Recruiting Top “Passive” Candidates

Brett Iredale
16 Jul
Reading time: 2 minutes
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46456577 — meaning those who are currently employed or not looking for employment — continues to be a sense of mystery in the recruiting world. Some recruiters take a more aggressive approach to recruiting passive candidates, while some avoid it all together.
So, is there a right vs. wrong way when recruiting passive candidates? Here are a few suggestions I’ve found helpful when reaching out to passive candidates:

1) Focus on Employer Branding: In cities like Denver, San Francisco or Seattle, culture is everything. Having a unique employer brand stand out will likely persuade passive candidates to look further at your company and what you have to offer.

2) Networking: Just as in sales, you wouldn’t cut to the chase right away. In most cases, you’ll nurture the relationship a bit. When recruiting a passive candidate, take time to consider if a candidate is a good fit or if they are even interested in entertaining a new position.

3) Keep Candidates in Your Network: Consider your candidates base as a newsletter subscription. While you may have passed up a candidates for a previous position, most likely, if you keep your interview process a positive one, candidates will entertain offers from your company in the future. If your company is in a niche market — such as healthcare, hospitality — consider a monthly newsletter on industry trends. Or simply build your presence with job seekers through social media.

4) Highlight Opportunity within the Company: Sometimes the difference between swaying passive candidates into active candidates means just having a conversation. Start with a casual conversation and see what they are looking for in their career. Then highlight how your company can meet that need.

What’s your best advice for recruiting passive candidates? Comment below or tweet me at or @jobadder with your thoughts and ideas.

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