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How to Recruit Passive Job Candidates

How to Recruit Passive Job Candidates

A lot of recruitment strategies are focused on engaging with individuals who are eagerly searching for a new job. However, sometimes the right candidates your organization is looking for aren’t necessarily engaged in the job search process. What are passive candidates and why is it important for mid-sized and small organizations to prioritize the recruitment of passive candidates?


Who is Considered a Passive Job Candidate?

According to SHRM, “Passive job seekers are individuals who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job, but who may be open to a good career opportunity if one came along.”

A LinkedIn hiring statistics article reported that 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive job candidates. This means that if your organization only focuses on active job seekers, you’re severely limiting the talent pool that you’re recruiting from. 

Additionally, it’s important for organizations to prioritize recruiting passive candidates because it’s easier to pinpoint someone who’s a good fit for your role if they’re already successful in a similar role. A lot of times, those candidates are good at what they do.


5 Ways to Recruit Passive Job Candidates

If you’re looking to recruit passive job candidates for a specific position at your organization, use the following strategies:

  1. Use Social Media to Display Company Culture 
    Social media is another invaluable tool to not only recruit passive candidates, but also build an online presence for casual job seekers to learn more about your organization. If your organization successfully communicates your company culture online through platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, passive candidates are more likely to respond to a conversation. 
  2. Engage on Recruiting Sites 
    There’s a reason that recruiting websites are emphasized for recruitment. Sites like LinkedIn are tailored to search for candidates with very specific criteria, and messaging capabilities allows you to engage with passive candidates. Additionally, you can use them to advertise open positions and post hiring notices for your organization. Just be sure not to inundate candidates with multiple communications and cookie-cutter messaging--you don’t want to come across as a spam bot, robotic, or impersonal. 
  3. Employee Referral Programs 
    Who better to recruit high quality talent than your own employees? Your organization’s team members can serve as great resources for passive candidates within their own social circle. Encourage team members to share job posts and hiring notices on their personal and professional social media channels. Put simply by LinkedIn, Your HR department doesn’t have to be the only part of the organization that convinces passive candidates to want to work for your company.”
  4. Make Your Application Process Simple
    Nothing deters an already-casual job seeker than a complicated application process. Some organizations require applicants to complete a complicated, multi-step process, entering the same information multiple times or through multiple websites. Simplify your application process by not asking too much of applicants in the first stage and making sure your application is mobile-friendly. Remember, engaging passive candidates is useless if they don’t actually apply.
  5. Engage with the Community
    A great way to meet passive candidates is through engaging with community career groups and hosting events like open houses and networking happy hours. For example, if your organization is looking to fill specific roles like software developers, reach out to local groups and offer to host a tech meetup.

Reminder: What is Recruitment and Why is it Important?

Recruitment is the process that employers use to find and hire employees, from the initial search to interviews and eventually onboarding. This process includes attracting, shortlisting, selecting, and appointing suitable candidates for jobs (either permanent or temporary) within an organization. 

How an organization approaches recruitment is important because inefficient hiring processes put small and mid-sized organizations at a recruitment disadvantage. While these businesses can struggle to find quality talent, most are not prioritizing a swift recruitment process. As a result, quality hires are off the market too quickly for searching employers. However, being smaller than the competition doesn’t necessarily mean that these companies will never land top talent. Streamlining the hiring process presents a critical opportunity for HR leaders to improve recruitment and retention rates.

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