Targeting Passive Job Seekers in Your Recruiting Plan

In today’s dynamic employment landscape, hiring managers are on a continuous journey to discover the right talent at the right time. The modern active job market is full of opportunities—for both employers and job seekers—with even more to discover.

Beyond the usual avenues, there’s a hidden reservoir of potential just waiting to be tapped: passive job seekers.

According to LinkedIn, these potential candidates make up a whopping 70 percent of the labor market. This untapped talent pool could solve your recruitment challenges and help you develop an effective recruitment plan.

But who are passive job seekers? Why should you target them, and how do you do it?

We’re here to dive into the ins and outs of passive job seekers, offering you innovative strategies and practical advice to refine and supplement your recruiting plan.

A Closer Look at Passive Job Seekers

Passive job seekers are currently employed people and not actively looking for a new job but may be open to the right opportunity. Unlike active job seekers, they’re not regularly browsing job boards or sending out resumes. They’re often skilled professionals who are content in their current roles.

So why target them?

Pursuing passive candidates is a strategic shift that recognizes the untapped potential lying beyond the traditional market. But why should you focus some of your energy on people who aren’t looking for a job?

To answer that question, you have to understand the unique attributes and advantages that these candidates bring to the table. It’s not just about expanding your talent pool—it’s about accessing quality, diversity, and unique skill sets that align with your organizational goals.

Targeting passive seekers can bring numerous benefits to your business, including:

  • Quality candidates: Passive candidates are often satisfied with their jobs and competent at their roles, so they bring as equal (or a higher level) of expertise than those from the traditional hiring market.
  • Diverse skill sets: By looking beyond active job seekers, you can find candidates with unique skills that are currently in use at businesses.
  • Reduced competition: Because passive candidates aren’t actively looking for work, there’s far less competition when you reach out to them. It gives you the chance to engage without potential competition from competitors or other recruiters.
  • Opportunities for strategic growth: Targeting passive candidates allows for more strategic hiring. You can focus on long-term growth and alignment with organizational visions and values instead of just filling an empty position.

Related: 10 Strategies to Accelerate Your Hiring Process

Where Can You Find Passive Job Seekers?

Passive job seekers aren’t in plain sight, but you can find them through several avenues.

When picking the best sources of candidates, 62 percent of industry leaders chose referrals from successful placements, while 58 percent chose social media. Using these methods can be particularly effective.

Social media platforms

Social media recruiting is one of the most powerful tools in the modern recruiting sector. Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and industry-specific forums are fertile grounds for discovering passive talents.

You can find passive candidates by engaging with content in your industry and building connections with various members of similar organizations.

In-person events

Despite the prevalence of social media and the internet, offline connections still hold significant value. You can meet and engage with professionals—including those not actively seeking a job—at networking events, conferences, and industry meet-ups. Top talents often attend these events, so building connections and relationships here can lead to you discovering the perfect fit for your organization.

Employee referrals

Finally, you need to tap into the power of employee referrals for recruitment. Encouraging employee referrals is a trusted method that leverages existing relationships to expand your talent pool.

You may even consider offering referral incentives. You’ll get a significant return on investment (ROI). According to Zippia, referrals cost $1,000 less per hire on average, and referred candidates are more likely to accept your offer and remain at the company longer.

3 Methods to Approach Passive Job Seekers

Approaching passive job seekers requires some finesse and strategy. You’ve got to focus on making meaningful connections and presenting opportunities that resonate with candidates. Here are three ways you can do so.

1. Personalize your outreach strategies

Personalized communication is vital when reaching out to passive candidates. You have to take a step beyond generalities and technicalities like job duties and benefits (though those are important).

Research their professional background and engage with their content online. Then craft messages that speak to their interests, goals, and career aspirations to make your opportunity stand out.

Highlight how your opportunity aligns with their goals and why they would be valuable to your organization. You’ll make them feel like they’re seen and valued, and they’ll think of you if they ever want to find a new position.

2. Build relationships

Relationship building is at the core of targeting passive candidates. It goes beyond a job pitch, focusing on nurturing a connection by:

  • Regularly engaging with them on social media
  • Arranging informal meetings or calls without immediately discussing the job opportunity
  • Focusing on learning their career goals
  • Offering industry insights
  • Building a relationship that feels genuine and respectful

This nurturing approach can build trust and make them open to future opportunities.

3. Utilize robust technology

Finally, make sure you utilize technology like applicant tracking systems (ATSs) and candidate relationship management software in your recruitment processes. AI-driven recruitment tools can analyze online behavior and identify potential passive candidates and manage your interactions, ensuring that you maintain a personalized touch.

Leveraging technology doesn’t make you lose the human connection. Rather, it enhances it and makes your approach more efficient and targeted. This improves the candidate experience and increases the chance of candidates accepting your job offer.

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How to Set Expectations & Build Trust With Passive Job Seekers

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful recruitment effort, and it involves setting clear expectations and being transparent throughout the entire process.

Prioritize clear communication

First, ensure you’re being clear and honest in your communication to set the right expectations. Whether you’re discussing the role, compensation, or growth opportunities, transparency fosters trust and shows that you value them as professionals.

Offer prospective candidates value

Recruiting passive job seekers isn’t just about what the candidate can offer you. It’s also about what you can offer them. Align opportunities with their career goals and show how they can grow within your organization to create value. This two-way street can lead to successful recruitment.

Pursue long-term engagement

Because passive job seekers are generally content in their current positions, most might not be interested right away. Long-term engagement means building a connection that lasts beyond your immediate recruitment needs.

You’ve got to play the long game, keeping in touch and nurturing the relationship so you can be there when the time is right. So focus on long-term growth and your vision for your organization’s future when employing this method.

Revolutionize Your Recruitment Strategy with a Reputable Staffing Agency

Targeting passive job seekers is a strategic approach that can redefine and revolutionize the way you approach talent acquisition. Knowing how to find, approach, and engage with this untapped group can help you combat (and supplement) current staffing and recruitment challenges, propelling your organization toward success.

Are you ready to explore the abundant potential of passive job seekers? To navigate through this intricate process, partner with Insight Global. As an international staffing and services company, we use our years of expertise to help you discover talents that align with your vision and values. Contact us today to take the first step toward an optimized recruitment strategy.

Need Help with Finding Great Candidates

We placed over 50,000 candidates last year. Let us know how we can help. Questions? Call us toll-free: 855-485-8853