We’ve all seen the headlines: unemployment is at lows not seen in years. Employers are struggling to fill vacancies. Applicants are ghosting employers, even after accepting job offers.
With no end to this situation yet in sight, one tactic many employers are using is to reach out to passive candidates. Passive candidates are those who may be open to taking a new job, but are not actively searching for one. Considering the fact that a large majority of the workforce admits to being open to taking a new job, passive candidates are a big resource to look into.
There are a lot of ways to reach out to passive candidates, from simply contacting them via social media, to starting an entire campaign to try to entice passive candidates to become active ones. Let’s take a look at a few strategies and options:
- Utilize technology that can do the searching for you. Today’s tech can help to review candidate profiles online and make assessments that break down which candidates are more likely to be willing to take a new role. Consider using new tools to allow technology to do more of the sourcing work.
- Train HR team members (and anyone else involved in recruiting) about ways to source passive candidates. They may simply not be on their radar.
- Take advantage of the networks already available to you. People are more likely to be receptive to having a conversation with someone about a job opportunity if they know how you found them—especially if you found them through a mutual connection. It softens the opening conversation.
- Consider implementing an employee referral program. Referral programs can be an excellent way to find passive candidates because your employees may already know people who would be perfect for the job but aren’t looking.
- Branch out beyond LinkedIn when using social media to find possible candidates. For example, Twitter searches could help you find industry leaders who use relevant hashtags and who frequently post about relevant topics. Consider using the paid options of the various social media platforms to create and improve awareness of your employment brand.
- Review previous applicants from roles you’ve posted in the past. Some of those candidates may be willing to consider working for you even if they’re now settled into a different role. They’ve already expressed interest in the past, and hopefully have some of the qualifications you’re now looking for.
- If you have an in-house recruiting team, consider assigning a specific person to passive outreach. This can be useful because reaching out to passive candidates requires different techniques than interacting with active job seekers. Since they’re not actively job seeking, so you’ll have to do more selling of the role and the benefits of coming to your organization.
- Be sure to work closely with other departments to ensure that the organization’s web presence is updated and consistent. When a passive candidate takes the first steps of researching the employer, they need to be able to find relevant information about the organization quickly, including information on what it’s like to work there. If this doesn’t already exist, take steps to help make that happen. For example, potential applicants should easily be able to find information on the working environment, the organizational culture, and the types of benefits on offer.
What other steps has your organization taken to reach out to passive candidates? Is this a technique you use routinely, or only when sourcing for hard-to-fill roles?
Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.