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The shift to a candidate-driven recruitment market has resulted in businesses changing their approach to securing top talent. However, great active talent is snapped up quickly, with the best candidates often off the market in ten days.

As businesses try to hire the best candidates, turning their attention toward passive job seekers may be a smart move. As competition increases over available talent, targeting passive job seekers allows companies to cultivate a selection of individuals who may be an excellent fit for the role and the company culture. 

So, in this article, we will explore how your business can attract more passive job seekers. We discuss:

  • What is a passive jobseeker?
  • The ways your company can adapt its recruitment strategies to improve engagement and the conversion rates of passive job seekers. So, they cannot turn down the opportunities you offer and ensure you meet your hiring needs.


What is a passive job seeker?

A passive job seeker is currently employed. And so, they may not be actively searching for a new job; but if there is a compelling opportunity, they would be open to a conversation.

According to a recent study, around 75% of the workforce is passive at a given time. As passive candidates currently have employment or fixed stability, they can take their time making career decisions rather than out of necessity, as can sometimes be the case if you are unemployed.The nature of careers today means people rarely spend their working life at one company.

But by strictly focussing on the candidates actively seeking employment, businesses are missing out on a considerable portion of the working population. Instead, they should think that everyone is a potential candidate or new hire for their company. 

Therefore, they must highlight to their prospective audience why their organization is the right fit for the next chapter of the individual's professional life. Additionally, as passive job seekers aren't actively seeking new employment, they aren't interviewing with anyone else, offering you a clear run at selling the role and your company to them.

The ways your business can improve its targeting of passive job seekers


An authentic and exciting employer brand

For candidates today, the reputation of a company is as important a factor in why they would consider moving jobs as the opportunity to move up the ladder or receive more money. All prospective candidates, active or passive, are attracted to businesses with brands that align with their values and goals. So, highlighting to passive job seekers what makes your organization unique could draw significant interest, such as:

  • Sustainability.
  • Community work.
  • A fun workplace where employees are happy to be.
  • An emphasis on freedom, collaboration and dedication to the professional growth of the workforce.

Communicating your organization's values and beliefs across different channels can help you stand out. In addition, it will provide passive job seekers with a better vision of the type of organization you are in and plant the seed that yours may be an attractive place to work.

To attract passive job seekers, you must increase your exposure. Investing in your online presence, whether through social media, blogs, forums, or displays on relevant sites, can help you capture more attention for your company and its roles.

If only active job seekers knew of you, your talent pool would be considerably smaller. But if you build a strong employer brand and market it wisely, it may draw the attention of passive job seekers who keep an eye on industry roles.


What does your business need?

To target passive job seekers for future roles, you must first understand your business needs. Then, you can identify current and anticipated gaps within your workforce by making staffing assessments, whether they are skills or experience related. So, you can implement a hiring strategy to target the right individual.

Understanding your organizational needs helps you determine the individual you must focus upon or the relationships you need to build. For example, your business's digital operations may be growing, so the need for IT professionals may be pressing, which allows you to focus on identifying individuals with the knowledge to do the required role. 

You can set aside the necessary resources to engage with passive job seekers when you can do this. Then, you know who you need and can start building leads on individuals who may be an excellent fit for your company. 

Also, the knowledge allows you to personalize your interactions with the individuals; you can be surgical in your approach to show how they would relish working within your organization and the benefits they would find.


How to find passive job seekers

As they are mostly content with their current situation, you cannot expect applications flying in from passive candidates. So instead of waiting for their application, getting your brand, roles, and company culture in front of the right individuals is crucial. Seizing the initiative is a significant first step in the race for top passive talent. 

To do this, you should look to target passive candidates by:

  • Utilize blogs, social media, advertising banners, and marketing devices so wherever your individual is online, there is a chance that they may be presented with information about your company and possibly take the next step to learn more.
  • Use networking events to get among professionals and build contacts and relationships through face-to-face meetings. They have an opportunity to learn more about your organization and you, the type of person they are—the first step on the journey.
  • The direct approach. Contact job seekers personally via email or LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you can enter the criteria of an ideal candidate for a specific role.
  • Referral programs. Use your existing talent pool to expand and find passive job seekers. Your current employees are a great asset as their positive reviews provide passive job seekers with evidence of why your business is right for them.

How to engage passive job seekers

Again, many passive job seekers are happy in their current job. But LinkedIn has found that 90% of the professionals active on their platform would like to hear about career opportunities. So, for businesses, this offers a window to build relationships and highlight how their organization and jobs may be an opportunity worth taking.

To engage effectively, authentic communication between you and the individual is necessary. Here you can learn about the prospective candidates' backgrounds and professional aspirations. Thus allowing you to send relevant information to their interests, maintaining engagement through consistent contact.

When you understand their long-term vision, you can show how working at your company can help realize their ambitions.Throughout this process, it is essential to be patient and remove the pressure on the passive candidate to act swiftly. Instead, the focus should be on establishing a real relationship that will be highly beneficial in the long term.

However, engagement won't always have a happy ending. For example, the candidate may be content with their situation, may not be ready to move, or the job within the company isn't there yet. But keeping these individuals close provides a pool of possible leads to fish from.

Thus, when an opportunity does arise, you have done the hard work engaging with the individuals and built a favorable impression of the organization. 

Engaging passive candidates may not bear fruit for your company the first time asking. Still, in the long term, the more communication you have with a possible lead, the better the chance they will warm to you, remembering you when they do want to explore new opportunities, and the seed may grow to something extraordinary.

Why passive job seekers could be the answer to your hiring needs

As businesses compete for the same active candidates and the pool of excellent talent grows smaller, companies need to think of other ways to realize their recruitment goals. 

Today, passive job seekers are a considerable part of the labor market. Although they may not be actively seeking to switch jobs, passive job seekers may start taking more notice if the right opportunity presents itself.

Moreover, in a candidate-driven market, the risks associated with changing jobs are reduced and with more options than ever, what is there to lose? So, attracting passive candidates is crucial for businesses looking to recruit the best talent.

By successfully sourcing and engaging passive candidates, you could show how your organization could be the next stage of their career, an environment in which they will grow professionally and find individuals who feel passionately about your values and goals. 

To satisfy hiring needs and drive productivity and innovation, businesses must think outside of the box and attract passive job seekers to their roles.

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