Passive Candidates Might Be Your Best Fit

Posted October 26, 2015

If your company is looking to fill an open position - but the resumes you've received haven’t quite panned out - you may find pursuing passive candidates is a much better option.

Making up about 75 percent of the workforce, passive candidates currently hold a job and aren't actively looking to find a new position. Often, passive candidates can be swayed to jump ship if the right offer comes along, and that’s where your company comes in.

The challenges in hiring a passive candidate

Common sense might tell you simply offering a passive candidate a higher salary should be enough to yank them away from their current employer. However, it often takes more than just a bigger paycheck for someone to leave the friendly confines of their current career. Most hiring managers don’t recognize the idea that changing jobs isn’t easy and can even be a little frightening.

In order to attract a good passive candidate, a company should consider offering something in terms of compensation, opportunity or security with a real "wow" factor. This type of offer can truly complicate company finances or internal politics.

Searching for (and finding) passive candidates

Obviously, finding passive candidates requires a proactive approach, which might include searches for resumes on internet job sites and scouring social media. Tapping into the personal networks of your employees might be a more low-tech approach, but it can often be just as, if not more, effective.

Because it can be tough to separate a passive candidate who might be interested in a new job from one who’s not, it's important to tastefully reach out to people through a proactive candidate search. The initial contact should be done through a channel that won’t jeopardize their current job and should include an overview of you and your company, the purpose of your message and the opportunity might help the candidate. Suggest to them why your jobs are tightly related to their experience and let them know which facets of their resume cause them to be such a good fit. Finally, give the passive candidate a way to share more background information if they're interested in the open position.

Don't assume they're keen on speaking with you: A significant part of the workforce is not open to a new opportunity. Regardless of whether or not they are open to speaking, remember that they are employed and will be extremely discriminating around making a move.

While it may not work all the time, piquing the interest of extremely passive candidates can sometimes be accomplished by asking them to respond, even if they're not interested. A response can sometimes be used as the foundation for a relationship and possibly lead to the expansion of your company’s network.

At Ambassador, one of the leading staffing agencies in the South, we regularly seek out passive candidates for our clients. If you are apprehensive about proactively sourcing talent, contact us today and let us do the searching for you.