The Talent500 Blog

7 Recruitment Strategies That Will Help You Attract Passive Candidates

Hiring the wrong person can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and even threaten your business. But sourcing the right candidates isn’t easy. In fact, an estimated 80% of resumes contain exaggerations or false claims and don’t provide valuable insight into a candidate’s true skills and experience.

An online application procedure may be more convenient for you, but it also exposes you to a flood of applications that you must sort through to separate the viable from the ludicrous, which takes a significant amount of time. It’s no wonder it can take up to six months to fill an open position!

The folks you desire are most likely not even applying for the position. These are passive candidates, who make up 75% of the workforce. However, because they make little to no effort to locate work, spotting and recruiting passive candidates might be difficult.

You could suppose that if they aren’t applying for employment, they aren’t interested in them. That is not always the case. Many bright people are presently working, but they may be open to alternative opportunities if the appropriate one comes along.

Because they have no true need for work, passive applicants are more likely to stay with the business if they are successful. Accepting employment is a conscious decision, not a result of necessity. You may save a lot of time and resources evaluating and retaining this type of a person if you focus on attracting them.

The idea is then to discover folks who aren’t putting themselves out there and successfully get them to work with you. Let’s look at the 7 strategies for attracting the best passive candidates.

Build a passive talent pipeline for future needs

Companies hire new employees for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are expanding, have new goals and needs, an existing employee is departing, and so on.

However, contemporary recruiters cannot simply wait for one of these events to occur before beginning their search for fresh job applicants. Given the fast-paced and increasingly competitive hiring world, recruiters must establish a proactive strategy to cultivate a pool of possible candidates – even before they have an opening.

This is where having a passive talent pipeline helps.

A passive talent pipeline is when an organization finds, contacts, and keeps its future talent in a pool of candidates. These candidates remain interested in the organization even if there is no immediately available job for them. The organization can then draw from this talent pool to fill future roles that become open. Having a talent pipeline full of high-quality prospects benefits recruiters since they would otherwise have to start a talent search from the beginning.

When recruiters are unable to fill available jobs on time, the recruiting team — and frequently the entire organization — suffers. According to LinkedIn, just 30% of organizations can replace a vacant post within 30 days, while the remaining 70% require between one and four months.

A strong talent pipeline streamlines the hiring process, enables easy access to a database for passive candidate sourcing, and significantly decreases time-to-hire. By cultivating relationships with quality individuals, you position yourself to recruit more rapidly.

Use the right job boards

Companies’ recruitment budgets are limited, and they must be able to invest their resources where they make the most sense. If you’re looking for passive talent, you must be targeting the right job boards.

Make sure that your job boards are highly-targeted and specific to your industry. For example, if you’re looking for passive candidates in the healthcare industry, don’t just post on general job sites like Monster or Indeed. In our recent survey, we found that 85% of professionals relied on LinkedIn while 47% relied on company websites to research potential employers. Focus on sites like LinkedIn, which has a strong focus on various industries like healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Large, well-known job boards are certain to attract a large number of competent applications. Advertise on CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, Indeed, or Monster to discover which ones are the best for passive recruitment.

It’s also important to consider how long your posting will be running on each job board. You want to make sure that your posting is up as long as possible—the longer it’s up, the more people will see it and apply!

Leverage the company’s social media profiles

While job search portals and websites are essential for sourcing talent, utilizing social media for recruiting considerably boosts the odds of finding the appropriate candidate. 

Companies recognized the significance of social media to reach out to candidates, and social recruitment emerged, permanently altering hiring methods and improving the success factor. These platforms expanded over time, and social media is now an important component, helping organizations leverage employer branding strategies to attract prospective employees, like highly qualified passive job seekers. In fact, over 84% of organizations utilize social media for recruitment, and given the effectiveness of this method, another 9% want to jump on board shortly.

Here are a few ideas for engaging passive talent on social media:

  1. Make sure your account is active and engaging. You want to show that you care about what your followers are saying.
  1. Post new content regularly so that people don’t forget about you or think they’ve missed something important by not following you closely.
  1. Use hashtags to make sure that people who aren’t actively searching for your company or industry see what you’re posting and join in on the conversation!
  1. Share links to active job posts on social media and use engaging content strategy to reach out to more people.

You can also run ads on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to reach out to the right target group. Using engaging content in job ads can be very effective in attracting passive candidates.

Write effective and engaging job posts

Recruiting is a very competitive field and first impressions are important. Creating a strong job posting is critical to success, and this is why having the ability to write good job descriptions is a valuable skill in your organizational arsenal. 

Any communication you put out should be thought-through and designed to build your company’s image. While job posts are the most common way to reach out to passive candidates, it’s important to remember that you’ll have a much better chance of reaching and recruiting passive candidates if your job post is engaging and provides an accurate description of what the role will entail.

The best job descriptions are interesting and inclusive, as well as clear, short, and to the point. It should be understandable to anybody. A strong job ad encourages the appropriate people to apply and reduces your time-to-fill. A well-written job description will appeal to passive job candidates, as much as it does to active job seekers. 

Your job description should appropriately describe the position’s tasks and responsibilities. When well-written, it creates a realistic image of a work and answers the question, “What exactly does the person in this capacity do?”

Writing strong job advertisements is an excellent whole-life cycle recruitment strategy since it allows you to begin improving your process early on. According to an Indeed study, if you’re having trouble filling a job for that “rockstar” developer, DevOps “ninja,” or digital marketing “expert,” your choice of words is likely repelling prospects. Or even insulting them.

Encourage employee referrals for passive candidate sourcing

Another easy way to reach passive talent is through referrals. Employee referrals can help you reach passive candidates by giving you access to someone who already knows and trusts your brand, and is willing to spread the word about it. This means you can attract a whole new group of candidates without putting any money into marketing or advertising—it’s a win-win!

If you want to keep increasing employee referral involvement and success, give enticing rewards and come up with new strategies to keep them in mind. Inform workers of the incentive they will receive if they make a successful recommendation. PTO days, monetary bonuses, and employee-wide recognition are all examples of incentive schemes.

Participate in networking events that may attract passive candidates

Connecting online is one thing; meeting in person is quite another.

Try attending networking events that attract active and passive candidates—these could include industry-specific meetups and conferences, as well as local industry events. You can also look for new local resources that might help you attract passive talent—for example, if you’re looking for engineers, check out any engineering meetups in your area.

Once you’ve identified an event that might attract passive candidates, make sure to spread the word about it! Put it on your website and social media feeds so people know where they can find you when they’re ready to apply. 

There is nothing like meeting somebody in person to truly establish a long-term relationship. These meet-ups may be used to scout potential passive applicants, but they can also be used to sell your firm. Use these events to exhibit everything that can entice potential prospects to come and work for you. Discuss the benefits you provide or your corporate culture. You can discuss how you help others advance in their careers. 

Any favorable impression you can make now will increase the likelihood that follow-ups will result in a job offer.

Engage with prospects, even if they are not actively seeking an opportunity

Engaging with passive candidates is not the same as engaging with active ones. Active candidates are looking for a new opportunity and have already decided that they want to make a change. On the other hand, passive candidates have been doing their research and have not yet made up their minds about whether or not they want to make a change. This means that you need to tailor your approach to each group individually.

Engaging passive candidates requires a bit more thought. Think about what would convince them that your company is the best place for them. Passive candidates may be more interested in learning about what kind of culture exists at your company (e.g., “We believe in investing in our employees”). You can provide this type of information through social media platforms such as LinkedIn groups or Facebook groups where people in your industry participate regularly.

Also, with video interviews becoming more common, passive candidates will be able to speak with you during their lunch break, or even before or after work. Talent is much more likely to agree to a casual fifteen-minute conversation with you if it does not require travel or time away from their already hectic workday.

Passive candidates represent a huge percentage of your potential hires, so if you ignore them in your recruitment efforts, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. They make up the vast majority of LinkedIn users (a highly effective recruiting tool), which means you have a wealth of potential talent out there just waiting to be contacted. The key is to be strategic in your approach and make sure that you’ve got a killer strategy in place before starting your campaign. That will increase your chances of success and help you identify top talent that fits the needs of your business.


Reaching and engaging passive candidates can be difficult/time-consuming, but it is worth the effort for the right candidates. 

With automated recruiting procedures and profile pre-vetting, we can help you identify talent that adds value 5x faster. Our thorough pre-assessment has aided in the placement of over 300,000 professionals and the formation of teams in over 50 businesses. Request a consultation today to learn how our technologies can help you manage and grow your remote workforce.


Taniya Pan

Taniya Pan

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