4 Passive Candidate Hacks in Recruiting

Passive candidates are the hard to find, and hard to get players. Whatever your particular definition of “passive” is, the idea is the same; someone who isn’t looking for a job. For recruiters and sourcers, it is the difference between reactive and proactive approaches and techniques.

Passive candidates are recruiting gold for a gaggle of reasons. An informative LinkedIn infographic leaves us with some great insights into the benefits of focusing on passive candidate recruitment efforts.

  • Passive talent is 120% more likely to want to make an impact.
  • 56% are more likely to want a corporate culture that fits to their personality.
  • Passive candidates are 33% more likely to want challenging work.
  • Passive talent is also less needy, 17% less likely to need skill development and 21% less likely to need recognition.

Video Interviewing

Video interviewing systems have quickly and solidly found themselves among the standard HR technology tools of today’s HR departments. Offering passive candidates an interview is much different than offering them a video interview. Via video, candidates don’t have to get their suit dry-cleaned, find a baby sitter, or schedule time for the interview and travel.

Video interviewing offers passive candidates a “nothing to lose” option. They get to choose when and where this interview will take place and they only have their own schedule to worry about.

Apply with LinkedIn

It doesn’t get more simple than the new “Apply with your LinkedIn” button that a lot of companies are starting to implement into their ATSs. Passive candidates aren’t afraid to walk away from an application process that ends up being a chore. The quicker and more user friendly your application process is, the more attractive it is to passive candidates. These people can afford to walk away.

Employer Brand PR Initiative

While they aren’t necessarily looking, they aren’t dead. They are still on social, they still recognize brands and notice strong presences in their space. If conveying a positive employer brand and facilitating a healthy company aren’t already a part of your marketing or PR strategies, they should be.

People notice these things about a company whether or not they are looking for a job. It’s all about attracting the right type of people, and those people quite often already have a job.

Know Their Online Hangouts

The passive candidates that are relevant and quality are a part of industry discussion. They are checking forums and posts. Find out where the non-job seeking quality talent is hangout online and get there. Establish a presence on these sites and engage. They certainly aren’t going to reach out to you, so get proactive about finding this jackpot talent pool.

“79% of working professionals around the world are considered passive candidates. The other 21% are actively seeking a new job. In which group do you think the better talent is?”

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Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 20, 2013 at 1:02pm

Thanks Sean. "Passive candidates are the hard to find, and hard to get players."

In my experience, most  superior candidates are EASY to find. but hard to get, because the hiring company has nothing worthwhile to offer- they're just caught up in the deluded marketing hype of the founders and sr. execs.(http://www.ere.net/2013/02/15/recruiting-supermodels-and-a-tool-to-...)

"

  • Passive talent is 120% more likely to want to make an impact.
  • 56% are more likely to want a corporate culture that fits to their personality.
  • Passive candidates are 33% more likely to want challenging work.
  • Passive talent is also less needy, 17% less likely to need skill development and 21% less likely to need recognition.

    "

Where did you get these numbers from, Sean? Was it this LI infographic? If so, WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE THEM?

 

Cheers,

Keith

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on November 20, 2013 at 8:51pm

I too would be interested in the source of these stats and evidence behind these claims. From my perspective, there is absolutely no discernible quality difference between a so-called passive candidate or someone who is actively pursuing a new employment opportunity. The fact of the matter is a person's potentially fluctuating job searching status is simply a factor of timing and nothing else whatsoever may have changed about them or their qualifications. 

Comment by Tim Spagnola on November 21, 2013 at 9:51am

Kelly - you are drinking Fishdogs kool-aid. Not a bad thing. I agree w/. all you stated. 

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 21, 2013 at 4:30pm

Well said, Kelly.

-kh

Comment by Sean Pomeroy on November 21, 2013 at 4:30pm

As each of you point out, there is no silver bullet nor any stat nor statement that is correct for all applicants but we can all agree (I hope) that those that are actively seeking employment are, in fact, different than those that are contacted by recruiters.  The stats are linked to in the article (click  passive candidates).  Thank you for the comments!

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 21, 2013 at 4:44pm

Thanks, Sean. Unfortunately, we do NOT all agree.

I think that the whole "active-passive split" is false. It's a full spectrum of what I call "Hiring Speed Spectrum". At one extreme ("Fast") are those who'd do anything to get a job RIGHT NOW, and on at the other extreme ("Slow") are those who will never, ever under any circumstances work for you. While the two extremes are radically different, the spectrum doesn't have any breaks, as far as I can tell.

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