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11 Ways Passive Talent Pays Off for Recruiters

For the past year, companies have faced an unprecedented talent shortage.

While these are certainly challenging times for recruiters, there is also a tremendous opportunity when you consider that people are rethinking what they want in their jobs. 

Rather than “post and pray,” recruiters can leverage this rethinking to connect with passive talent and direct them to their next career opportunity.

How do you engage passive talent?

Passive candidates are people who aren’t actively applying to jobs but are open to learning about new opportunities. Since they are already employed, they’re very selective about the jobs they consider and value other factors beyond compensation like work-life balance, career growth opportunities, and diversity and inclusion.

Successfully engaging passive talent requires:

  • Learning about your passive talent pool through target market data

  • Surfacing the most qualified talent with the right technologies and advanced search capabilities 

  • Aligning your company and opportunity with their wants and needs through an omni-channel outreach campaign 

  • Using advanced search capabilities to surface qualified talent

  • Keeping your organization and opportunities top of mind by continuing to stay in touch

Engaging passive talent is all about being proactive and patient. You search for great candidates, communicate why your opportunity is right for them, and nurture the relationship until they’re ready to join your company. While this approach requires more time and effort, it can pay off in several ways for recruiters.

  1. You focus on the right candidates. Engaging passive talent is a highly targeted recruiting tactic. Instead of spending hours reviewing resumes hoping to find a match, you’re able to prioritize candidates who meet your hiring manager’s diversity, location, and experience requirements.

  2. You have candidates available for future roles. You don’t disregard a passive candidate if they’re not the right fit or aren’t interested in the role you initially contacted them about. You instead build a relationship with them and reconnect when a role that better suits them becomes available. 

  3. You reduce time-to-hire.  And because you’ll have a network of qualified candidates you can tap into, you don’t have to start at square one each time a new role opens. You can simply put the hiring manager in touch with a great candidate you already know and fill the role sooner than later.  

  4. You reduce recruitment costs. In addition to saving time, targeting passive talent reduces recruitment costs. You don’t have to spend money advertising jobs, working with external agencies, or hiring more recruiters since you have an efficient process for sourcing passive talent. 

  5. You can predict hiring success. As you get experience engaging passive talent, you’ll develop benchmarks for the number of candidates you need to source and contact to fill a role. When a new requisition opens, you’ll know exactly what targets you need to meet at each step of the process to make a hire. 

  6. You build trust with candidates. Passive candidates will grow to trust you and your company as you continually engage with them. When they eventually decide to interview for a role that trust will help convince them the opportunity is right, and they'll be more likely to accept an offer. 

  7. You improve the candidate experience. Given that passive candidates are already employed, they won’t tolerate lengthy applications, ignored messages, or any other behaviors where the recruiter acts like they have the upper hand. Engaging passive talent forces you to evaluate and improve the experience your company provides to all candidates—passive or not. 

  8. You prepare future hires to join your company. As you continually communicate with a passive candidate, they learn what your company offers, how it operates, and the structure of the team and organization. When they eventually accept an offer and join, their on-boarding and ramp-up period will be streamlined. 

  9. You can optimize your employer brand messaging. Engaging passive talent requires sending captivating content that gets them interested in your role. You’ll learn what messaging resonates with people and can tweak your employer brand messaging to better align with the values of the talent market. 

  10. You gain a competitive advantage in today’s talent market. The competition for top talent is the toughest it has been in a long time. The recruiters who have realized they need to proactively engage passive talent are winning against the ones who are still posting job openings and hoping candidates come to them.  

  11. You level the playing field. Competing with big companies that have large recruiting teams and budgets can often feel daunting. But using a talent platform to source and engage passive talent allows you to work smarter and do more with less.

Discover and engage passive talent

Engaging passive talent is the most effective recruiting tactic in today’s candidate-driven market. People not only have a lot of options in where they work—they’ll only consider opportunities that check all the boxes for what they want in a job. Get proactive and experience all the advantages of engaging passive talent.

Ready to get started? Check out our step-by-step guide for creating a passive talent engagement strategy

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