Attracting passive candidates

by Gavin Hooker

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How do you attract applicants for a new role, if they are not actively looking for a move?

As the war for talent rages on, businesses need to think creatively in order to attract good candidates. Targeting passive candidates is a strategy that many businesses are now employing to good effect.

Connecting with passive candidates is harder than reaching out to those who are actively seeking a new role. However, with the right strategy, it’s possible to connect with candidates who aren’t actively looking for their next career move.

Typically, passive candidates won’t dedicate as much time and energy to landing a new job as those who are actively looking. They aren’t wholly dissatisfied with where they are now - they’re simply open to heading in a new direction if it makes sense to do so.

Since the mindset of passive candidates is different, you need to ensure they don’t have to jump through hoops in order to apply for a potential role.

Simplify your hiring process, and try to avoid time-consuming activities like essay questions or personality tests. Set yourself up to meet with potential candidates quickly, for an exploratory chat, before asking them to make a formal application.

If you are targeting passive candidates, you need to be flexible about where and when they can have an interview with someone at your business. They aren’t actively looking so they are unlikely to want to deal with the hassle of coming in for an interview in the middle of their working day.

Instead, try to meet them before work, in the evening or at weekends for a discussion either in person or via Zoom, Skype or Teams video chat as this makes it easier for them to have an initial discussion about the potential role.

When targeting passive candidates, you need to advertise jobs in places they regularly visit. They may not be looking at job boards on websites, so it may be better to promote a role by posting on LinkedIn, Twitter or on an email newsletter that your business sends out to clients and contacts. Highlight what you have to offer employees and ensure that you sell the value proposition of working for your business.

If you are promoting potential roles in your business to passive candidates, make sure you keep things concise and to the point. Asking them to read long-winded messages or email updates isn’t likely to work as passive candidates aren’t prepared to invest the time.

Make sure it is easy for potential candidates to contact your business if they are interested in a potential role. For example, have a “click here to enquire about this role” option with an email link, makes it easy and efficient for someone to start a dialogue with your business, about a particular role.

 The content in this blog is correct as at 6 May 2022.

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