Hiring: When You Should Look to Passive Candidates

Passive candidates are people who are currently employed and open to moving to a new position even though they are not actively looking for another job. In other words, they’re not making any phone calls or sending emails to recruiters, but if the right opportunity came along, they would jump on it.

There’s no shortage of these candidates. Estimates about the number of passive candidates in the workforce range from 67% to 83%, depending on which study you look at.

So, when–and how–should you approach passive candidates? Here are a few pointers.

1. When the position offered gives most qualified candidates a better career opportunity.

This may seem like an obvious observation, but the point here is that passive candidates rarely respond to making a lateral move. If the position offers essentially the same job functions that the candidate is currently practicing, with little opportunity for career growth, then they probably won’t be receptive to your position.

However, if the position offers a lot of upward mobility, some impressive bonus options, stock options, and/or a chance to excel in front of some of the best and brightest people in the business, then by all means recruit these passive candidates.

2. When you’re recruiting in low unemployment areas.

In low unemployment areas, many times the only active job seekers are those that may not be qualified!  In these cases you may have to turn to passive job seekers if you’re looking to hire a top performer.  This allows you to target key individuals with specialty skills and even directly recruit people from competitors or industry leaders.  The challenge here is keeping a level of anonymity so that your organization isn’t deemed a “talent poacher.” Working with a qualified recruiter will help to keep passive candidate searches more confidential.

3. When you’ve learned how to not take “no” for an answer.

Passive candidates will likely voice some objections to a change and hesitation to something unfamiliar. When you hear those types of responses, you should know how to answer.

Successful recruiters are like successful people in any other sales position. They know how to be persuasive. They know how to change a “no” to a “yes.”

When concerns are raised, be sure to listen to those concerns and validate them. Respond to those concerns by accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.

4. When you’re willing to see it through until the end.

Recruiting passive candidates can be a lengthy, involved process. You’ll almost certainly find that it’s more challenging than recruiting active candidates, and there are a number of additional variables in play.

Be tenacious. See it through to the end. Be the person who holds the hands of the candidate, walking them through the entire process step by step.

If you’re looking to fill a position and believe a passive candidate may be exactly what you need, reach out to the recruiting experts at CultureFit Technology Staffing. At CultureFit, we value finding the best fit employee to successfully fulfill the needs of your company.  From initial screening to offer negotiation, we will help to ensure your search is confidential and sources the top available person for your opening.