Passive Candidates: Who They Are and How to Find Them

HR ideas…from Jeffery Giesener – CEO – SourceMob

While some think passive candidates include all qualified individuals who are not currently looking for a job, this is a wishful way of looking at things.

A passive candidate is someone who is not looking for a job, but would be open to taking one if the right opportunity came along. People who are happily employed and not open to taking a new job are not candidates for employment, passive or otherwise – and you will have to wait until they have a very bad day at work before you can consider them a legitimate prospect.

This does not mean that passive candidates are not plentiful, however. The key to finding them is to have a realistic understanding of who they are, how and where you can reach them with your recruiting message.

Passives Are Plentiful
The good news for recruiters is that, even when you exclude all the individuals who are not open to taking a new job, there are still three times as many passive candidates as active candidates, and they constitute a sizable ocean for recruitig.

A survey of more than 3,000 experienced professionals showed that more than a third of respondents who were currently employed were open to accepting a new position in the next six months.

This is a double edged sword for recruiters and for those who are in charge of employee stick rates.

How to Attract Passive Candidates? So how can you attract passive candidates more effectively? The key is to generate awareness of your company among such candidates before they’re ready to start searching actively. That way, when your passive candidate does have a bad day, you’ll be on his or her mental list of employers to consider.

If your employee has hit a series of bad days, whom do they seek out to speak with and voice their concerns? As an Executive who in charge of employee stick rate, if you have to think hard than you need to fix this gap stat.

Personal and employee social and mobile networks are the most common means by which passive job seekers learn about new employment opportunities. Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of all passive job seekers who responded to the survey said they relied heavily on their personal social and mobile networks to gain information about potential employers. Unfortunately, employers can’t control whom candidates know or whom they talk to. However, they can attempt to leverage their own employees’ personal networks by introducing social employee referral programs.
Social and Mobile Advertisingis another way to get the passive job seeker’s attention. About a third (30 percent) of all passive candidates who responded to the survey said they had investigated employment opportunities at a company after seeing an employment-related ad. Almost as many (28 percent) had investigated employment after seeing a general, non-employment-related ad (social/mobile engagement).

Finally, a quarter (24 percent) of all passive candidates who responded to the survey said that they used news media to learn about potential employers. Therefore, today more than a quarter of passive candidates are using social and mobile to learn about job opportunities. Just imagine what the 2015 numbers will be?

Corporate PR Initiative focused on getting positive news about your company into the media could have a significant effect in attracting not only customers or clients to your company, but passive job candidates as well.

Let’s schedule a virtual appointment at your convenience. Simply reach me by email at or by phone at 952-807-8364.

ABOUT SOURCEMOB: SourceMob links Internet, social, talent community and mobile recruiting solutions to help talent acquisition professionals recruit the very best candidates for tough-to-fill positions. SourceMob software distributes job content and conversations providing a job posting springboard to over 3.5 million candidate profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and all of the major search engines. Our solutions also enable Mobile Quick Apply and candidate application management services to create efficiencies and lower recruiting costs.
Looking forward to hearing from you,



Jeffery Giesener



Twitter: @sourcemob