Finding Passive Job Seekers Keeps Your Company Ahead of the Curve in Hiring the Best

Sometimes online job postings just won’t cut it–-the best candidates are often those who are currently employed. The folks who are out excelling in their current role are truly the top tier types of candidates you want on your team. Unfortunately, many of these people might not be looking for new jobs.

Fear not, snagging exceptional passive job seekers is not impossible; it just takes a little more time and extra detective work to make it happen.

Before You Start Searching

Reaching passive candidates starts long before you have an open position. If you want to find the best candidates, you need to develop your company and personal branding to stand out as a top employer−regardless of whether you’re actively filling roles.

Start by Building Trust in Your Community

You can find many candidates in industry forums on LinkedIn or other sites, but you can’t just sign in and start recruiting. You’ll need to build your credibility within the community and form some relationships.

When you message a potential candidate, he or she should recognize your name and thought leadership in the group. Working on your LinkedIn presence is never a bad idea, and that work will pay off even if you send a cold email to your ideal candidate.

Build a Referral Network

Never lose touch with your connections. You never know who has a friend who could be a good fit for your position.

Don’t be afraid to ask connections outside your industry if they know someone who might work well within your company – candidates from another industries can have creative ideas for the role that wouldn’t be considered without that exposure.

Survey Current Employees

Another element to consider before diving into the passive candidate pool is what drew your current top employees to their positions.

Start with these questions:

  • Were they happy in their previous position?
  • What made them start looking?
  • What about your company pulled them away from their prior role?
  • What do they love about their job now?

This information will help you approach a passive candidate and say the things he or she needs to hear in order to make the switch.

Making the Pitch

You’ve asked around from your friends, found a few qualified possibilities on LinkedIn or in forums, and you’re ready to start the conversation. You don’t want to send the same cold email to all of the candidates, so now you need to research their current positions and sell the opportunity.

Why Your Company Is Better

While you think the choice might be obvious, detail how your company benefits could be better than his or her current role – beyond a dollar amount. Your location could be more convenient (or in a better part of the city), have more remote opportunities, etc. Use the information from your top employees to guide this list.

Research his or her current company to understand how their advertised benefits compare to yours.

Highlight Growth Opportunities

Your role should come with advantages for his or her long-term career path in addition to the immediate benefits. If someone is comfortable in his or her position, he or she might think his or her current opportunity is enough. You should demonstrate how quickly people move up in your company or the new levels of autonomy and leadership he or she would receive where applicable.

Follow Passive Job Seekers’ Schedules

It’s important to be flexible with your scheduling to meet passive job seekers’ time constraints.

Remember, while your position might be exciting, the candidate is probably comfortable in his or her current position−that’s why the candidate isn’t actively looking. Treat the conversation like the candidate is doing you a favor. Let him or her know you’ll meet with him or her as soon as it’s convenient.

Keep your candidates up to date with clear communication and move the process along as fast as possible. He or she might be working on getting a promotion at his or her current job, and you want to catch that candidate before he or she loses interest.

Simplify the Process: Work with a Recruiter

Hiring passive candidates takes significantly more work than just posting the job on your website. If you and your team don’t have the bandwidth for such an in-depth search, consider hiring a recruiter who knows your industry instead.

Good recruiters connect regularly with past candidates to see if they’re happy or potentially looking for a new job. They’ve already built relationships, so you don’t need to start from scratch.

Recruiting firms also have extensive knowledge of companies within their targeted industries and can easily pitch your differentiating features. They know the benefits at each of these organizations and how yours stack up− meaning they can alert you if you need to make improvements to attract better employees.

These recruiters have placed other candidates successfully before, so they know which job positions might be able to pivot to yours effectively. They’ll research similar roles on LinkedIn (and other platforms) that you haven’t thought of before and should come to the table with creative ideas to help your company recruit differently.

If you’re ready to find the best candidates whether or not they’re looking, we’re the hiring experts you need. Connect with us today to get started.