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6 Tips About How To Source Passive Candidates

If you are a recruiter or works in the staffing industry, I’m sure you know that passive candidates are usually the best candidates. But passive recruiting is often easier said than done. You’ll[...]

November 13, 2018

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6 Tips About How To Source Passive Candidates

If you are a recruiter or works in the staffing industry, I’m sure you know that passive candidates are usually the best candidates. But passive recruiting is often easier said than done. You’ll have to go to great lengths to attract candidates, keep them engaged, and – if you’re lucky – have them accept an offer. It’s a tall order, to be sure, and likely the reason many recruiters shy away from working with passive talent.

But if you count yourself among the recruiters who don’t use passive recruiting strategies, you’re missing out. We’re seeing one of the most competitive job markets to date, and it’s getting increasingly difficult to find top talent, especially in the tech industry. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you’re going to need to get active and learn how to source passive candidates.

Candidates aren’t as passive as the term implies. Thanks to technology, we’re able to casually search for jobs anytime, anywhere. According to Jibe, 71% of workers are open to new job opportunities, and 58% look at job ads at least once a month. That’s a huge chunk of the workforce you could be tapping into! Of course, you’ll need to tweak your recruiting strategies to if you want to charm passive candidates. These are the six tips for you to do so:

Go beyond the online tools

Even in today's social media age, meeting someone in person is a much better experience than connecting online. A personal interaction builds trust and rapport, and also makes it easier to find out if a person would be interested in a new job. Events like meetups, hackatons and career fairs are great to meet new candidates and start building your passive candidate list.

Don’t Spam Their DMs

Everyone knows that social recruiting is how it’s done these days. Unfortunately, it’s become so popular that candidates are often hesitant to check their messages. An inbox stuffed with spammy messages tends to have that effect. Don’t bother sending a DM to a top candidate unless you want it to end up in the garbage with the rest of them. Instead, reach out with a thoughtful email or phone call - you can use an email template from the CrowdWiki as inspiration. Just make sure to put your best, most personable foot forward.

Know the Job Description Inside and Out

Speaking of putting your best foot forward, you’d better make sure you fully understand the job description before you even think about reaching out to a client. Remember, you’re fighting for their time, and you only have one chance to make an impression. Understanding the job description will not only help you get to know the client, it will also help you sell the role to your candidates.

Work on Your Pickup Lines

Identify which aspects of the job will speak to your candidate most. Talent personas are a great way to do this, as they can help you gain insight into your candidates and target your messaging. Candidates are far more likely to get involved if they feel you have a good sense of how a job opportunity applies to them. Think about it from their perspective - which opener would inspire you to learn more?

“Based on your experience, I think you’d be a good fit for this position.”

Doesn’t sound very enticing, right? How about:

“This company has a collaborative startup culture similar to places you’ve worked in the past, and they offer a lot of flexible ways to grow your career.”

Now that would grab your attention.

Make It Easy to Interview

Passive candidates are busy, so naturally, they’re often hesitant to go through the interview process. As a recruiter, you don’t have much control over the final interview, but you can make sure every step leading up to it goes as smoothly as possible. Be upfront about the timeline and the process itself. How long will it take to hear back? Will there be a panel, or is it a one-on-one? Does the client offer video or phone interviews? Think carefully about what the client wants and how your candidate fits the bill, so you can obtain as much information as possible when prescreening. This will help keep the final interview(s) short and sweet.

Develop a relationship with candidates

This is a very important one! A successful passive recruiter knows that, in the end, everyone is a passive candidate. With that in mind, you should noto only make sure that you have a positive online footprint, but also develop a good relationship with the candidates you interviewed and connected to, specially the promising ones. This will make it easier for them to reply to you about a future opportunity. A good way to make it easier is having an applicant tracking system. An ATS will help you to manage your contacts and stay updated on their most recent career moves and interests. 

Tomorrow’s Top Talent Is Passive – Are You Ready?

Recruiting passive talent is always going to be a bit of a challenge, there’s just no way around that. You’ll need to research both the candidate and client needs and look for creative ways to connect the two. These candidates demand the highest quality throughout the recruiting process, right from the first contact. As the labor market continues to tighten, recruiters will need to become adept at working with passive candidates. With a little bit of luck (and a lot of perseverance), you might just come out on top.

Scott Giroux
Scott Giroux
20+ year veteran of all things staffing and recruiting. Proven innovator and leader adept at building long-term relationships and managing teams for growth. Dedicated to helping talent suppliers be successful by leveraging emerging technologies.
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