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Attracting passive candidates

Attracting passive candidates

According to research by LinkedIn, approximately 65% of the global workforce was classed as passive candidates in 2016.

What defines a passive candidate? In short, someone who isn’t actively seeking a new role. LinkedIn expands this into three categories: “Passive means someone is thinking of changing jobs, not looking but would be open to discussing one, or not interested in chatting about any new jobs”. Such a large proportion of the global workforce raises the question – how do you attract passive candidates into a new role?

Encourage employee referrals

The 2017 Global Trends Report found 48% of candidates came from employee referrals. Better yet, the same study found candidates recruited in this way were faster to hire, performed better and stayed longer. The takeaway message? To attract passive candidates, you need to recognise the potential of your team – they’re your brand ambassadors! LinkedIn’s 2016 survey found not knowing what it’s like to work at the company to be the biggest barrier for not taking the leap into a new role. Who better to provide this insight than your current employees?


Hire a recruiter

Working with a trusted recruitment company is another way to attract passive candidates. Not only do they know their market inside out, they also have a database of talented individuals at their fingertips. This is echoed by the 2016 UK Talent Trends Report Global, which found agencies to be the top source for candidates first learning about a new job. As one of the world’s leading recruitment specialists, we’ve developed a database of the best financial technology (FinTech) candidates out there, not to mention a network to be reckoned with. Let’s face it – the recruitment process can be difficult enough when candidates are actively looking, let alone when they aren’t! That’s why it’s better to enlist knowledgeable and experienced recruiters who can save you time and stress.


Create a lasting impression online…

According to research, the top action candidates take after becoming aware of a job is to look at the company’s website. Hint! This is your time to create a lasting impression and show them what a great company you are to work for. Specifically, candidates look for information about the culture and values, closely followed by office location, employee perspectives and company’s mission, the same survey found. Put yourself in the shoes of the candidate – would your company website encourage you to leave the comfort of your role for a new venture? If the answer is ‘no’, it’s time to make improvements. (Note that ‘employee perspectives’ is listed above, reiterating the importance of employee voice.)


We can’t talk about the importance of online presence without mentioning social media. The power of sharing means a passive candidate might just stumble across your company and, if they like the look of you, take an interest. What do your posts say about your business?


…And offline

We’ve talked ‘online’, but there’s nothing like meeting people in-person. Live events, such as networking meetings, are an ideal way to come face-to-face with potential candidates. What starts as swapping business cards might develop into a job offer in the future.


Be discreet

While some passive candidates may be open to discussing a new role, it doesn’t mean they want it to become public knowledge. In fact, fear of their current workplace finding out might make them even more passive! Reassuring candidates with confidentiality and discretion will create trust. Needless to say, that’s the only way we know how to operate. Even if a job isn’t of interest now, we’ve seen first-hand how this can change – who do you think they’ll contact when this happens?


As we’ve discussed, there isn’t ‘one approach fits all’ when it comes to attracting passive candidates (that would be too easy!) You need to develop a strategy that considers the person who’s thinking about a new role, the person who’s open to discussing a new role and the person who doesn’t want to discuss a new job. As the approaches will inevitably vary, a combination of the above methods will give you the best chance of reaching candidates at the various stages of consideration. Most importantly, work on being the best company you can be; show how happy your employees are and compel passive employees to come out of hiding and take the leap!

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