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Attracting Passive Candidates in 2021’s Candidate Market

Finding the perfect candidate for an open position in your company can often be a challenge. Although you may receive a number of applicants, they may not have the right skill set or experience to fill the role.

This is amplified with the ease of applying for jobs through online application process, which although makes some aspects of recruitment easier, but unfortunately, operating a simplified recruitment process also means you will likely receive a lot of unqualified candidates.

Traditional recruitment agencies often promote their database like a little black book of perfect candidates, but if that book is full of unqualified, uninterested parties, it lacks any substance or quality. When searching for a candidate to fill a niche or exclusive role, perhaps the most effective method is by targeting passive candidates. 

Our Corvus Assured process does just that – we seek out the perfect candidates and attract them to you, rather than “hoping for the best” with a list of names on a directory.

The passive candidate is one who isn’t actively looking for new opportunities but are particularly great for this specific reason – they are thought to be more loyal and stable.

Passive candidates make up about 85% of the working population, and whilst there will be those who won’t be interested in any other roles, there will be those who are open to finding out what opportunities are out there for them.

You may be thinking that if they aren’t applying for jobs then they must not be interested in one, however, this is not always the case. Although many talented employees are happily employed, they may still be interested in considering other work if the right one comes along.

Unlike active job seekers, passive candidates are not constantly checking job postings or applying for positions. This means you have to move beyond job boards and career sites and look for candidates in other places, by engaging in non-traditional sourcing methods. 

Here Are A Few Ways to Appeal To Passive Candidates In 2021:

Maximize Your Company Brand

Position your company as the best workplace for your particular niche by emphasizing what sets you apart from other companies. It could be flexible work hours, extensive employee benefits, stock options, high compensations, and so on.

Establish a unique feature of your company that makes it a desirable place to work, and send the message through your website, social networks, and events.

Attracting Passive Candidates in 2021's Candidate Market

If your company lacks a public profile, there is an increased chance that your potential passive candidates have never heard of you, so it is important to establish an online presence so they can connect.

Potential candidates are likely to do some research before they decide to get on board, so you want to make sure your branding is exemplary.

Utilise your company blog and website to promote interesting information about your organisation, post engaging content on social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter, and engage with your audience. This is the most fundamental practice to provide your brand with a persona; a voice with which passive candidates will come to know who you are, what you do and what life is like working at your company.

People will get to know the company as more than a name and a logo and will be able to relate more personally with the brand. Over time, the audience will become familiar with the company, so when you are ready to start hiring, they already know all about you.

Engage With Potential Candidates on Linkedin

LinkedIn is extraordinarily situated for providing a treasure trove of qualified passive candidates. Positioned as a profession-oriented platform, most profiles will include pertinent information for inquiring recruiter minds, and some will even include links to their online portfolios.

Everyone hates making a new connection on LinkedIn and instantly being ambushed with a generic sales pitch. Engage with connections before the “here’s what I can do for you” spiel begins.

Utilise your company blog, LinkedIn groups and other content or marketing materials to inform them about the industry or your differentiators. What specifics do those passive candidates want to know, considering they aren’t actively looking for jobs, but will be looking for news/comments on the industry they work in?

Your mission is to get into your target audience’s line of sight via whatever means you can. To warm them up as a sales and marketing team would a potential customer. To influence their perception of your organization as a place to work – so that, when the right career comes up, they are more likely to click on the opportunity or say yes to a conversation.

The challenge now, is reimagining the candidate journey as travelled by passive talent and being a discoverable, compelling, and authentic tour guide as they find their way.

Don’t Be A Recruiter, Be An Industry Leader

Attracting Passive Candidates in 2021's Candidate Market

Most people will be complimented to be contacted in relation to a new prospect, it assures the candidate they are valuable in the workplace and can start the thought process in a passive candidate to consider other opportunities. Take advantage of this first impression by thinking through the first contact, being genuine and not spamming the candidate.

Top candidates don’t want to be just another CV; they want to build their own networks in their professional journey, and engage with individuals with industry experts who understand the area they work in.

Ensure you are engaging those passive candidates. It is essential that you do not push the candidate for applications, but rather use this as a way to establish a relationship that you can build on. Only then will you know their professional goals and expectations. 

Establish a Pro-Employee Reputation

A great reputation among your employees is essentially one of the best passive candidate sourcing techniques you can utilise. You will engage candidates by discussing your pro-employee culture on your website and your various social platforms, as well as on your job listings. 

Having an engaged workforce will lead to your people going ‘the extra mile’ for you and becoming loyal advocates for your brand and product. 

Your existing employees are another one of your best resources for recruiting passive candidates. Creating an appealing work environment will make it easy to encourage your employees to use their own connections. Some companies find it beneficial to have a referral program through which they pay their employees to bring in candidates that result in a hire. 

Listen To Candidate Demands

Money is often not the top motivator for candidates; the real motivators can vary greatly. Often passive candidates are passive, not because they love their job so much but because where they are is comfortable and works for them and their personal routine.

Listen to your candidates and look at the job history to understand their core motivators, it could be something as simple as having flexible working conditions to enable them a better work-life balance.

Our advanced recruitment solution Corvus Assured, combines management alignment, behavioural insights and full profiling to ensure the most accurate hire for your organisation, thus removing the guesswork.

Not every candidate knows what they are looking for so present them with opportunities, explain the value each of them could bring to the candidate and use their response and reasons to help you find the right match. Ensure you don’t go for the hard sell when presenting jobs, use it as an opportunity to understand the candidate and their motivators better.

Tailor the Application Process to Passive Candidates

A passive candidate may be turned off by a long and arduous application process. Make your application easy to access and complete. If a passive candidate makes it to the interview process, consider what kinds of questions would be conducive and which ones would be cumbersome to ask. For instance, you would not ask a candidate you sought out, “what attracted you to this company.”

Recruiting passive candidates is an ongoing process that demands constant engagement and care.

It involves investing in passive candidate sourcing techniques on an ongoing basis and not just when you have an active job opening. Building relationships in person and online takes time.

Curating your online presence will take consistent dedication, as it is an investment not only into your short-term recruitment strategy, but to your overall employer brand.

If you need assistance finding the right fit for your company, please get in touch today on 028 9091 8529 or

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