Six Ways To Find Passive Candidates

…ideas from Jeffery Giesener – CEO –

Where… Oh where are those Passive Candidates? The challenge in today’s recruiting marketplace is to determine what are the triggering events for Passive Candidates to identify themselves. Then you need to be in a position to cast the lure to be in the right place, at the right time to net these Candidates.

Yes, gone are the days of guarantees in moving up the career ladder, now it is almost expected that people change employers every 2-3 years. Do we even know what the new definition of a Passive Candidate is anymore or how to find them?

My definition has always been that a Passive Candidate is a job “lurker”. They are always looking out for the next opportunity and as such, always in the market searching for their next position. The challenge is to put your business in front of them so that it isn’t just luck to net them. Frankly, in today’s competitive market, if you are not continually fishing for Passive Candidates, you will soon to be “filleted” by your competitor who is.

So for candidates, always in the market means looking for jobs secretively and privately. Even if someone hasn’t put their resume and cover letter online somewhere, they will consider any career change that is presented to them if you can put your opportunity in front of them at the right opportunistic trigger point.

Passive Candidate motivation is becoming incredibly hard to define and their decision process for staying or leaving is just that – individual.  We know that trying to find Passive Candidates is changing and will continue to do so too.

However, if you look at the six points below, you will see that using the right recruiting technology will enable your brand to seep into the cracks of your Passive Candidates’ mindshare and help them find the jobs they want, when they want them.

  1. 1.    Use your applicant data to filter to find and qualify the top Candidates – which becomes even more important the more Candidates you are managing. Using tools like Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) is ideal to collectively manage data and build targeted job campaigns to find qualified applicants, even when many of these Candidates are still Passive.
  2. 2.    Talent Communities are another great way for Passive Candidates to follow your job postings and conversations privately. But engagement is the key here. A community without conversation is a waste and will backfire on your brand.
  3. 3.    Enable Candidates to follow your jobs wherever they are online or on social or mobile channels. Make sure you enable candidates to opt-in. Please don’t take the easy way out by spraying jobs at them on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Worse yet, don’t force them to filter through a long list of jobs they are not even interested in.
  4. 4.    Deliver a mobile website experience and distribute your jobs and conversations to all smartphone and tablet platforms. Enable your Candidates to easily and directly apply on mobile.
  5. 5.    Chat, IM or have a direct call with Candidates when they are on your apply pages and then opening up conversations with them. Direct chat/call is perfect for Passive Candidates to engage and remain anonymous. It will also increase your apply rates and lower your recruiting costs.
  6. Sell your company by developing the appropriate career branding and videos. That will share your culture and company vibe to your top candidates.

So you see, by deploying the right technology recruiting solutions, finding those Passive Candidates will be easier than you think.

For more tips and ideas give me a call at 612-349-2740 or email me at



Jeffery Giesener



Twitter: @sourcemob