A recent LinkedIn survey indicates that only 12 percent of the workforce is aggressively looking for a new job. That means, every time you post a job opening, you’re reaching about one out of every eight qualified workers.

But that same survey also reveals an additional 28 percent are reaching out to their networks for opportunities or just casually looking a few times a week. And here’s the stunner: Another 45 percent would be open to considering a new opportunity if they were approached by a recruiter. Now, that mere 12 percent of active job seekers turns into 85 percent of the workforce that could be willing to make a job change if the right offer came along. And that is an entirely new ballgame for recruiters.

What Is a Passive Candidate?

When recruiters and hiring managers talk about passive candidates, they are typically referring to those top prospects who are not looking to change jobs. Top prospects are also top performers and probably fall into that 10 percent of all employees at a company. These workers are highly skilled, and they are the leaders, innovators and quick learners.

Another thing that makes them valuable is that they work for your competitor. If you can recruit them, you will become better because these top performers will bring their skills and ideas with them. Since they are so well-known and respected, they might also inspire other valuable people to follow them.

The challenge with the top-performing passive candidates is that they are usually happy where they are. Since they are not looking, they can’t usually be reached through normal recruiting approaches.

How Can You Recruit Passive Candidates?

Passive candidates are out there, and they signify a large pool of qualified workers who might fit into your organization perfectly.  But these are not the candidates who are sending out resumes, answering job ads, or reaching out to their professional networks. They already have jobs, and they are mostly happy at them. So, to entice them to consider an offer, you will need to convince them you are presenting them with an opportunity and not just another job. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Give the passive candidate a reason to make a change. Over the years, multiple surveys have come up with the same results: A more attractive opportunity is the number one reason people change jobs, and that is followed closely by better compensation. Passive candidates could be persuaded by a challenging position, more money, or perhaps a better work-life balance.
  • Emphasize a long-term opportunity, rather than a short-term fix. Be sure to promote the opportunity with your company as being ongoing and serious. You will not convince top prospects with superficial offers, and even if you can, they won’t be happy very long.
  • Be persistent but not pesky. Don’t give up after one email. Just because a passive candidate is happy today doesn’t mean they’ll be open to a conversation. Good recruiters never harass their contacts, but they do keep the lines of communication lines open at all times.

Looking for top candidates for your business?

Let us help you find them. Contact Pro Resources for the light industrial or technical/professional help you need. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so we will use our expertise to find your next top-notch worker.