The Best Ways to Recruit Passive Candidates

Companies recruit passive candidates for several reasons, from needing to quickly fill an open position when few great people are available to expanding interest in their company’s brand. Some recruiters recruit passively by targeting the best talent and sending personalized recruit messages. These recruiters often use recruiter tools to optimize this process.

A recent study found that 40% of recruiters report having difficulties with sourcing, yet only 13% experience similar problems with candidate engagement. Another survey found that most recruiters consider recruiting passive candidates through LinkedIn a challenge because it is difficult to convince them of a good job even if they are intrigued by the opportunity you present them.

recruit passive candidates

However, proven strategies will help recruiters land more passive candidates by working smarter, not necessarily harder.

First of all, recruiters should focus on the small percentage of passive candidates who have an “ideal” company or job in mind. Of course, this is a smaller pool of candidates to fish from, but they are far more likely to say yes than their passively interested counterparts because they’re actively looking for something.

In other words, people who know have a defined career roadmap are opportunity seekers. Therefore, identifying this niched audience and then targeting them can significantly improve your chances of landing top talented passive candidates.

Additionally, recruiters can incentivize referral programs and use social media and PR outreach to promote new potential hires’ names within their networks. One of the most effective ways recruiters can find passive candidates is through referrals. If recruiters can leverage their own employees’ networks, they open up access to many untapped passive talent sources, which may prove essential in closing top talent.

According to LinkedIn research, nearly 50% of hires come from referrals. In addition, employees are highly likely (98%) to recommend someone they know on LinkedIn to recruiters, which is why recruiters should make sure they’re setting guidelines and encouraging referral activity within their teams.

Recruiters should make it easy for passive applicants to apply. If your company has a complicated and prolonged application process, you will lose a lot of passive candidates who are content in their current position. Most won’t take the time out of their busy day to go through a lengthy application process.

In the same vein, recruiters should consider making their social profiles visible to passive candidates so they can quickly get in touch. LinkedIn is an excellent resource for recruiters to showcase information about themselves, and recruiters also have access to different candidate data on LinkedIn, which can help build a more targeted talent pipeline. In addition, social media platforms are easy ways for employers and recruiters to build relationships with potential candidates.

Twitter is also an excellent platform for recruiters to recruit passive candidates and for recruiters to source referrals from those in their networks. Recruiters can also use Twitter to engage with potential candidates, draw attention to their company’s brand, and build relationships with top talent before ever making an official approach.

Another way recruiters can recruit passive candidates is by using search engine optimization (SEO) or similar marketing strategies that will help them rank higher on keywords pertaining to the job they are recruiting for. This is important because many people begin finding a new job long before letting anyone know they are looking for one.

Being able to find employers online is inevitable, so companies should ensure they have a presence online. So both active and passive candidates can learn more about what types of opportunities are out there that may interest them.

Lastly, always remember, to recruit a passive candidate and convince them to switch teams, you’ll have to offer something substantial that the current company can’t.

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