You’re looking to fill a current opening in your company and are having a difficult time finding a candidate with the skills and work experience that you’d prefer. The perfect person is out there, and you know it. Perhaps they’re not currently looking for a job at the moment. Perhaps they’re part of the workforce that makes up the pool of passive candidates?
A passive candidate is one who is not actively pursuing a new job opportunity but could be persuaded to accept an offer if they were approached. Typically, passive candidates are fully employed and not unhappy with their current position. Nearly anyone could be a passive candidate. In fact in 2012, CareerBuilder released a study that found 74% of employees would be open to a new opportunity—but reaching these individuals can be a daunting task.
One of the simplest ways to increase your attractiveness to passive employees is to have a robust vision of the company that you can share at any time of day with anyone. Inevitably, passive candidates will want to have a clear idea of what benefits they would enjoy if they left their current employer. When research shows that passive employees are usually relatively happy with their current job, the pitch from a company trying to convince them to move on from it must be compelling and strong. Most likely, a tempting deal would provide the candidate with ample room for professional development as well as sweeten their life through improved benefits or compensation.
Employee referrals are another excellent way to improve your access to these potential employees. Sometimes your greatest recruiting assets are already sitting in your office with knowledge that is simply waiting to be tapped. Inquire with your current employees about people within their personal and professional networks who might be a good fit for the company and the open position.
One can never underestimate the power of social media to tap the market of passive candidates. The majority of passive job seekers mentioned in the 74% above are currently utilizing 14 – 15 different resources that could lead to new employment. These resources include social media outlets such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn estimates that about 20% of its users are currently seeking employment—meaning that the majority of its users could be considered passive candidates. Companies should take advantage of the free resources available via LinkedIn to create a business profile and seek other members to follow their online profile. For increased engagement, groups can be established that become open forums for professionals in the LinkedIn network to rally around a specific topic or area of interest. And remember that while LinkedIn is one of the largest professional social media resources out there—it currently has almost 10 million users—it skims the surface of the recruiting resources available via social media.
Your tactics will be unique to your company. Perhaps you already have an active social media presence that you can utilize or maybe your current employees have lots of friends in your niche industry. Part of the secret is leveraging the assets you already have available to improve your recruiting. However, in order to reach this large market of potential employees, sometimes you’ve really got to think outside the box.
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