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If hiring great people is crucial to your company’s success or you’re in the business of recruiting for an industry that is facing a skills shortage; then you have a lot to gain from building strategy for identifying and sourcing passive candidates.
A passive candidate is a person who is not actively looking for their next role. While passive candidates are not searching, they may be open to moving if the right offer were to come their way.
Sometimes known as "pink unicorns", passive candidates are seen as the ultimate hire. They are good at what they do, engaged in their current role and they're not experiencing a lull in their performance or productivity due to a desire to leave the business. They are active and happy to jump in and hit the ground running in a new environment.
Passive candidates seems to be the answer for challenging recruitment activities and hard-to-fill roles, here is why:
Less competition and stressful timelines: Active candidates make themselves available in the market which means they are interviewing with multiple companies at the same time, the decision to hire could end up being rushed to avoid losing them to the competition. Which isn't the case with a passive candidate; if your process takes a little longer, you don't need to worry about a competing offer.
Authenticity in response: A passive candidate is usually satisfied in their current role and is not actively pursuing a new position which also means that their response to your interview questions will be less staged and ‘real’. For instance, when asked generic questions like ‘Why would you work for us’ or ‘Where do you see yourself in the future’, you’re more likely to get a genuine answer.
As competition for the perfect candidate intensifies, staffing professionals and recruiters try new sourcing strategies to acquire the best candidates (active or passive). As passive candidates are not necessarily looking for a role change, they may not be active on traditional job search platforms. Here are some techniques to source these hard-to-find candidates.
Make your database a storehouse of candidate information. While a candidate may not have been a good fit for a position advertised in the past, they may be perfect for future opportunities. With a good database, you can record a candidate's strengths, qualifications, experiences and more.
With online reference checking providers like Xref, your referee database can go a long way. Xref has identified a way to help clients discover talent in the market through People Search; a standalone analytics platform that will allow users quickly and easily search and filter the referee data that is already held in their Xref account.
Every day there are 145 million active users on Twitter, 1.79 billion active users on Facebook, and LinkedIn has 260 million active users every month. Social platforms have access to heavy traffic. Hiring managers and recruiters are increasingly turning to social media to market their companies to job seekers.
Current employees are often a recruiter’s best source of new talent. Referrals have long been a staple of recruiting strategies. Every one of your employees has their network and personal connections; and, these networks often contain many high-quality candidates who might be a good fit for open positions within your company. Passive candidates may be hesitant to respond to a message from a recruiter, but they’re much more likely to consider an opportunity brought to them by a personal connection.
One cannot deny the benefits of networking in the business world. Networking is effective in building long-term relationships and establishing a good reputation over time; be it online or in-person (if the situation permits). While you may not always have an immediate role to fill, expanding your contacts can open doors for you to fill in positions from your networking list.
When qualified candidates are scarce, and niche positions have a smaller pool of talent to choose from; you’d need to have a process and strategy to ensure you hire right and on time. Go ahead - give the passive candidates a nudge from your database, social networks or your referral program.