How to Reel in Passive Job Candidates

The new jobs report is out. Unemployment is down to 5.9%; however, the size of the labor force dropped by almost 100,000 to a three-decade low of 62.7%. As the labor market tightens, so does the pool of top-notch talent.

Your future team members are currently working. They are passive candidates.

IMG_0796Reeling in a passive candidate is very different from attracting an active one. It is better to know the fish you need to catch and where to catch them before you randomly throw out the line. Currently, 85% of employees consider themselves passive candidates and are willing to talk to a recruiter about a new opportunity.

So how do you reach these “happy but not fulfilled” professionals?

  • Utilize your social media channels:
    • Share your unique corporate culture through pictures and videos.
    • Celebrate current employees’ successes.
    • Highlight the good work your company does in the community.
  • Ninety-three percent of top performers are referred to their next job opportunity by a friend or peer. Find them and start a conversation:
    • Evaluate what kind of passive channels in which they are engaged and start conversations there. Use professional forums and online groups.
    • Tap the right recruiters, whether in-house or third-party. It’s important to utilize the right partner with a proven track record for delivering the best candidates.
    • Once you have the passive candidate interested, focus on their performance and potential. Ask the candidate to demonstrate comparable work providing evidence of their skills and experience.
    • Have the candidate talk about themselves before you jump into talking about your company and the job. Know ahead of time or find out now what is important to the candidate in their next opportunity.
    • Own your value proposition for the potential employee. Why would this professional want to work for your company? With your team? Know why and speak to it. Be convinced of the unique opportunity you offer and share it.
    • Even if you determine the passive candidate you’re talking to isn’t the best fit for your current opening, remember this person may know someone who is. Treat them with respect. They may share their connections or refer someone for the position.

LinkedIn recently conducted a survey of 18,000 full-time employees across all industries and discovered what passive candidates want (no surprise here):

These elements must be included in your value proposition for new employees.

Remember, top talent has options. Passive candidates need to be courted. The little things you do will make all the difference!