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How to Identify and Engage Passive Job Seekers

How to Identify and Engage Passive Job Seekers

Passive candidates constitute the largest segment of the workforce. In fact, past studies reveal that nearly 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent who is not actively looking for work but is open to hearing about new assignments. During an increasingly turbulent time marked by a historically tight labor market and a growing skills gap, it is imperative to not overlook these truly hidden gems.

How to Find Passive Candidates

  • Social Media Platforms: Around 82% of American companies and 78% of global companies rely heavily on social media for recruiting top talent. Because of its enormous potential to reach passive candidates at an economical cost, social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn can be used to initiate one-on-one conversations electronically and instill a sense of curiosity regarding intangible rewards. For instance, employers can leverage the hashtag feature on Twitter to easily search for specific communities such as conferences, meetings, and chat forums and find potential leads. Similarly, on LinkedIn, employers have the possibility of using profile tags (i.,e., “#OpenToWork”) or advanced search options to identify profiles that make use of industry-specific keywords and hashtags.
  • Networking Events: Events organized by industry associations, chambers of commerce, or alumni groups may be a great way to meet potential passive applicants in your industry and show your organization in the best possible light. To maximize your potential to attract talent, you can provide passive job seekers with an insight into company values and culture, talk about growth, or highlight benefits and unique perks. After building rapport, ask to connect on LinkedIn to enable further communication and send a personalized note in the invitation.
  • Employee Referrals: In recent years, a third of employers have opted to reduce costs by shifting their focus towards word-of-mouth recruitment and employee referral programs (ERP). Because passive candidates are more receptive to their friends than recruiters, it’s advisable for employees to leverage their network and share job openings on their personal social media pages.
  • Use Internal Talent Databases: Past candidates might not have been the best choice for a particular role, but they may be the right fit for your current opening. It’s advisable to leverage your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to explore your talent pool and talent pipelines and carefully review candidates who were previously rejected in the final stages of your hiring process.
  • Use Online Resume Platforms: Resume databases are online platforms providing access to an extensive and varied talent pool that may not be readily available on other places, such as LinkedIn or job boards. Using advanced search features and filters, such as keyword, location, industry, job title, and skills, paid tools like Talentbin, Zillionresumes, Hired, or HiringSolved recruiters can efficiently discover and connect with highly relevant candidates for their vacancies.

How To Turn Passive Talent into Active Candidates

  • Candidate Texting: Using contact management software, you must keep track of all the interesting people you have encountered and invest in meaningful conversations. To do this, you would need to set aside a few hours per week to reply to their social media updates, add a comment to their latest blogpost or video, or send them content-rich information in their areas of expertise.
  • Offer the Networking Call: Once you have established a real relationship with passive job seekers and made them aware of your employment brand through recruitment marketing materials, it’s time to send them a personalized outreach email about the open position and pop the big question. To grab candidates’ attention from all the low-effort messages they receive, it’s important that you offer specific details about the opportunity you propose, mention something specific that you have read on their profile or refer to a mutual connection. If the candidate starts to be more responsive, asking questions, and provides you with their CV, you can begin reviewing the applicant pool and inform qualified candidates regarding the next step in the hiring process (i.e., screening interview, skills test, job interview, reference checks).
  • Keep in Touch: In the eventuality that potential candidates are not immediately interested in a position, it’s essential to keep the lines of communication open, sending follow-up messages, inviting them to events or offering to connect them with other professionals in their field.

How to Measure Passive Candidate Hiring Rate

  1. Referral Tracking: indicates whether or not the referrals are a good fit for the company.
  2. Average Time to Fill: used to determine how effective the hiring process is from initial contact, to offer acceptance.
  3. Retention and Satisfaction: assist in gaining insights into the components of your retention strategy and employee value proposition (EVP) that strongly resonate with your team members.

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