It is a known fact that some industries are easier to recruit for than others. HR teams can select candidates from a large pool of talent in some industries. The challenge lies in finding applicants with the specialized skills some industries require. What do you do when your company needs more qualified candidates, but talent is in short supply? Passive candidates are sourced by you. Both active and passive candidates are important for recruiting, but passive candidates are better suited to fill specialized positions.

In what way are passive candidates different from active candidates?

In passive candidates, there is no active search for new employment opportunities. Most of the time, they are satisfied with their position and company. It is possible, however, that they might be open to a good career opportunity if it arises. In this post, we’ll break down the differences between active and passive candidates.

The term “active candidate” refers to someone who is actively seeking new employment opportunities. These are the candidates who send in resumes and are available for interviews right away. Passive candidates, on the other hand, are those who are currently employed and satisfied with their positions. However, they are open to applying for open positions even if they are not actively seeking new roles. However, they do not apply organically (via job boards) and may not be available right away. There is often a lot of chasing to be done.

Passive recruiting – what does it mean?

Candidates can be sourced passively through passive recruiting. Using this strategy, you find employed individuals who you believe can add value to your organization and offer them new positions.

Passive candidates are often engaged and sourced by the HR recruitment process. Passive candidates are desirable to employers because of their qualifications and experience. 70 percent of the global workforce is comprised of passive candidates, while only 30 percent is made up of active candidates. Your talent search is effectively limited if you do not recruit passive candidates. A massive pool of passive talent should not be overlooked if you are struggling to fill critical positions.

What is the best way to source passive candidates?

Now that you understand passive candidates, let’s learn how to attract, engage, and source them. These tips and tricks will help you source passive candidates and convince them to consider your company’s opportunities.

Utilize your applicant tracking system to source candidates

Investing time in sourcing passive candidates with quality experience will not only result in a potential hire, but also in candidates who can be recruited in the future. It is a missed opportunity for many businesses to re-engage candidates. More than half of employers do not reengage declined candidates even though most employers believe that reengaging declined candidates will increase their talent community and protect their employer brand. Utilize the previous efforts of your team by starting each search with candidates who have already been screened and deemed qualified for the job. In order to engage archived candidates effectively, you must develop an engagement strategy.

The number of channels for sourcing candidates online should be increased

Passive candidates are sourced in a variety of ways by recruiters. Over half of respondents say they start with their professional networks, while 28 percent say they start with LinkedIn. What’s the point of stopping there? There is a reason why the most common methods for sourcing candidates are popular – they work! Include some lesser-known sources as well. On less traditional websites, candidates may be more open to outreach messages, and profiles on such sites may provide unique information that can be used to tailor outreach messages to individuals.

Candidates can be found through your employees’ networks

An organization’s talent pool can be multiplied by recruiting through the networks of its employees. Assess whether any of your employees’ networks are a good match for one of your open positions by conducting candidate sourcing sessions. You can increase response rates from candidates you know if your employees can assist you in locating untapped talent. With Facebook, you can find candidates you wouldn’t have found otherwise based on your employees’ social graphs. In, you can see which of your employees have already connected their LinkedIn, Twitter, and GitHub accounts. Automating this process is also possible with candidate sourcing tools. It is totally worthwhile to approach passive candidates, as they make up 75% of the existing candidate pool.

Final thoughts:

If your company has skill and experience shortages, passive candidates are a worthwhile long-term investment – especially if you need to fill critical positions quickly. To source passive talent, you need time, practice, and foresight, but once you do, you can onboard top-tier talent in your field. Despite the difficulty of finding passive candidates, employee referral programs and engagement can easily convert them. In order to help them see what your company has to offer, all you need to do is nurture them properly. You may find qualified candidates by focusing on active candidates, but you are not their only employer. A glitzy offer letter will be sent by many other employers to compete for the same candidate.


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