Gainfully employed professionals, otherwise known as passive candidates, make excellent employment prospects. Passive candidates are likely to have the most current career skills your company needs versus active candidates. They are more likely to have recent and relevant work experience in the industry and in the job market. And they make up 84 percent of the workforce according to the Department of Labor. So how can you focus on passive candidates in your recruiting process?

1. Blog Blog Blog

Engage passive candidate with interesting and valuable content through blogging. Write about topics that the people in your industry are interested in and talking about. Attract those working in the industry for the types of jobs you are recruiting for through a blog that encourages comments, and shares.

2. Keep It Simple – Recruit Them!

Even if passive candidates aren’t looking for a new job or a new employer, flattery will get you everywhere. Flatter top passive candidates by pursuing them in a polite and friendly manner, let them know their value in the marketplace and how you could use their talents in your company. Don’t be aggressive but don’t be afraid to reach out to even the most entrenched passive candidates.

3. Use Employee WOM

Don’t overlook your employees as great sources of access to passive candidates. Employee word of mouth (WOM) is a free and readily available resource for recruiting. Even if you don’t have a formal employee referral program, make sure all your employees know about your openings. Encourage them to talk to their friends, families, neighbors, and contacts about your company and openings, and give them a way to reach you easily if someone they know wants to know more.

4. Listen for Motivators

When talking to passive candidates, don’t focus on money. Instead, listen for what motivates them. Do they love or hate travel for work? Do they want to work from home? Do they want opportunities for training and advancement? Paying attention to what passive candidates want other than money is often an opportunity to attract them to your position.

5. Invite Them to More Than Just an Interview

Create valuable, low-pressure opportunities for passive candidates to get to know you and your company better by inviting them to events. Let them know about professional education and networking events you’ll be attending and invite them to come along. If your company sponsors any industry events, invite passive candidates and offer to accompany them.

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6. Partner with Marketing

Reach passive candidates through your customers by piggybacking recruiting on sales and marketing’s efforts. Ask your marketing department to embed your recruiting messages in sales messages to customers to promote your openings and ask for referrals.

7. Stay Connected

It pays to stay connected to top passive candidates. Use social media to follow, tweet, comment, and share with passive candidates in a friendly and professional manner. Staying connected means you’ll be accessible if things change or be available for referrals.

8. Get Sticky

Create a “sticky” relationship with top passive candidates by being a source of valuable information or helping them out in some way. Letting them know of industry news, or a workshop your company is presenting, or some other information of value to candidates makes you memorable and likeable. Conversely, asking for help with something also builds relationships. Ask for ideas on where to find candidates with their skills, or where a passive candidate has gotten the best training.

Don’t miss out on candidates who make up 85 percent of the workforce by focusing only on active candidates. Make recruiting passive candidates a regular activity and an integral part of your recruiting process to expand your candidate sourcing ability. Recruiting passive candidates should be an ongoing part of your recruiting for the best results.


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