Three Things to Know About Passive Recruiting

Gina Deveney
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Passive recruiting involves targeting candidates who are qualified and experienced but not necessarily interested in changing jobs. At first glance, this type of recruiting can seem like an unnecessary challenge or a waste of time. However, passive recruiting can help companies fill positions with just a few tweaks to how they approach candidates. To make passive recruiting work for your business, you must understand why it is effective and how to recruit for results.

The first thing to know about passive recruiting is that its number one goal is building relationships. Because the target talent pool consists of candidates who are gainfully employed, starting a communication stream is an important part of building a foundation for a relationship. Connecting via social networks, commenting on blog posts and meeting at networking events might be necessary to begin building relationships with qualified candidates.

There are two key elements to knowing how to passively recruit candidates, says hiring expert Lou Adler. The first is knowing how the top candidates get their positions. Studies have shown that over 93 percent of top-performing candidates in their industry do not find their jobs through a job posting or advertisement; they are referred by someone they know well, such as a former colleague or friend. A major benefit of recruiting a passive candidate is that he is more likely to want to hit the ground running if offered a new position, and little time is needed to develop skills. This can save a company valuable time and resources that would otherwise be spent training or acclimating candidates found through more traditional methods.

The second key element to passive recruiting, according to Adler, is finding skilled recruiters to target coveted candidates. Passive recruiting, unlike active recruiting, requires a subtle approach; you want to communicate the perks of working for your company without coming off as desperate or aggressive. A talented recruiter, whether in-house or outsourced, will be able to walk that fine line and inspire interest in a passive candidate. Even without a recruiter, an employee referral program is an alternative approach that can be very effective with passive recruiting. Letting your employees speak for your company and communicate the great reasons to work there is an effective way to drum up interest without actively pursuing talent.

Passive recruiting involves a more precise and careful approach to attract talented and qualified candidates. Many times, the most qualified candidates are content with their current positions, but that doesn't mean they should be overlooked. Passive recruiting, like active recruiting, is about building relationships and making connections, but without the obvious sales pitch. By investing the time and energy to build and maintain these strong connections, you can make passive recruiting work for your company.

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