Courting the Passive Candidate Pool

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Courting the Passive Candidate Pool

If your hiring team is only actively reaching out to candidates who are seeking a new position, you could be cutting out 85 percent of the workforce. A recent survey showed that only 15 percent of the global workforce is fully satisfied with their job. Of that 85 percent not fully satisfied, only a portion are seeking new opportunities. 85 percent of candidates that may be interested in your position are not at the moment activity looking. We call these interested candidates “passive.”

In order to find the optimal candidate for your open position, your company should evaluate and interview the most qualified range of candidates. If a candidate has the experience and qualifications to meet your job description, they should be in your candidate pool – including passive candidates.

Most often, some of the best, most qualified candidates are currently employed and delivering their high level of expertise to another company. These candidates could be ranked high relative to their team members in similar disciplines. Due to their focus on their current employer, their resumes will often demonstrate job loyalty and dedication. They are willing to remain long-term rather than consistently testing the job market. Not only are they often highly qualified and loyal, but they can also be more authentic and transparent during the hiring process. As these candidates already hold a position and are not actively searching, they will have no need to portray themselves beyond their comfort zone in order to win over a potential employer. This authenticity demonstrated by passive candidates makes it easier for prospective employers to determine if they have found the right skill and culture fit. 

When candidates are invested in their current roles with no immediate desire to search elsewhere, how do you entice the candidate to consider making the change to your company?

  • Strong Compensation and Benefits: For a higher salary and stronger benefits, candidates will be open to listening to a new opportunity.
  • Challenging, Innovative Projects: Intriguing project topics and cutting edge resources will entice any candidate to join a new team. If your company has exciting projects available to candidates, they will often be interested in being a part of the efforts.
  • Advancement: If a candidate is content in their current role, they still may be unsure of their value or growth path within a company. Offer a position that has a path for associated advancement to sway passive candidates.
  • References: If you have a mutual connection between the candidate and your company, use it to your advantage. Employee and network referrals are one of the most effective sources for finding a perfect fit candidate. Personal references and word of mouth can definitely improve your chances at winning over a passive candidate. People trust their personal networks in high regards.
  • Work/Life Balance: No matter how exciting a current position is, if the right opportunity to better balance work and life arises, a candidate could be intrigued. Passive candidates could be interested in a company that understands the desire to travel less, be at home more or to have a life outside of the office.

Once you have determined how to frame the opportunity with your company, it is important to find passive candidates on their time. Because a passive candidate is balancing another role, it is extremely beneficial to be flexible with the passive candidate’s time constraints. Willingness to be discreet during the interview and courting process is also incredibly important. In the case that either party will find the position to not be the right fit, the candidate should not feel they are at risk with their current employer. After you have successfully recruited a passive candidate, courtesy for hires to make clean breaks with their current employer is the final step in a successful hiring process. 

Successfully searching for passive candidates with a strong skill, culture fit and a loyal nature requires tools and effort. If your hiring team is willing to be creative, employ the best research tools, design effective nurture outreach methods and execute your recruiting efforts with a patient courting process, the perfect hire for your job opening is available.

About the Author:

TopLine Strategies delivers the complete integration and development of sales, marketing and customer service technologies that enable corporate clientele to improve revenue streams and strengthen customer interactions. Our project management and consulting is designed to achieve timely delivery, 100 percent user adoption of the technologies we implement and deliver measurable returns on investments for our clients.

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