Attracting Passive Talent

Sometimes, the most qualified candidates for a role you are looking to fill are often not actively looking for a new job, usually because they already have a job they are satisfied with. These are passive candidates and if you want them, you’ll have to grab their attention and persuade them to pull out of their current job for yours. Industries like pharmaceuticals typically require candidates with specialized skills that aren’t easy to come by; sourcing passive candidates is your surest bet at hiring qualified talent. This article explains how companies can seek out these passive candidates and why you should be pursuing them.

How to Find Passive Candidates

  • Use social media to your advantage

Did you know that out of a global population of 7.7 billion, 45% have at least one social media account? That’s approximately 3.5 billion people online. Social media platforms can give you access to thousands of passive candidates online. The important thing is to create a solid social media presence and stay active in trends relevant to your niche so that you can be visible to passive talent in your industry. Also, don’t target job-centric platforms like LinkedIn alone. Facebook, Twitter and Reddit all boast millions of users including plenty passive potential candidates you can connect with. Some of which might be interested in your job post when it lands on their feed.

  • Participate in Networking Events

If you can’t find the top quality candidates you seek online, then take your search offline. This is where networking comes in. You can host or attend industry events such as conferences, exhibitions, workshops and symposiums where the professionals in your industry are likely to make an appearance. Be somewhere you can get up close and personal with these passive candidates. When you meet them, use the opportunity to establish a connection with them and present your company as a rewarding place to work with potentially better benefits than their current employer. However, the key is to do this without putting their current employer in a bad light. Remember, they are most likely happy with their current job so you would need to prove to them why your company is worth leaving their jobs for.

  • Use referrals

A study revealed that 78% of recruiters get their top candidates from referrals. This shows the impact of referrals when it comes to sourcing passive talent. Referrals from personal connections, colleagues and employees have been shown to source higher quality candidates that other methods. The logic behind this is simple; professionals are likely to know other top talents in their industry (fellow alumni, former co-worker etc.) with the necessary skills that would make them a perfect fit for the role you’re sourcing for.

  • Use your reference database

Passive candidates weren’t always passive. At some point, they may have been actively job seeking and there is the possibility that they could have applied for an open role in your company. Essentially, if you are looking to attract passive candidates, sometimes look within – in the company’s database of previous applicants who were rejected. Provided the rejection was properly handled, chances are, they might still be interested in working for your company if you reach out to them. Also, at this point, with the experience and skills they have gained from other jobs, they could potentially be better candidates for the position than when they originally applied.

Benefits of Passive Candidates

While it’s true that passive candidates need to be motivated to leave their current jobs, LinkedIn’s US and Canada talent trends report in 2016 showed that 89% of professionals are open to new job opportunities. As the director or manager of a company, if you need the best candidates in your industry to fill the open positions you have in your company, don’t rule out passive talent. While they may not be actively looking for a new job, they are typically the best qualified candidates owing to the fact that they are valuable, highly skilled and already experienced in the roles for which you need them to fill, thus requiring little to no training at all to produce great results in their roles.

If you need help recruiting passive talents for your company, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Career Connections Canada at any time. Together, we can develop a sourcing strategy that will help you attract passive candidates that will make a great impact on your company.


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