize why the candidate would be an excellent fit for the position, but you should also highlight the relevant experience they have (which you will have found on their profile or resume).
Try not to ramble on, and be courteous and respectful of the candidate's time. There’s nothing more inconvenient than receiving a long message from a recruiter when you’re in the middle of an urgent project with a deadline!
Start engaging passive candidates today
Passive recruitment offers hiring teams an opportunity to find some of the top talent in any industry. By sourcing and successfully recruiting passive job seekers, your company will have the benefit of great employees who know how to do their jobs and are likely to stick with you for the long haul. Now, with this guide, you're on your way to attracting the top passive talent!