A passive candidate is a potential hire that isn’t on the job market, as opposed to an active hire, who is seeking out a new position. Passive candidates fall into a unique area of the hiring process and can make wonderful, qualified additions to your team.
As a recruiter or hiring manager, it’s up to you to source these passive candidates and do the back-end research to track down someone who might be perfect for your open role (even if they don’t know it yet!). While this may seem like more initial work, this type of recruitment has many benefits that can lead to happier employees in well-matched positions who can grow within your company.
Find the Most Qualified Candidates
When sourcing passive candidates, you essentially get to create a “wish list” for your ideal candidate. Perhaps you want someone with specific types of relevant experience or training that would serve them well in your open role. When actively recruiting, you have to spend a lot of time combing through resumes and cover letters to see if candidates that have applied to the role are qualified. However, when recruiting passive candidates, you can do research to hand-select candidates whose resumes align as closely as possible with your open position.
They Aren’t on the Job Hunt
When working with active candidates, you might be in competition with other hiring managers and other companies to which those candidates have already applied. Most active candidates apply to several jobs, as it can take between 21-80 applications on average to receive a job offer. So, your active candidates might be juggling multiple job interviews and even multiple offers at once. In this situation, you could be competing against companies offering higher pay, more benefits, shorter commute distance, etc. With passive candidates, you’re far less likely to run into this competition situation and have ample time and space to court your passive candidate.
They Aren’t Seeking Out a Change
People go on the job hunt for a huge range of reasons but for some, the job hunt begins when their current job becomes unsatisfactory. So, every so often when active candidates apply to roles, they might be primarily motivated to escape an unsatisfactory job, rather than motivated to find the perfect fit. When sourcing a passive candidate, you can be more certain that they’d only make a switch and come to your company because they truly think it would be a great fit and because your role checks off many boxes on their list.
Sourcing passive candidates is a great way to shake up your hiring process and bring new energy to your team. Whether you’re looking for a candidate with specific experience or a particular skill set, consider adding this type of recruiting to your process. Even if your passive candidate isn’t quite ready to leave their current job, each connection made can help get you closer to the best fit for your company.