5 Ways to Approach Passive Candidates

No recruiter wants to hire the second-best person for a job if the perfect talent they are looking for is available in the job market.

But, should you give up and settle if the top talent you need is employed somewhere else?

Passive candidates make up for over 75% of professionals. They fit your requirements, have all the necessary talent, experience, and ethics. They are great for the job. Only, they aren’t in immediate need of one.

Then, Why Fuss over Passive Candidates?

There are many reasons why you’d want to woo a passive candidate, even though it’s a tricky process and requires more effort and resources.

If you are looking for a particular skill set, the right candidate who is also in need of a job can be hard to spot.

Since they aren’t actively seeking employment, you don’t need to compete with many recruiters.

Someone currently employed in a particular role and delivering value is likely to be profitable for you as well.

You have many sources to vet these candidates and determine if they’ll provide enough return on investment.

Recruiting Passive Candidates: Approach Them Carefully

You have discovered a person who’s excellent at their job. Great for you! But, why would they jump ship to work with you?

Wooing a passive candidate is tough because you could easily become fixated on pulling them out of their jobs, instead of weighing them as a prospective employee.

  1. Interact, and Do It Well

First impressions matter. Do your research. Find a relevant ground to break the ice. Get a mutual connection to introduce you to the candidate.

Establish why you want them to come work for you. Keep the message professional. But, follow it up with a personal touch. And never send too frequent or too generic messages to the candidate.

  1. Figure Out What They Want

A passive candidate may change employers because they need better advancement opportunities, more challenging work, better compensation, work-life balance, etc. Or, they may be content, and nothing could make them quit.

Figure out where they stand and use it to your advantage.

  1. Make It Easier for them to Research You

Any candidate worth their salt will dig up your details before they can decide to accept or refuse the offer. Make it easier for them.

Develop a strong employer brand. Build your social media presence on different platforms. Keep your websites responsive. And make sure that all your digital footprints are in sync with the message you want those candidates to infer.

  1. If You Can’t Hire Them, Enroll Them in Your Talent Bench

Whenever you initiate contact with a passive employee, make sure you come off as a useful networking opportunity. Passive candidates should perceive you as a relationship worth cultivating, even if they may not work with you at present.

  1. Don’t Be the Stalker Recruiter

If you’re a spammer, the candidate may dismiss you. But if you can’t deal with unanswered emails and seem to take it very personally when the candidate doesn’t appear interested in working with you, that can snowball into an issue that can affect your employer brand.

If a candidate exceeds your expectations, there’s a good chance that their work environment has a hand in their performance. Understand the equation, and the role of the passive candidate in it, before you dedicate time and resources to look for and lock in the top talent.

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