Engagement and Attraction: How to Recruit Passive Candidates Effectively


Passive candidates are what recruiters and hiring managers crave for. They are the elusive candidates that aren’t on job boards and usually don’t even realise there is an amazing opportunity waiting for them around the corner. Their CVs don’t fill job boards, passive candidates often come from recommendations, social media or alternative channels. Passive candidates may take a little persuasion, but they are often are biggest surprise and the happiest that they land a job they didn’t even know they wanted. Don’t these candidates sound great! So, what’s the best approach for attracting passive candidates?

A live chat function that allows potential employees to engage with your organisation is a good start. Firstly, you will make your company available to potential candidates in a way that few already do. Second, you demonstrate to the world that you are a forward-thinking, technologically advanced company and just the sort of place the modern worker would want to be. Third, you humanise the public face of your organisation and give it personality beyond the corporate facade.

Become techno-savvy. Are you a black belt Boolean searcher? Do you know how to instigate a Twitter search to find the people you want by skill-set and geographic location? You don’t? Well, now is the time to get up-to-speed. Using websites like FollowerWonk will allow you to find specific skills in specific locations based on people’s tweets or bio information. Such sites allow you to find people with specific skills and interest in places you might never have searched previously. There are many other tools available, but too may for this article!

In our modern world there is nothing more appealing to people than a good story, and what better place to tell a story about your company than on your own careers website and social channels. What successes have you had with employees? Tell their story! Promotions, professional development, and personal development, However you have supported your staff and how happy they are as employees provides you with the perfect opportunity to sell your own employer brand. What better way to attract a passive candidate than by having a current employee win them over from a personal, passionate article/blog about their experiences within your company.

How social is your social media strategy? People expect instant replies to enquiries – if someone passively contacts you via your company Twitter account who will reply? What will the reply be? What policies do you have in place for social responses? This is a key tool in attracting passive candidates so make sure you have a plan and that it is upheld and tracked.

Being social is vital (and a fantastic way to connect with candidates), but merely being social isn’t enough. Once you make contact with a candidate you must stay in contact – use your social connections with passives candidates to invite them to networking events and update them on your latest vacancies. Creating your own content that can be shared across your social networks will demonstrate to passive candidates that you have your finger on the pulse (and it will keep them interested in you) – blog about the latest hot topic or write an in-depth article about the latest legislation affecting your industry – but remember, to keep your audience engaged, what you create must catch their imagination!

A powerful brand is a huge attraction to potential candidates – a well-branded company with a respectable name can be all the draw needed to rip a candidate out of one company and into the next. How does your employer brand appear to those looking closely at you? Get an objective opinion – Is your organisation the sort of place that people will naturally flock to? If not, why not?

The contemporary recruitment market is a tough one. There is a battle for the hottest talent and you must tap into the passive market if you are going to win. There are a million ways to attract passive candidates, but the best, time tested, proven method for securing top talent – be a great company that looks after all of your employees, promote from within and develop staff to excel. Word will quickly spread and the passive candidates will flock to you!

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