According to the LinkedIn Talent Trends of 2014, passive job seekers make up 80-95 percent of the talent market, but only 15 percent of those employed are completely satisfied with their current role. The majority of these candidates are open to exploring new job opportunities or talking to a recruiter.
By focusing solely on active job seekers, recruiters may be missing out on this even greater source of untapped talent. Seeking out passive candidates may be an extra investment of time and resources, but recruiters that embrace this hiring strategy are more likely to retain better qualified candidates down the road. Here are 10 tips you can use to improve your passive recruitment strategy.
1. Attract the best
Change your recruiting approach by focusing on attracting the best rather than “weeding out the weak”. Otherwise, candidates are forced to fit into jobs they may not be right for, which can lead to job dissatisfaction and high turnover rates.
The position should emphasize opportunities for growth and learning so candidates who are already employed feel they are advancing into a position with long-term value.
2. Create a strong employee referral program
Existing employees know the company culture better than anyone else and are often connected to a talented network of people from past jobs. If you encourage and reward employees who help connect you with the right candidates, they can act as the best advocates for your company. Utilizing an employee referral program will also foster faster application-to-hire rates.
3. Use proactive sourcing methodsOne size doesn’t fit all when it comes to sourcing top talent. Most passive candidates aren’t looking for jobs the same way active candidates are. To target passive candidates, companies need to develop a proactive sourcing strategy that focuses on social networking tactics, niche job sites and talent communities.
4. Invest in your talent brand
From an employee standpoint, one of the most important factors when considering a new position is whether the company is perceived as a great place to work. Interested candidates will do their research on your company beforehand by browsing your website and social media channels, so it’s important to ensure you are sending the right message.
Align your company’s digital presence and outreach messages with your offline professional reputation to present a strong and compelling vision to candidates.
5. Know the job you’re sellingDesign a performance profile to define the job and thoroughly describe the major skills required for job success. Potentital candidates will want to know intangibles, such as the compensation package, a relocation package, retirement and health benefits, vacations days and any other perks your company offers. While it’s important to highlight positive job attributes, recruiters should also be able to anticipate and combat any of the candidate's concerns.
6. Tailor the job to the candidateMoney isn’t the only motivator for changing jobs. Find out what’s missing in a candidate’s current situation and see if you can offer them new opportunities, such as working abroad at a new location.
7. Approach recruiting like datingMake a personal connection before pitching the job and let candidates know you like them. Next, give them a reason to be interested in you. Lastly, be sure to build interest over time with persistence, patience and a high-touch recruitment strategy.
8. Create a positive candidate experience
Don’t be afraid to stray from the standard interview or application process for passive talent. Remember that you are the one pursuing them, not the other way around. Recruiters can help accommodate a candidate’s schedule by offering an alternative application process, such as video or phone conferencing in off hours or the ability to apply with an online profile. Let them know exactly where they stand in the recruiting process as events unfold.
9. Build a talent pipeline
Once a qualified candidate has been reached, add them to your talent pipeline for future hiring opportunities. Recruiters should be wary that once the idea of transitioning is planted in a passive candidate’s head, they may start to wonder what other opportunities are out there.
Recruiters must mindfully and persistently engage candidates to remain at the forefront of their minds should they decide to leave their current employer.
10. Network with ideal candidates
If the candidate is great, but not the right fit for the position, don’t miss out on an opportunity to make a connection. Switch gears and change the recruiting call into a networking call. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations for other potential candidates they might know.
Recruiting top-notch talent is a two-way street. Sometimes active candidates will come knocking on your door, but most of the time, you need to reach out to passive candidates and show them why they are the best fit for your company.
Identifying and connecting with passive candidates is as simple as taking advantage of existing resources. Communicate with current employees, use social media to form an outreach program and use your brand to attract a wider talent pool.