Recruiting in today’s tight talent market is certainly a major challenge and recruiters are constantly faced with the fact that some of the best candidates will already have a job and although they might consider a new job, they are certainly not actively seeking a new opportunity: they are passive candidates.
Passive candidates make up around 75% of the UK’s workforce and when you combine this with all-time high employment statistics from the Office for National Statistics you start to get a feel of how challenging the recruitment market is currently.
To maintain a steady and strong pipeline of amazing candidates, it is essential to entice passive candidates away from their current role and towards the jobs you’ve available or else you might just lose the war on talent.
According to a report by Hubspot, 90% of global professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities, but only one-third of them are actively looking. Hence, even if they are not actively looking for a job change, they are always interested in knowing about new job opportunities.
So how do you attract passive candidates from the very first conversation?
Approach passive candidates carefully
It’s very easy as a recruiter to come across as pushy and it is not going to attract any candidate, never mind passive candidates, if you fill their inbox with lots of messages.
It’s important to remember that passive candidates are usually satisfied with their present jobs and this is why they are not actively looking for new job opportunities.
Therefore, to gain their attention and trust you need to make any communication personal and in a way that will create interest.
It is ideal to have had some contact prior to the first conversation by for example joining in on conversations on forums or twitter and you can even try to make contact through non-traditional recruitment platforms such as Facebook and twitter, as it can appear more personal.
Communicate what passive candidates want to know
It’s extremely important to approach candidates armed with the information that matters to them and that will ultimately encourage them to want to take any job enquiry further.
Passive candidates expect employers to give an honest, rather than showing only the bright aspects of their company, whilst candidates are inquisitive about employees’ opinions about what makes the company stand out.
Additionally, it is important to passive candidates to learn about job’s expectations and workload and how taking on a new role will impact their career.
Put the best foot forward
The major difference with passive candidates is they need to be convinced that the first conversation is worth their time investment.
Why would a candidate be interested in working for you, if they are well-satisfied with their job? Well, that’s what you need to answer to encourage and attract passive candidates in the first place.
Therefore, it is key that your employer brand is strong and appeals to the right people in the right way. After all, if your brand is appealing, then the vast majority of people would be interested in working for you.
Everyone wants to work for a great company that promotes its values and appreciates its employees and you need to prove and publicise that this is what you can offer, as people are no longer simply looking for a job, they’re looking for more than that.
Hire the right people to attract the right people
Word of mouth is a powerful medium for attracting passive candidates therefore it is essential to hire people that are enthusiastic and understand and believe in your brand.
This not only reduces the likelihood of staff turnover but also creates an employee base who are advocates of your brand and happy to market a positive message about you as an employer through referral schemes.
Be engaging on social media platforms
Your brand doesn’t need to be everywhere however you do need to engage and interact with social media to attract passive candidates to your brand.
By sharing updates and discussing relevant topics, you are communicating in a natural and engaging way which helps when you do advertise a vacancy as you already have an honest and transparent relationship which attracts candidates.
Any queries that social media generates need to be responded to quickly, as indeed do any queries. People expect an almost instant reply. So, it is important to invest time and care to get it right.
Overall, the one clear message to remember is that active candidates are in short supply and professionals who are happy with their jobs don’t want to be sold a new job.
However, if you offer yourself as an industry expert you can gain these professionals’ trust and if you assure that you have a recruitment strategy in place to attract these people you can achieve success and end up with new and very promising candidate pool.