Passive Candidate

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Businesses scale and succeed because of hard work. Day in and day out, people put in the effort that drives businesses forward. If you have the right employees on your team, daily operations will run smoothly and business targets can be achieved. This is why the quest for talent is an ongoing endeavor. HR teams and recruiters are always on the lookout for the best in the industry. But what do you do if an open role is hard to fill? Similarly, what happens if the candidate who applied for a position is not qualified? In this case, recruiters can look into tapping passive candidates. 

What is a “passive candidate”? 

A passive candidate is an individual who is not actively looking for a new employment opportunity. Passive candidates are people who are presently employed and, more often than not, are satisfied with their jobs since they are not looking to apply for a new role. 

What is the difference between an active candidate and a passive candidate? 

The primary difference between an active and a passive candidate is their desire and pursuit of a new job opportunity. Active candidates are individuals who are actively looking for a new role with a new organization. Active candidates scour job boards, explore job announcements, and apply for jobs. Be it sending a resume electronically or walking in an office to hand in a hard copy, active candidates are out there making it known that they want a new job. Oftentimes, active candidates are unemployed or are not satisfied with their current employer, interested in higher pay, or better opportunities. Whatever reason they may have, active candidates do not wait for hiring managers to contact them. They are the ones who reach out. 

Compared with active candidates, passive candidates are just the opposite. They are not exploring new opportunities. Since they do not look at job boards to see what’s available, passive candidates may not be familiar with who’s hiring and what positions are available. Hiring managers and recruiters reach out to passive candidates in the hope of attracting them to new job opportunities. 

What is “passive recruitment”? 

Employment opportunities are out there. Some industries have niche roles that require advanced skills and specialized knowledge that may be challenging to find. Because of this, hiring managers, HR professionals, and recruiters make sure to look beyond the applications they receive and see if more qualified candidates are out there. 

Passive recruitment is the process of reaching out to qualified individuals who are presently employed and who are not looking for a new job. Passive recruiting involves sourcing and speaking to passive candidates to inform them of employment opportunities and presenting them. The goal of passive recruitment is to hire someone who is not looking to be hired. 

How can HR professionals look for passive candidates? 

Sourcing qualified individuals who are not interested in a new job can be a tall order. However, with some helpful strategies, HR professionals will find that it is not impossible. Because passive candidates are not on job boards and hiring platforms, recruiters need to be creative in finding them. Exploring profiles on LinkedIn and other useful social media platforms is a good start. Aside from this, think of where your ideal candidates can be found. Ask for referrals and network in shared professional groups, organizations, and communities. When sourcing passive candidates, recruiters use as many resources as they can. 

How can HR professionals recruit passive candidates? 

If you are a recruiter, sourcing passive candidates is the first step. Once you have found the passive candidate whom you think is the best person for a job opportunity in your organization, what do you do? Keep in mind that passive candidates are not looking for a job. You are the one who needs to present your organization. Initially, you may want to send them a message via LinkedIn or on a platform that you prefer. Make sure that your message is professional and engaging. Highlight your organization and the current opportunity that is available. Provide several options by which you can talk about the job further via phone, a lunch meeting, or a virtual meeting. 

Depending on your hiring timeline, you can follow up on the candidate. However, make sure not to contact them at their office. Be respectful and courteous. In case the passive candidate is willing to be considered for the role, give them time to prepare their application as they might not have an updated resume handy. If ever they are not interested in what your company can offer, be respectful and thank them for their time and response.

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