The Complete Guide to Recruiting Passive Candidates

In the highly competitive job market of today, recruiters must seek job candidates of all different interests and from all sorts of different backgrounds.

This entails creating compelling job posts as well as interviewing candidates who are actively interested in the position in question. Many times, the candidates who apply for your job post will be a great fit for the position and will be an asset to your company for many years to come. These employees are known as active candidates, due to their concerted efforts to apply for a new job.

However, there is another pool of candidates who should not be counted out when it comes to recruiting new hires: passive candidates.

Passive Candidates: What are They?

Passive candidates are those workers who are not actively seeking a change in their employment status. They are generally happy with their lot in life and see no reason to switch things up.

For this reason (and many others), these employees are often excellent at what they do. They may be an exact fit for the post you have open and you would love nothing more than to have them apply for the job.

But again, they have no interest in changing up their current work situation, and may even be offended if you were to approach them with a job offer (unless you present the opportunity in just the right way).

Why Is It Necessary to Seek Out Passive Candidates?

According to research, over two-thirds of all job candidates are passive candidates. Because these candidates make up such a huge chunk of the candidate pool, it’s important to consider them as you develop your hiring strategy.

These employees are often sought out for positions that require technical skill in times when skilled workers are few and far between. Additionally, many of these passive candidates will be interviewing for management positions and those positions that are crucial to the success of a company overall.

Are Active Candidates Worth Pursuing?

No matter what industry you work in, you will almost always find active candidates. Employees who are desperate to find a new job or switch jobs are constantly reloading their LinkedIn and Indeed pages to find a position just like the one you’ve posted.

Truthfully, many good employees can start as active candidates. It’s good to have people who are excited about finding a new job and want to work for your company. However, it’s important to practice caution when looking into active candidates.

While these candidates may be excellent, they can also come with significant amounts of baggage. They may be looking for a new job because they have trouble getting along with coworkers, have not been performing well in their current position, or for any number of other reasons.

So, there’s no reason to eliminate active candidates from your recruitment process, just understand that these individuals may not offer as much as a quality passive candidate will.

Recruiting Passive Candidates

So, you’ve found a great job candidate, who is not actively seeking a change in employment and would likely respond negatively if you approached him or her about a job; how do you proceed?

You could try calling them directly, but again, they will likely just ignore this effort.

A much better approach is to make use of technology such as email, social media, and a recruitment app, also known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Opening the conversation through a carefully considered message via email or social media will allow the candidate to realize that:

  1. 1. You are not a spam robot.
  2. 2. You represent a legitimate company that has an opportunity available.
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From here, the passive candidate can make an informed decision which you should respect, regardless of what they decide.

In many cases, they may decline your invitation and you should not press them any further. They have your contact information and they can get in touch with you if they change their mind.

However, in other situations, you may be able to start a long conversation with a candidate that didn’t even know your job opportunity existed.

This is all made possible through the use of a recruitment app!

Best Practices for Finding Passive Candidates

Make no mistake, it’s much easier to find and interview active candidates. After all, they come to you, not the other way around.

Again, these active candidates may be great fits for positions you have available, and hiring them may lead to a happy outcome for many years to come.

But if you’re not finding the right talent or fit from your active candidates, you need to know how to seek out passive candidates effectively. What follows are some tips for finding and hiring passive candidates for your company.

1. Use Social Media Effectively

Nearly half of the world’s population has at least one social media account, and many people maintain two or more accounts. Depending on your industry, certain social media sites may be the better option for sourcing passive candidates. For example, if you are recruiting for a company that deals with art, you might lean more heavily on services such as Instagram or YouTube.

On the other hand, if you are representing a law firm, odds are your potential passive candidates use LinkedIn or maybe even Twitter more frequently than the other social media apps.

But these are far from hard and fast rules, and you’ll want to explore candidates across all social media platforms. This will, of course, take a considerable amount of effort and the work will be very tedious. You’ll likely spend many hours or even weeks combing through hashtags, keywords, and contacting candidates which end up producing nothing in the end.

However, if you find the perfect candidate, all of this effort will have been worth it in the long run.

2. Rely on Referrals

Many times, you’ll find that referrals can come from within your own company. Every industry is a “small world” in its own right and employees often know of friends and former colleagues who would be a great addition to your team.

Make a habit of discussing company openings with current employees and encourage your staff to communicate with you if they know of someone who might be a good fit for a position. Even if these referrals end up being dead-ends, you’ll still open up a whole new pool of potential candidates.

3. Consider Old Applicants

In the past, you may have interviewed some candidates who were strong contenders for the position, but for one reason or another, they just didn’t make the final cut. Maybe they were too expensive to hire, or maybe they were just slightly edged out by another candidate.

Through the use of a good recruitment app, you’ll have data on these individuals which can be revisited as new positions open up. Just because a candidate didn’t work out before, doesn’t mean they won’t be a great fit for a position in the future.

4. Don’t Neglect Traditional Networking Strategies

There’s no doubt that the internet will be your strongest sourcing strategy for both passive and active candidates. Because we do so many things online, it’s hard to even imagine a time before the internet, when people were only able to connect in person or over the phone. But this period in time did, indeed, exist!

It can feel like in-person meetings have gone the way of dinosaurs, but this is not at all accurate. Some of the best candidates are those that are found in person: at industry events, continuing education conferences, or even just out at an unrelated place such as a bar or restaurant.

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You should always be ready to meet a potential candidate, no matter where you are. Sometimes you might strike up a conversation with a stranger and realize that they are looking for the exact position you have open. Even if the person you’re talking to isn’t looking for work or isn’t a good fit, they may know someone who is.

Approaching Passive Candidates Without Being Annoying

It’s been mentioned before in this article, but it bears repeating: passive candidates will not approach you, you have to meet them where they are. These people do not know that your job exists and, honestly, they might not even care.

If you come off as a push salesman, you’ll not only sour potential candidates against you, you may even develop a poor reputation in the field. This is the very last thing you want to have happened, as even one bad interaction can make you seem like a huckster to any current or future job seeker.

Once you get the initial buy-in, or at least find a candidate who is willing to talk with you, suggest a meeting in a neutral, relaxed space. In normal times, this might include a coffee shop or casual diner. In times where in-person meeting is prohibited or discouraged, this meeting might have to happen over video conference.

During this meeting, you’ll want to give the candidate the “red carpet” treatment. This means paying for whatever they order at the restaurant, meeting at whatever time is convenient for them, and generally making them feel special and showing that you are truly interested in them as a job candidate.

Emailing Passive Candidates

We live in an age of information overload. If you’re like many people, you get hundreds of emails every day, most of which are filled with unnecessary details or spam.

Therefore, if you’re going to email or message a passive candidate, you need to be convincing and compelling immediately, or your message will quickly find its way to the trash.

An email to a passive candidate should include, at a minimum, the following elements:

  • Upbeat, positive tone. You need to demonstrate that you are passionate about your company and that your company is passionate about hiring the right employees. People want to work with others that share their values and strive to produce a great product or service. The tone of your email shouldn’t feel like a boring presentation that the candidate has to struggle through. Rather, they should be invigorated by your email!
  • Appeal to the specific candidate. This can sometimes be tricky to accomplish, depending on the candidate in question. But you’ll want to do a little digging and find out information on your passive candidate. By combing through their social media accounts and other online presences, you can discover some things that the candidate is interested in outside of work and industry-related topics. This will provide a sense of sincerity and will encourage the person to, at a minimum, follow up with you about the job.
  • Short and to-the-point. Again, with hundreds of emails coming in each day, no candidate wants to read a long, meandering manifesto about a company. They want to hear facts and statistics that appeal to them and why they should consider leaving their current company. We only have so much time to spend on these things in a day, make sure your email is worth their time commitment.
  • Explicación de por qué deberían funcionar para usted. Dejar un trabajo por otro no solo es difícil de hacer desde el punto de vista logístico, sino que también es arriesgado para el candidato. Si esta persona deja la empresa en la que trabaja actualmente para volver a trabajar para usted, ha sopesado los riesgos y cree que trabajar en su empresa será mejor para ella a largo plazo. Si termina siendo un mal ajuste, por una u otra razón, el empleado podría tener problemas para encontrar otro trabajo o puede ser etiquetado como alguien que salta entre empresas sin demostrar lealtad. Evite esta situación a toda costa poniendo sus cartas sobre la mesa de inmediato a través de un correo electrónico inicial bien redactado.
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Críticamente, debe recordar que el grupo de trabajadores de hoy es muy diferente al de las generaciones pasadas. Hace años, las empresas podían sacrificar ciertos beneficios y valores si ofrecían un salario lo suficientemente alto para los empleados.

Este ya no es el caso. Los candidatos de trabajo de hoy son muy conscientes de los problemas sociales, ambientales y otros relacionados con el empleo. Algunos empleados incluso rechazarán trabajos mejor pagados a favor de otros que se acerquen más a sus valores.

El salario y los beneficios son ciertamente consideraciones importantes y no deben pasarse por alto. Sin embargo, es importante recordar que los candidatos ponen más énfasis en otros temas que en el pasado.

Nunca sacrifique las prácticas éticas de contratación

No sería incorrecto decir que el mundo del reclutamiento es un mundo de perros y perros. Sin duda, existe una fuerte competencia en el campo y cada empresa quiere encontrar a los mejores candidatos de un pequeño grupo.

Dicho esto, nunca debe actuar de manera poco ética al reclutar, entrevistar, comunicarse o contratar candidatos. Esto es cierto ya sea que el empleado potencial sea un candidato activo o pasivo.

Si practica un comportamiento poco ético tarde o temprano, su industria lo descubrirá. Cuando esto sucede, el mejor de los casos es que su reputación se vea empañada en todo el campo y ningún candidato de calidad consideraría trabajar para usted. El peor de los casos es que se emprendan acciones legales contra usted y su empresa se vea obligada a enfrentar un cargo complicado relacionado con la ética.

El mejor consejo es ser honesto, directo y abierto sobre sus prácticas de contratación. No mienta a los candidatos, a otras empresas ni a otros reclutadores. Haz lo que sabes que es correcto y eventualmente encontrarás a tu candidato perfecto.

Usar una aplicación de reclutamiento

El proceso de encontrar y contratar candidatos pasivos puede parecer desalentador. No tiene sentido endulzarlo: los candidatos pasivos requieren mucho trabajo y tiempo por parte de los reclutadores.

Afortunadamente, mediante el uso de una aplicación de reclutamiento efectiva, los reclutadores pueden encontrar candidatos pasivos más fácilmente y administrar sus carteras de contratación. Las aplicaciones de reclutamiento son algunas de las mejores piezas de tecnología disponibles para los reclutadores, ya que les permiten encontrar candidatos de calidad, crear páginas de carrera y optimizar el proceso de contratación.

Conclusión: ¿Vale la pena el esfuerzo de los candidatos pasivos?

Después de leer todo en este artículo, es posible que se pregunte si “vale la pena exprimir el jugo”, por así decirlo. En resumen, reclutar candidatos pasivos es una tarea difícil, pero que puede conducir a resultados fenomenales a largo plazo si se implementa con éxito.

Entonces, al final, depende de usted si confía más en candidatos pasivos o activos. Sin duda, los candidatos activos son más fáciles de reclutar y la configuración de entrevistas se puede hacer más en los términos de una empresa. Estos empleados potenciales pueden resultar ideales para los puestos disponibles y contratar a un candidato activo podría conducir a un resultado feliz a largo plazo para todos los involucrados.

Sin embargo, los candidatos pasivos están por ahí, y solo están esperando la oportunidad adecuada para cambiar de empresa o de puesto por algo que aporte más valor a sus carreras y vidas. Estos trabajadores están altamente calificados y pueden aportar mucho valor a su empresa. Se necesitan las tácticas correctas para reclutar a estas personas, pero puede ganárselas con el enfoque correcto y la voluntad de dedicar tiempo y esfuerzo adicionales a la empresa.

Comience a aprovechar el mejor software de seguimiento de candidatos disponible, el crecimiento de su empresa será fácil de administrar. ¡Comience su prueba gratis hoy!