Best practices in recruiting passive candidates

Best practices in recruiting passive candidates

Best Practices in recruiting passive candidates

Recruiting passive candidates is not necessarily a new concept in the world of talent acquisition, but it’s becoming critical in the current “war for talent”. Gone are the days where recruiters can post a job listing and wait for the perfect candidate to find it and apply.

Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals are getting more creative with how to successfully attain top talent that aren’t actively looking for new opportunities.

The benefits of recruiting passive candidates far outweigh the challenges. By recruiting a passive candidate, organizations are able to tap into an enormous universe of qualified people who might not have otherwise found out about the open position. The possibilities are endless.

Consider these best practices in recruiting passive candidates:

Do your research

Perhaps it goes without saying, but doing thorough research on passive candidates and what motivates them is critical to filling an open position with the right person. When speaking with a passive candidate about an opportunity, try to speak to their intrinsic motivators. This means you’ll have to talk to people currently holding the type of position you’re trying to fill, and ask them, “What drew you to take this position?” In the answer to this question lies an intrinsic (or extrinsic) motivator that can be used to connect with passive candidates. Use that knowledge to your advantage!

Think of it as networking more than recruiting

Referrals are a great way to identify and engage passive candidates. When you’re reaching out to passive candidates that have been referred – whether through email, a phone call, social media, or in-person – think of it as networking and an opportunity to have a discussion about career development.

Leverage social media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are great for identifying potential candidates. Reach out through private messaging tools available on these social media platforms. Engage the potential candidate in conversation about your organization, the open position you’re working to fill, and ask whether or not they would be interested in learning more. If they aren’t open to new opportunities at this time, always follow-up with a request for any referrals for someone else who might be a good fit for the position you’re working to fill. Want to go the extra mile? Utilize other social media platforms, too, such as Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and more.

Promote employer brand & workplace culture

When reaching out to a passive candidate, make sure you’re positioning the job and your organization in a way that captures interest and motivates them to learn more. Sharing information about the workplace culture, growth opportunity, job satisfaction, and other benefits of working for the organization can help passive candidates imagine themselves in another company. Having a strong employer brand is a great selling tool that can sway a passive candidate’s perception of an open position.


Have you leveraged any other best practices to recruit passive candidates at your organization? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Interested in learning more? Join your talent acquisition peers at Innovations in Talent Acquisition.

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