Top 10 Ways to Engage Passive Candidates

It might seem like hiring applicants that are actively seeking a new career is the best choice. They’re ready and willing to work, right?

Of course, these candidates seem like an attractive choice, but what about those that are less assertive? It might seem like more work now, but seeking out passive candidates will pay off in the long run.

Passive candidates are more willing to listen. They’re also more selective when choosing where to work. They’ll analyze everything before accepting a position. While this might come across as being a bit overboard, the companies these candidates choose are receiving a real asset that will likely stay with them for years to come.

According to the Department of Labor, “Finding these potential hires requires recruiters to be more active in their pursuit, but it’s definitely worth the effort – passive candidates comprise 84% of the potential workforce.”

So, how do you actively seek out passive applications without frightening them away or seeming too pushy?

Below, you’ll find top 10 tips that will help you hire top passive candidates without any issues.

1. Determine what makes the position and company attractive to passive candidates.


Is it the company culture, growth opportunities, or perks and benefits?

Once you have identified what makes your position and company attractive to passive candidates, highlight those aspects in your job postings and during the interview process. Show candidates that they will not only be fulfilled in their day-to-day responsibilities, but also have room for growth and enjoy a positive work environment.

Additionally, utilize your company’s employee advocacy program to showcase the positive experiences of current employees. Hearing from their peers can be a powerful tool in convincing passive candidates to consider your opportunity.

Finally, consider offering competitive salaries and benefits packages to attract passive candidates who may already have secure positions but are open to new opportunities.

Then promote these attributes in job postings and during the recruiting process.

2. Personalize outreach messages to passive candidates and highlight what makes your opportunity unique.

Retention rates

Rather than sending generic messages to passive candidates, tailor your outreach by researching their interests and experiences and showing them how your position aligns with those qualities.

Show them that they will not only be fulfilled in their responsibilities but also have room for growth and enjoyment in the work environment.

Demonstrate why your company stands out from others and how the candidate would truly benefit from considering your opportunity.

3. Offer a referral program to current employees for referring passive candidates.

Time-to fill

By incentivizing current employees to refer passive candidates, you tap into their personal and professional networks to potentially uncover top talent. Offer a bonus or other reward for successful referrals to further encourage participation in the program. This not only helps in recruiting passive candidates but also strengthens relationships with current employees.

Overall, just by highlighting what makes your position and company attractive, personalizing outreach, and offering a referral program, you can effectively engage passive job candidates.

4. Utilize social media and networking events to connect with passive job seekers.

Through social media and networking events, you can showcase your company’s attributes and connect with passive job seekers in a more personal way. Utilize LinkedIn to share company updates and job postings, as well as participate in professional groups related to your industry.

Use Twitter to share company culture and highlight employee experiences, as well as attend industry events to network and make connections with potential passive candidates. Additionally, consider hosting your own events or participating in job fairs to further engage with passive job seekers in a face-to-face setting.

Utilizing these channels can help attract passive candidates and give them a more well-rounded picture of your company and opportunity.

5. Keep the recruiting process efficient and personalized, as passive candidates may have other opportunities they are considering.

Offer Acceptance Rate

Make sure to keep the recruiting process organized and move quickly, as passive candidates may have other prospects in the works.

Personalize outreach and communication with each candidate, showing them why your opportunity is a good fit for their skills and goals. Keep them updated throughout the process and address any concerns they may have promptly.

This not only helps attract passive candidates but also shows them that your company values efficiency and communication.

6. Offer compelling compensation packages that will entice passive candidates to make a career change.

In addition to offering competitive salaries, consider additional benefits such as remote work options, flexible schedules, or education and training opportunities.

Show passive job seekers that they will not only be compensated well for their work, but also have room for growth and enjoyment in the work environment. These attributes can make your company stand out from others and entice passive candidates to make a career change.

7. Provide ongoing support and mentorship to passive candidates

First-year attrition

Provide ongoing support and mentorship to passive candidates throughout onboarding and beyond, in order to retain them as valuable team members.

In addition to offering a competitive salary and benefits package, provide support and mentorship to newly hired passive candidates. Assign them a mentor or buddy within the company who can help with onboarding and acclimating to their new role.

Offer ongoing opportunities for skill development and growth, as well as regular check-ins to ensure they are satisfied and feel supported in their new position.

This not only helps attract passive candidates, but also shows your commitment to retaining top talent and fostering a positive work environment.

8. Video Interviews

One of the best ways to engage a passive candidate is to offer them an opportunity to video interview versus doing so face-to-face.

While this process isn’t new, it’s also not completely accepted in many industries. For those hoping to hire a top passive applicant, it’s important to offer this option.

In addition to gaining a valuable employee, you’ll also save time and money doing so. Furthermore, you’ll also give the candidate a way to discuss their skills without putting them at a disadvantage as well.

9. Employer Branding

Candidate Net Promoter Score

Because of their nature, passive candidates aren’t actually searching for companies they’d like to work for.

They’re only looking for a career that fits well with their experience.

This means, interaction with a passive applicant is key in ensuring they’ll find you.

Use social media to interact with candidates and build your employer brand in a way that’s strong and eye-catching for those that are casually perusing LinkedIn and other social networks for work.  Also be sure your company’s culture is defined here as well. Even more, don’t forget to add your website link so that they can visit it to get a better feel for your business.

Making sure you create an employer brand that’s strong and ever-present online is a great way to frequently grab the attention and interest of all potential candidates, especially those that are passive.

For companies that don’t yet have a brand, now is a great time to get things started. Tell your business’s story. Get it out there on social media and the website. Doing so will mean attracting more passive candidates that might be an extreme value to your company.

Remember, passive candidates aren’t invaluable ones. They’re often some of the top applicants you’ll find. It just takes a bit more effort to attract them.

Work on your employer brand and think outside the box when working toward recruiting!

10. Use a Small Business Applicant Tracking System

Incorporating a small business Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to help you recruit will be beneficial all around; especially when hiring top passive employees.

There’s a great many passive applicants that will apply online, rather than in person. They’ll also be more likely to fill out an online application versus sending in a resume via email. Take advantage of this system. Search back within your database a few years and cross reference older applicants with what they’re doing now on social media.

Many companies choose to ignore their ATS when it can be a great way to find the best candidates, passive or not. Don’t make this mistake.

Be sure to take full advantage of yours and all the benefits it has to offer.

Try Our Free Small Business Applicant Tracking System – Try Recruiteze Today!

Can ATS improve your recruiting metrics? - Recruiteze

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