How to engage with passive candidates

A passive candidate is someone who is not actively seeking employment, but could potentially be interested if the right opportunity were to crop up. These candidates typically have the most relevant experience and set of qualifications to an open role you are trying to fill, but are generally hard to acquire because of their lack of availability.

There are several advantages to hiring passive candidates. Firstly, you know that they are more likely to be happy to stay in a long term role based on their current circumstances. They are also unlikely to list false information on their CVs, as you found them in a similar role and they aren’t trying to win you over. Finally, there is less competition in terms of interviewing, as you know they won’t be involved in the process with anyone else.

How to approach them

The following are a few tips to getting passive candidates interested in your available roles.

1. Top motivators

Passive candidates are by nature difficult to engage with, as they aren’t necessarily interested in switching roles, so it’s up to you to figure out what factors will motivate them to do so.

Source: Undercover Recruiter

2. Start using social media

Social media can be a great tool to uncover passive candidates and is a less formal way for you to get in contact with them. There are multiple social platforms available to choose from, so it is up to you to determine which ones would be the most suitable to locate the candidates you are trying to reach. Once you have narrowed down your search, be sure to use the motivators mentioned above that tie in with your available role to persuade the candidates the role is right for them.

3. Re-think your traditional cold call

In general, cold calls aren’t appreciated by anyone, including passive candidates, so it’s up to you to find a warmer way of communicating. This could involve finding a mutual point of contact that would be happy to introduce you or finding a relevant industry event that would be a good talking point and that you could invite them to attend.

4. Be persistent, but not a pest

Engaging a passive candidate will likely take multiple attempts, but it’s important to find a balance so as not to overwhelm them. Remember, they aren’t actively searching for a role, you are trying to convince them that you have a more suitable role than the one they are already in.

If you would like additional sourcing tips, feel free to subscribe to the SourceBreaker blog for weekly posts.