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5 Tips for Discovering the Best Passive Job Candidates

Jun 10 , 2015

Passive job candidates need you to make them look.


One survey found that about half of all employees are happy with their work and have no intention of leaving. Of the other half, only about 10% are actively looking - but they're outnumbered by the nearly 40% who aren't looking but are open to making a change. That means if you're limiting your job search to reviewing the resumes that cross your desk, you're seeing only a fraction of the pool of qualified candidates. You'll have a better chance of finding the best person for your job if you expand your search and reach out to those passive job candidates.

Because they aren't actively looking for work, you won't find those passive job seekers by posting on job boards. They may be on Linked In, but their profile may not have up-to-date job histories and skills, because they aren't trying to be found there. Instead, you need to find them where they hang out, or get them interested in your business rather than jobs.

  • Use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to attract passive candidates by posting interesting content about the company's success and the positive attributes of the company, not specific employment opportunities. If you can get them interested in the company, the passive job seeker may take an active interest in your job openings.
  • Build awareness of your firm through blogging, newsletters, and advertising. Similar to using Facebook and Twitter, these activities put your company in front of passive job seekers. You don't need to limit yourself to talking specifically about your company; post information that's useful to anyone in your industry. Once passive job seekers learn about your business through these channels, they may begin to explore job opportunities as well.
  • Find candidates in online sites that reflect their interests. Technical sites like GitHub and StackOverflow draw technical workers who are passionate about the technology and eager to share their knowledge. Look for active participants in forums who demonstrate ability in the skills you need. You may find candidates participating in LinkedIn groups even if their profile isn't current.
  • Real world hangouts can be more effective than online hangouts to make contact; network with people in the organizations they belong to. Directories of members in professional societies are one way to identify candidates; attending society events provides the opportunity to meet in person. Use meetup.com to find groups where candidates with specific skills or interests belong, and attend their meetings.
  • Take the first step and initiate contact. Reach out to people you have existing relationships with from filling previous job openings. Also ask your existing employees to reach out to their candidates. Besides enlarging the pool of candidates, if you trust your employees' judgment, you can trust that the candidates they recommend are well qualified.

Help passive job seekers find your job.


Take advantage of as many channels as you can to reach out to passive job seekers. It's very likely your best hire is someone who wouldn't think to send their resume until after you put yourself in front of them. Contact us today and get started.