Are you struggling to find the right candidates for open positions at your company? You may be looking in all the wrong places — and at the wrong people, says freelance writer Kelly Gurnett (6 Innovative Ways Recruiters Can Attract Passive Candidates). Like most employers, you are probably focused on recruiting active job seekers – candidates who are actually looking for work. However, you may be missing out on a talented pool of passive candidates – those who are currently employed. According to recruiting writer Laura Buckler (7 Strategies to Attract Passive Candidates), many great people who are now employed may still be interested in considering other work if the right opportunity comes along.
Since most currently employed workers are not actively looking for another job, recruiting passive candidates requires a multi-layered and more proactive recruitment process in order to find and persuade them to consider a new job. However, pursuing passive candidates is worth the additional effort, says writer Sam Holzman (5 Tried-and-True Methods for Sourcing Passive Candidates). Research shows that passive candidates are 25 percent more likely to stay with your organization than active candidates and are 120 percent more likely to have a strong impact on your company. Not reaching out to those who are currently employed could mean missing out on a wealth of top-notch talent.
There are several key strategies for attracting candidates who may not be looking for work, including:
Leverage a variety of social media platforms
- LinkedIn can provide a gold mine of qualified passive candidates. You can use built-in tools such as LinkedIn Recruiter to conduct targeted searches and invite candidates you like to apply for open positions. Also, mine those who are following your company’s LinkedIn page.
- Twitter’s advanced search functionality can help you find profiles that use keywords and hashtags related to your industry. You can then refine your search based on location and other important criteria.
- Facebook’s targeted search capabilities can help you find high-quality passive candidates and contact them through an outreach message.
- Snapchat and Instagram platforms can be leveraged in unique ways, such as creating a sponsored Snapchat or Instagram story that showcases your company culture and captures the attention and interest of a passive candidate.
Participate in live events
You can join or sponsor trade shows or other networking events to meet potential candidates in person and highlight how great it would be to work at your company. You can also host an informal gathering of passive candidates at your company, offer them a tour and a short presentation and allow them to experience your company culture firsthand.
Tap your employees for referrals
Your current employees are one of your best sources of new talent. If you’ve created a positive working environment for your employees, you can easily encourage them to spread the word on their personal networks. Encourage them to actively recruit by establishing a referral program that offers incentives for each successful hire.
Nurture a talent pipeline
When you find good candidates who are not ready to switch jobs or are still finishing up school, keep their contact information on file and stay in touch with them. Attracting passive candidates often involves scouting for talent before job opportunities open up and building a pipeline of talent and relationships with potential candidates who may be of interest in the future. Marketing and communications specialist Matt Deutsch (Recruiting Passive Candidates: Strategies and Techniques for Success) suggests:
- Keeping a database of high-quality candidates
- Building relationships with as many of them as possible
- Keeping track of what’s important to them
- Contacting them when you have an opportunity that might cause them to make a move.
Market your company
Position your company as the best workplace for your industry or market niche by emphasizing what sets you apart from other companies, whether it’s flexible work hours, extensive employee benefits, stock options, high compensation, etc. Once you’ve established what makes your company a desirable place to work, deliver the message clearly and consistently through your website, social networks, events and marketing materials. Potential candidates are likely to do some research before they decide to come onboard, so you want to make sure that you set your organization apart as the place to work.
Sourcing passive candidates might require extra effort, but it’s an important strategy in today’s competitive, fast-paced hiring landscape.