Share This Article:
Back to Blog

Template: How to Recruit Passive Job Candidates

Template: How to Recruit Passive Job Candidates

Passive recruitment is becoming more common among organizations looking to improve their recruitment and retention strategies. Many employers may still be primarily using active strategies, which could limit their opportunities. To help you recruit passive candidates, here's what you need to know about passive recruiting, including a communication template for reaching out.


What Are Active and Passive Recruitment?

Organizations often focus on active recruitment strategies to fill recently vacated roles. This type of recruitment focuses on hiring candidates who are actively looking for work. It also involves posting to online job boards and promoting positions through a virtual job or networking site like LinkedIn or Indeed. The idea behind active recruitment is that organizations can accumulate resumes and applications from employees who are actively seeking employment, without having to specifically reach out or recruit. In this way, the employee is the one who is active while the organization is more passive. 

Passive recruitment involves recruiting passive candidates who are not actively searching for a job. The idea behind passive recruitment is to give yourself the freedom to find the perfect candidate for a role within your organization. This form of recruitment also requires that employers reach out to currently employed candidates to bring them over to their organization. In this way, the employer is more active while the candidate is passive.


Why Should Organizations Consider Passive Recruitment?

There are several important reasons why organizations should be using passive recruitment strategies alongside active strategies. 

Currently, employed candidates may be a better fit for your organization. This is not to say, however, that active candidates are not a good fit. It’s more about increasing your pool of candidates. With competitive hiring markets, it can be difficult to find the right fit among the current list of candidates. 

There is also the risk that if you chose poorly, a candidate may realize they are not the right fit and seek different employment soon after. If a candidate is already employed they will likely already have a good idea of what they are looking for in a new position. When they make the move to your organization they are doing so because it offers a better opportunity for them than their current job. This can impact your overall retention.

By reaching out to passive candidates, you can also expand your talent pool significantly. Most organizations have some form of active recruitment strategy, but the active talent pool is limited—with so many organizations fighting for the best candidates. When you seek out employees who are already employed, you open yourself to a whole host of talent that may be a great fit for your organization. 

Passive recruitment can be a great help to an organization's hiring strategy. While it may not always be the best strategy for your organization, it is certainly worth considering under the right circumstances. If you are looking to expand your candidate pool, seeking a talented candidate for a very specific job function, or even bringing on an employee you feel will require less training out of the gate, then passive recruitment may be a good avenue to consider. 


How to Engage Passive Candidates

If your organization chooses to pursue passive candidates, you must be strategic in your approach. The best way to approach this is to build a candidate persona. Candidate personas will help you pinpoint the type of candidate you are searching for and narrow your results. Use a passive candidate database to track your pool of candidates based on their experience, skills, and education. Some examples of this would be Careerbuilder’s resume database, Indeed, LinkedIn, Jobsite, and Glassdoor. There are countless options for sourcing and organizing candidates and persona profiles. Research to discern which offering will best meet your needs and align with your strategy. 

Once you have a pool of candidates, engaging them in a friendly and direct manner is essential. This process of sourcing candidates from outside employers may not always be quick, but by reaching out, you set up the opportunity for a second conversation. 

This communication cycle gives you the chance to nurture relationships and ultimately attract suitable candidates. Your conversations should leave them wanting to learn more about the role, and that is where you can make your best pitch to convert that lead into a new employee. 

Below is a template that you can use to streamline the initial communication process.


Passive Recruitment Email Template

SUBJECT LINE: New career opportunity! Want to connect?


Dear [Candidate name]


My name is [your name], and I am a [job title] with [organization name]. I recently noticed your profile on [social media or job posting site] and was impressed with your background and experience in/with [specific areas of interest].


[Organization name] has been actively seeking a talented [job title] to join our incredible team, and I believe you would make an excellent addition! [Mention something recent like an accomplishment, award, or positive change to explain why your organization is a great place to work and/or a company with a valuable mission]Check out our website: [website URL]


I would love to set up a time to discuss this opportunity further and answer any questions you may have. Are you interested in connecting and hearing more about this opportunity?


Enjoy the rest of your day, and I look forward to hearing from you soon,


[your name]


[email signature]


Additional Resources

You can also stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with passive recruitment and other important topics by using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news

  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance

  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit

  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics 

New call-to-action

Share This Article:

Related Posts

Crafting and following a comprehensive onboarding checklist ensures a consistent,...

  As the cost of living continues to rise around the country, many employees—especially...

HR professionals play an indispensable role within an organization. They influence...

President Biden signed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act into law on December 29, 2022...

Submit a Comment