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Why Considering Passive Candidates?

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3 reasons why engaging with passive candidates can provide you with great talent

We all know the scene - you urgently need to fill a vacancy, time’s tight, budgets are even tighter and there’s a slight sense of dread that comes with diving into the “available” pool of talent.

In this situation, it can be tempting to jump the gun and pick the person that shouts the loudest, looks great on paper and is cut from the same cloth as your existing team.

But this reliance on inbound recruitment strategies could be causing you to miss out on some great talent in the form of passive candidates - someone you’d consider for a role that isn’t actively looking or applying for new opportunities.

For me, there are three main reasons why attracting a passive candidate should be your next hiring goal:

1. They're not knocking on your door for a reason

The best candidates are often unaware of vacancies simply because they’re dedicated to making a difference for their current employer. That’s not to say they won’t be open to a new challenge if it arises; movement between roles is natural in sought-after talent.

In attracting a passive candidate, you’ll be bringing in someone with commitment, determination, and ambition at their core.

But if they’re sought-after, experienced and performing well in their current role, the chances are they’re facing a lot of noise from recruiters. Make sure you do your homework to understand how to get in front of them and make your opportunity stand out.

2. Experience isn’t everything

While previous roles in similar organisations look good on paper, recruiting people that have transferable skills, coupled with the right attitude and a good cultural fit, will lead to a more diverse range of thinking across the team.

It’s said that women will only apply for a role if they feel they are 100% qualified (60% for men), which means there could be a pool of candidates that aren’t even knocking at your door. They need to be found.

Look beyond the usual suspects and use data gathered during the hiring process to establish areas for improvement or skills that can be worked on once a candidate becomes an employee.

3. Honesty and humility will prevail

When a talented professional is not actively seeking a new role, they have no reason to exaggerate or inflate their expertise, experience or skills. If you approach someone with an offer, it’ll be on the grounds that you have done your research and established that they could be just what you’re looking for. What a compliment!

Passive candidates are often humbled and grateful to have been considered and pose far less risk in terms of revealing they do not hold the capabilities they claimed to after they’ve entered the workplace.

There are many reasons why an active job seeker may be looking for work, and their efforts to apply for your role should not go unnoticed. But the benefits passive candidates offer make them an important focus for today’s HR and recruitment professionals.

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