It’s no secret that recruiting the right talent is easier said than done. Some industries need candidates with specialized skills that are often hard to find. So, what do you do when qualified candidates are scarce and your organisation needs more hands on deck?
Both active and passive candidates are important for recruiting. Active candidates are proactive and are currently looking out for a job. They make up a mere 15-20% of the overall population.
On the other hand, passive candidates account up to a whopping 75% and can serve as untapped potential.
Who Are Passive Candidates?
Active candidates are actively seeking out for a new assignment — they may or may not have a job. You can easily appeal to this category of job seekers since they are always open to a new opportunity and striving to find a good position.
But, you may have missed out on a large chunk — the passive candidates. Passive candidates are pretty much content with their current jobs but are still willing to switch to a new position, if the right opportunity comes along.
According to the Jobvite 2017 Job Seeker Nation Study, 42% of employees change jobs every 1 to 5 years, up 8% from last year. And, out of these, passive candidates who are ready to make the switch account for the majority.
Successful recruitment strategies should not just focus on active candidates – passive candidates can still offer a lot of value and should not be ruled out just because they are not proactively seeking a new job.
Why Hiring Passive Candidates Can Be Useful for Your Hiring Process?
So, what makes the elusive passive candidate so special? Why should you take so much time and effort to persuade a happy employee to come and work for your organisation?
Passive candidates are desirable because they can serve as valuable and loyal assets to your organisation. Their lack of urgency for a new job only means that they are less likely to attend interviews with multiple companies. This means less competition for you.
It is also unlikely that they will lie or brag about their skills. They would not feel the need to do so since it is highly likely you approached them first! If you are able to hire a passive candidate you will be getting long-term, quality candidates on board.
With passive candidates, you don’t have to worry about the talent – given the fact that they are already employed. Also, an employed candidate will only choose you, if there is something worthwhile in it for them. You can be assured of a committed employee!
Additionally, it always helps to have someone on board who hasn’t lost the edge. Being unemployed for a while can rob candidates of their ‘edge’, which will not be a problem with potential candidates who already have a job!
Recruiting passive candidates can be a great way to find top talent with specialized skills and competencies.
How to Source Passive Candidates?
Attracting and engaging passive candidates is more difficult than active candidates. It is a herculean task that requires unique sourcing techniques and persuasion, but all this hard work at the end of the day is sure to pay off!
After all, how can you target somebody if you don’t even know whom to target? So, that is why it becomes important to first identify your target, attract those candidates and then finally recruit them. Here’s how:
Stage 1: Identify Passive Candidates
You know who your active candidates are since all of them would have applied to your postings. However, the challenge is to find out the passive candidates. Below are five main sourcing platforms search consultants can leverage:
1. Your Own Recruiting Database
Regardless of which recruiting software or tracking system you use, the probability of finding the perfect passive candidate in your own database is high. You would already be having a ton of candidates and you just need to strike gold!
Consider a situation where you have identified some potential passive candidates and reached out to them, but they are not interested. You can still ask them if they know anyone else who might be interested in the opportunity. They might know other passive candidates who are open to better opportunities. (Remember, birds of a feather flock together!)
Also, your own employees can share references of such candidates who can be a good match for your requirement.
3. Social Media
LinkedIn and Twitter are the top platforms to source passive candidates. It will give you the perfect chance to connect and network to find some ideal candidates.
Of course, Google searches everything and it can also help you search the right candidates. When it comes to identifying passive candidates, it doesn’t hurt to have too many arrows in your quill. You can simply perform a Google search for resumes, using the right filters and techniques.
For instance, if you are looking for a software engineer, you could search for (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) software engineer, to get more specific, narrowed down results!
5. Recruiter Network
In a recruiter network that specializes in split placements, recruiters willingly share candidate profiles and job orders. So, if you don’t have apt candidates in your database, you can seek what other recruiters have shared through a split fee recruiting network.
Stage 2: Attract Passive Candidates
After identification of the right candidates, it’s time to attract and persuade them to make the switch. Passive candidates are ready to explore a new opportunity only if that opportunity is better than the one they have now.
Reach out to candidates carefully by sending out personalized emails and cold calling and start to build on an introduction. Evince an interest by seeking a career based discussion. Don’t start pitching on the job if the prospect agrees to the discussion. Instead, start out with 5-10 minutes to make your case that your job is worth another discussion.
Offer unique benefits and perks to the candidate in subsequent discussions and make it valuable for them to make the switch.
Stage 3: Recruit
Now, it’s time for the full-court press. The opportunity that you present to the candidate should not solely focus on monetary benefits, but also on professional development, a chance to add more skills and experience and the chance to climb up the ladder. Assure them that they are the right fit for your organisational culture. Keep recruiting all the way until they have accepted the offer.
Passive recruiting is like art! It’s difficult to undertake, but definitely not impossible. You get better with it over time, through trials and tribulations. Ultimately, you should surely include the art of passive recruiting to your talent acquisition strategy for full-blown success.