Recruiting in-demand professionals can be hard in any industry, but hiring experienced tech talent can be even harder. The perfect candidate is often already employed as statistics show that three quarters of tech professionals are open to new job opportunities but only 15% of them are actively looking. These candidates, often referred to as passive candidates, present a set of challenges for recruiters as they don’t typically apply for open vacancies or get in touch with hiring companies. However, pursuing passive talent is worth the additional effort. Passive candidate statistics indicate that they are 25% more likely to stay at your company for a long term, and their performance is 9% higher than active candidates. In other words, not considering passive candidates means missing out on an opportunity to hire and retain great talent.
So what do you do when qualified candidates are already employed and your company needs talented people to drive organizational growth? If you have been advertising your jobs and implementing the standard recruitment strategies and still feel you are not being matched with the right talent, it could be time to consider implementing out-of-the-box recruitment strategies. In this article, we are going to explain, the differences between active and passive candidates and list the important strategies on how to find passive candidates and get them excited about your company.
Passive vs. Active Candidates
The difference between passive and active candidates lies in their role in the job search. Active candidates are those who are actively looking for a new role and apply for an open position directly. Active candidates can be either employed or unemployed, but what sets them apart is that they usually take an active role in their job search. Active talent often goes online and actively searches for jobs through job boards or social media.
Unlike active talent, passive candidates do not actively look for work, but that doesn't mean they are not interested in moving. Passive candidates are often successful individuals with skill sets and knowledge that make them attractive to hiring managers, who may choose to invite them to consider the position. Passive candidates can be difficult to recruit, especially if they are satisfied with their current employment. Therefore, recruiters should pay special attention to the passive recruitment strategies they implement.
Passive Recruiting Strategies
Build a strong employer brand
Employer branding describes a company’s reputation as a place to work as well as their value proposition to employees. When you reach out to passive candidates, they will most likely research your company before replying. Therefore, it is crucial to have a strong brand and web presence to capture the attention of potential candidates. Ask your current employees to leave reviews on hiring platforms such as Indeed and Glassdoor. If a potential candidate can see loyalty and engagement from your company’s existing or past employees, they are more likely to apply for your open position.
Post job opening on social media
Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook offer recruiters an enormous chance to interact with passive candidates - a significant number of whom cannot be found through other sources. According to Pew Research, 70% of Americans are actively using at least one social media platform. Using a social recruitment strategy will expand your reach and increase your chances of finding the right candidate. Moreover, engaging on these platforms will not only help you to locate passive talent but will also increase your brand awareness.
Get to know your potential candidates
Before reaching out to passive candidates or connecting on social media, make sure to do the research and know about their background, skills, and experience. Recruiters have more information than ever before - so it should be quite easy to find out how to grab a candidate's attention using the information that you find. Phrases like “I have reviewed your profile” may seem too generic so try to show passive candidates how much time you spent researching them with a message that really stands out.
Keep passive candidates warm for later
When you reach out to passive talent, there is already a risk that your efforts will not be successful. You should be prepared that not every passive candidate that you speak to will be ready to leave his/her current job. Most of them will be happy with their current employment but it doesn’t mean you should press them to reconsider your proposition. Even if they are not interested in a job change, they have your contact information and can get in touch with you if they change their mind. It is vital to keep warm relationships with all passive candidates you contact as each of them can potentially become a lead for the future role.
How to Engage Passive Candidates
In order to attract passive candidates and persuade them to consider a job switch you need to uncover candidates’ hidden problems with the person’s current role that a new position might correct. Lou Adler in “How to Use Career Zones to Understand and Recruit High Performers,” explains how to engage passive candidates in different career zones.
It is an efficient way to visualize a strategy for getting them to move to Zone 1 toward higher job satisfaction (at your company). The first step is to determine where the person is on the CareerZone framework and then show that what your company can offer is a movement to the left towards higher job satisfaction. To identify the person’s current position on the Career Zone curve, ask the right questions:
- How long have you been in your current position? Are you equally satisfied with your current job as you did when you first started?
- What is one thing that would make your current role significantly better?
- What is the most satisfying job you’ve ever had? How does it compare to your current position?
- Do you feel like you fit it within your current company culture? How do you contribute?
- What do you like most about your current position and what do you like least?
These are just some of the questions for you to consider, pick the ones that drive the best insights and those that relate most to the position you are trying to fill. The goal of asking such questions is to encourage candidates to openly talk about their concerns and career needs. Use this information to talk about the distinct values that your company offers. Below are some of the factors that motivate passive candidates to consider a new role:
- Increased opportunity for advancement through training and development
- Compensation and benefits the company offers
- Career development potential
- Better fit for skill set
- Recognition of potential value to the company
- Trust in the new management
- Better work/life balance
Employa Can Help You to Source and Engage Passive Candidates
Active candidates can make a recruiter’s job much easier, but the passive candidate by definition does not just walk through the door and apply for a position. Sourcing and communicating with passive candidates can be more of a challenge but with technologies it becomes much easier. Employa is an AI-driven research assistant that makes passive candidate sourcing more efficient with the use of advanced sourcing tools. In addition to candidate sourcing, Employa helps to efficiently communicate with candidates and deliver a better candidate experience. Employa’s candidate portal can be used to communicate with candidates, schedule emails, send follow-ups, and stay tuned for updates. If you are thinking about how to source and engage with passive candidates more efficiently, contact Employa and we will help you!