How To Convert Passive Job Seekers Into Quality Candidates

joseph cole

Updated on May 5, 2023

When you’re looking for someone perfect for a particular job position, chances are they’re already employed. All the best candidates usually are.

But that doesn’t mean you should settle for someone who doesn’t check all the boxes. If you stick only to active job seekers, you may lose an opportunity to hire top talent. That top talent may be currently employed, but they may be open to new possibilities.

Who says that the candidate who fits your requirements is happy where they are? You would be surprised by how many employed people are waiting for an ideal opportunity to leave their job.

That’s why you should consider sourcing and recruiting passive job seekers.

Who Are Passive Job Seekers?

Passive job seekers are employed individuals who would consider switching to a new job if the opportunity presents itself. They’re not actively looking for a new job, but rather waiting for a perfect offer to come along.

But that’s just it – they’re waiting. How can you know whether or not they would want to switch jobs? And why waste time on sourcing them if your efforts may not pay off?

Well, you can’t know for sure until you try. And try you should, because passive candidates can make a significant impact on your business.

What Makes Them Valuable?

Some of the most important characteristics of passive job seekers (apart from being open for contact) include ambition, motivation, and long-term thinking.

If you approach a passive candidate with an offer for a job that would constantly challenge them and enable them to grow and build a successful career, they might just take you up on that offer.

They’re looking for challenges, better opportunities for advancement, better work-life balance, and better benefits and compensation. If you offer those, they’ll always go the extra mile to do a perfect job and keep improving, thereby improving your bottom line as well.

But you know what makes them special too? They’re not likely to lie about their skills. Why would they if they already have a job and you’re the one who reached out.

So, how do you source and recruit passive candidates? The key lies in adjusting your approach.

Adjusting Your Approach

You can’t approach passive candidates like you would their active counterparts. If you are to really grab their attention, you need to do things differently. Here’s how.

Initiate Contact through Social Media

Social media is an excellent passive recruiting technique. Lots of passive job seekers may even be regularly checking your business profile to see if there’s an open position they could apply for.

To find and engage passive candidates on social media, you should join relevant groups where you can talk about the latest industry trends and insights, and open job opportunities in various fields. As soon someone gets interested, you can share news about your company and talk about the benefits of working there.

You can also use relevant hashtags to find various active conversations and identify qualified candidates. Then, you can reach out to them directly with an offer they can’t refuse.

Additionally, you can approach candidates directly through LinkedIn or other job portals, even if they are not actively participating in any conversation.

Source through Referrals

Your employees may know a lot of passive job seekers who might be perfect for your company. You can ask them directly to refer good candidates, but you can also establish an employee referral program.

That’s one of the best passive sourcing techniques you can use. Your employees can help you hire top talent because they know exactly who you need and who would do a great job.

To set up the program, you first need to define your hiring needs and set your goals. You then need to allocate your resources, that is, budget, time, and the employees who will be in charge of the program.

Next, you need to establish an employee referral program policy and determine how you will award your employees for participating in the program.

Simplify the Application Process

You need to make the application process as simple and easy-to-access as possible so that your preferred candidates don’t lose their interest.

Make sure they can apply online and via mobile as well so that you don’t potentially end up losing the best talent.

Technology plays a big part here, so make sure you use the right tools. You can utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS) that enables you to manage job applications and all your applicants’ information.

ATS tools also allow you to store all that information and resumes in a single database. That way, when there’s another vacancy in the future, you can easily revisit those candidates to see if anyone fits the job requirements.

Adjust Your Interviewing Process

Did you know that a bad interview experience makes a whopping 65% of candidates lose interest in the job? If a passive job seeker takes the time to do the interview, make sure it’s worth their time. Otherwise, they would turn their back and never consider your company again.

You need to make sure the interview process matches the characteristics of passive job seekers. Don’t ask the questions that you would ask active candidates. There’s no room for questions like “Why should we hire you?” After all, you were the one who reached out, not them.

Most importantly, make sure the interviewing process is flexible. Video interviews are excellent for virtually meeting with your passive candidates who probably have to busy schedules to meet with you face to face.

You’ll want to meet face to face eventually, but your candidates will not by that time if your company fits all their needs.

Applying these passive sourcing techniques and recruiting tips will help you hire top talent. If you need help with screening and interviewing your passive candidates, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our AI-powered recruitment platform can help you transform your recruitment and hiring process. Contact us today to request a demo!


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