Are We Living in a Passive Candidate Era?

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Have you ever experienced the famous “now that you’re taken, you’re more attractive to me and NOW I want you” drama? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this doesn’t only apply to your love life. People tend to want what they can’t have, it’s in their nature, and recruiters are no exception.

This strategy has been applied in the recruiting world for a long time now. Looking to hire someone who already has a job isn’t an easy task, so why do recruiters like to chase passive candidates more than active job seekers?

Are Active Candidates a Thing of the Past?

Recruiters tend to go for passive candidates the most because the talent they need for an open position is usually scarce and people who are already hired are the perfect contenders. However, there is also another common reason recruiters prefer this type of candidate. Most of the time, it is assumed that an active job seeker was laid off, quit, or was fired for negative reasons, which recruiters see as a potential bad hire. But that is obviously not always the case. A professional shouldn’t be judged by their employment status, but passive candidates seem to be irresistible at times.

The important thing to keep in mind here is that just because an active candidate doesn’t currently have a job, doesn’t mean they’re less valuable than a passive candidate.

Convincing a person to leave a perfectly good job where they are comfortable enough to not be actively seeking for another job is one rough task. Passive candidates are tough nuts to crack and, believe it or not, not everything depends on the best salary.

Luring Them in

Leaving a job where you have both stability and financial security is a huge risk for any professional, so if they actually leave, you will have to go out of your way to please them. According to a recent study from Corporate Responsibility Magazine, up to 84% of candidates would consider changing jobs if a company with an excellent reputation made an offer. So, we can honestly say it’s not all about the money. You could offer a great salary, yes, but candidates nowadays expect more than that, especially passive candidates.

In order to convince a passive candidate, you basically need to become an amazing salesperson, remember they may not be actively looking for a job, but if the right offer comes along, they might just go for it.

What Can You Offer That They Don’t Already Have?

Unlike active job seekers, passive candidates won’t magically appear, you need to go after them. So, what can you offer them that they don’t already have at their current job? Like we said before, money alone isn’t going to cut it, you have to make your offer and the company sound irresistible, like a good chocolate commercial. Now to the real question: what does a passive candidate want?

Stand out from the crowd: If you’re looking to make an impression on a passive candidate, you need to make the company easy to find, so that when they decide to do their research, they can do so with a simple Google search. Be sure to be active on the different social channels; you want candidates to be able to find information from different sources. Remember reputation is everything, so make sure you keep a consistent image all over the web, especially company review websites like Glassdoor.

Keep the communications to the minimum: Try not to stalk passive candidates. You may be eager for them to accept, but they probably need time to really consider their options. Keep in mind that if they didn’t actually say no, you might have a shot. However, if you get rejected the first time, analyze your offer and what’s lacking and try to see if your company is willing to up its game.

It’s all about the benefits: A better salary is always something to aspire to, but candidates nowadays want a little more than just that. Benefits are a big part of the “perfect job package” and passive candidates always look to improve in that area. A strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) will allow you to both increase your retention rate and attract the best talent out there, in this case, the coveted passive candidate. From further education and training courses, extra vacation days as reward, being able to work remotely, health and dental insurance, to maternity leave, every little benefit counts.

Being happy is a priority: Creating a comfortable work environment and building your company culture will be what sets the organization apart and catch the attention of the passive candidate. Developing your employees’ love for the company will allow you to have an untouchable reputation and to take your employer branding to a whole other level.

Are you really ready to take on passive candidates now? Then roll up your up your sleeves and start getting creative, they will definitely appreciate the effort and probably even consider your offer.

Vanessa Fardi
Digital Copy Editor