Everything You Need to Know About Passive Candidates

BY THE TALENTDASH TEAM | March 21, 2017

They are often the rock stars of the company, the unapproachable ones that you’d love to have in your talent pool. But what is it about passive candidates that makes them so special?

Last week we discussed the differences between passive and active candidates and why it’s important to target both in any recruitment drive. We also touched on the advantages of having both in your talent pool, but this week we decided to delve a little deeper into the sometimes enigmatic persona that is the passive candidate.

The passive rock stars
As any recruiter will testify, the cream of the crop tends to be those that are secure in their positions and who aren’t necessarily thinking about applying for jobs. And they are often secure in those positions for a very good reason; expertise, or more precisely an abundance of expertise.

These are the rock star employees that are so good at their jobs that the company would never dream of replacing them. Every project finishes with a happy client, new leads arrive due to their reputations, and more often than not, they either save or make the company a lot of money. They are as close to indispensable as an employee can get and sometimes they don’t even know this themselves which only makes them all the more appealing to prospective employers.

Such dedicated professionals won’t usually have the time or the inclination to seek out new challenges as they throw everything they have into their current role. And that is why first finding, and then persuading them to hear you out can be quite the mission (almost) impossible.

So why are they so special?
Well, we know exactly why they’re so special to their current employers but why are they the golden egg of the recruitment world? There are quite a few reasons, but the simple answer is that they don’t try too hard.

While it might seem counterproductive to have a candidate that isn’t too bothered about getting the job you set up an interview for, it’s actually perfect and here’s why. 

• They are honest about their skills – You reached out to them first, so they have no need to embellish their achievements or abilities.
• They aren’t talking to other recruiters – There’s no need to worry about offers from competing companies as your interview is quite possibly the only one they are attending.
• They are self-confident – They know that you want them and so will feel relaxed about the interview process taking a lot of tension out of the situation.
• They need to be fulfilled – Job fulfilment, that is. This means they need to feel that they belong and have a sense of achievement in all that they do. What others see as obstacles, they see it as challenges to overcome and, more often than not, they slay it.

Add these reasons to our rock star qualities we listed earlier and you can see why some recruiters consider passive candidates the Holy Grail of talent acquisition.

How to find your next rock star
Sparking an interest in a person that is not interested in a new job is an uphill battle, but thankfully there are ways to make that climb a little easier for both recruiters and potential employers.

Get them behind your employer brand
Everyone is on social media these days, and there’s simply no excuse for a company to have an unmanaged or poorly maintained account on any of the big platforms. Pushing a positive employer brand could make a real difference when the time comes to start hiring.

With this in mind, a company’s marketing department needs to create a brand persona that will inspire confidence and one that people (passive candidates) can relate to. Instilling this positive image of the company in their mind through social media is a massive step in the right direction and will make approaching passive candidates later down the line a much simpler task.

If you want to learn a little more about employer branding, check out our post on how employer branding can help clean up your talent pool.

Build an organic network
The best way to do this is to make sure that current employees are content and that they are telling people about it. Employers should encourage their staff to take a more active role in promoting the company through social media, yet according to a study by Glassdoor, only 33% do so. Interestingly, the same study also found that 39% of employees will share praise or positive comments about their employer online.

Now, while connecting with people on Linkedin is a great way to build a network, the stats above show us that employees can build that organic network on a company’s behalf and in the process help push the positive employer brand we mentioned earlier.

Write creative job postings 
While there’s a lot to be said for standard issue job postings that make clever use of keywords, creating memorable job postings that are highly shareable is both marketing and recruiting genius. Not only are you (yet again) building a strong brand persona but in creating something that has the possibility of going viral, you are also putting your job ad in front of a lot of passive eyes. 

And what exactly do we mean by creative job postings? Take a look at these recruitment masterpieces

Use the right tools
There’s only so many hours of searching and personalizing connection requests that a person can handle on Linkedin before it starts to get incredibly tedious. Thankfully, there’s no need to trawl through endless profiles when you have the right tools at hand.

We might be a little biased in saying so, but we’re confident that TalentDash is one such tool as we help you build your talent pipeline through talent-mapping.

When using a platform such as ours, it’s easier to analyze the talent universe and locate those hard-to-find (passive) candidates that may not be using the popular platforms such as Linkedin. The benefit here is that not only are you speeding up your process but you are also opening your search to areas you may not have had the time to search or even knew existed.


True Rock Stars will always live and be desired everywhere…Dont lose them.

Are you interested in exploring the talent universe?  for a free ride on our platform and let us help you find your next rock star candidate.


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