Recruiting Passive Candidates. Here is what you should know

Recruiting passive candidates is one of the most difficult parts of being a recruiter. Mostly because they represent approx. 70% of all candidates and they are not actively looking for a new job.

However, this does not mean they will not leave their current employer if the new offer is better or is suiting their needs.

Today we wanted to talk about passive candidates. Right now we are still looking for talent and the pool of people has shortened over the past months. Therefore we have to dig deeper into our sourcing abilities and find that 70%. 

I swear I’ve seen one!

Of course, finding them is not all there is to this party planning. We also have to convince them to talk with us. Which will be fairly difficult.

We are still staying home and hoping to feel the light breeze of fresh air again. Why not step-up our skills and actually interact with random people on the internet?

So grab your notebook and get comfy in your PJ’s because today we will cover recruiting passive candidates.

1. These candidates are hard to find. You have to be creative

What do we mean by being creative? Well, it’s no surprise that most people you source for are coming from LinkedIn. However, out of that 70%, most of them do not come from that platform in particular.

How many accounts have you seen that have in the description “Recruiters don’t bother”? And how many did you ignore and messaged anyway?

So aren’t you in the mood for a little change? LinkedIn is a great platform, although it can be limiting to some extent. That’s why spicing up your sourcing comes like that wanted breath of fresh air.

This is fine!

There are so many ways to find people these days, especially online. You can google basically anything and have a great result.

Don’t just stick to the basic social media platforms that every single recruiter is using. Figure out ways to convince people they need a new job on their own comfortable territory. They will never expect it and you have nothing to lose.

Some platforms you want to use are: Google Search (Yes, for real), GitHub (once you learn how to find people there), Reddit (Look past the memes and you will see), Quora (you’d be surprised at how many people complain about their job).

2. Be human and keep up the honesty

You managed to find someone. Great!

Now that this is over with, here comes the part where you have to interact. Don’t PANIC!

Once you’ve stayed in the house for so long, you tend to focus more on the computer rather than human interaction. And you have to admit that it’s hard to come up with a good and catchy conversation to hook that passive candidate.

Interaction error 404- human touch not found.

Well, that is why you have to be prepared. You don’t have to come up with stuff in the heat of the moment. But, of course, you already know that. 

However, do keep in mind that these people have career stability in these uncertain times. Which means that being too salesy and losing the human touch is going to drive them away.

So make a nice story that reproduces their benefits, so you can empathise with them. The reason most people leave their job is because of a better offer to grow. Tell them what they have to gain and how can they grow.

Doing that, keep up the honesty. Even if you tell them their benefits and you’re making it a nice and pretty story, it has to be authentic and to represent you.

3. They will ask for more because they have nothing to lose

Recruiting passive candidates will bring with it also a hardcore negotiation process. 

Because you really want that candidate and they know that, you will do whatever you can in that negotiation. However, negotiation is a game. As we said in our negotiation article for candidates.

You have to be prepared for them to either be passive to your offer, either to try and push for more. 

I am a master of negotiation!

They have nothing to lose in this scenario and this way it’s just a phone call in which they either win or just continue with life. For you, it’s a potential deal.

So be prepared to ride that negotiation game and don’t stick only to the numbers. Pepper up with some other benefits.

4. A big potential drop out 

The horror of every recruiter out there.

While they are representing a vast majority of candidates, they also represent a vast majority of dropouts.

Why? Because they still have that nice and cosy job where a counteroffer will change their mind immediately. Also because they can change their mind without any reason and still have a job.

For a passive candidate, the pressure of getting a job does not exist. Therefore the rate for them to drop out of a deal is higher.

It’s been a nice ride! I changed my mind.

So in conclusion, recruiting passive candidates is a though process. But in the end, you can’t live with them, nor without them. And in these times some interaction with random people online is welcomed.

Do not forget that you have to be empathic, human, but still hit that negotiation ball in your corner. Bringing a creative touch to your sourcing is a great way to find passive candidates. And remember that it’s a fun time to change your approach and step up your skills.

Leave a comment with how you approach passive candidates. I would love to hear your input!

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