Recruiting passive candidates certainly has advantages. You’re able to access a pool of fresh talent that most likely isn’t interviewing elsewhere. Passive candidates tend to be more authentic about their skills, too. Our guide will show you how to recruit passive candidates step-by-step and discuss the trials you may face.
We chose Breezy HR as one of the best products for the job due to its ease of use, great passive recruitment features, and affordability. We’ll provide some alternatives that may be better suited to different scenarios a bit later on.
Step-By-Step Guide To Recruit Passive Candidates
Step 1: Know Who To Look For
The first step is to know who you are looking to hire.
You want to fill your open positions, but who do you want to take on those roles? What does an ideal candidate look like for your company?
Some companies believe listing out job requirements and a general description is enough to attract top talent. It isn’t.
Candidate personas come into play here. Candidate personas serve as fictional representations of ideal candidates for each position.
It’s about making sure the person you hire not only has the skills and experience but fits the culture of your company.
Things like personal values and work preferences. It’s much deeper than you might first think.
Breezy HR features handy candidate profiles that you can quickly fill in and turn into these candidate personas, as shown here:
The entire team can discuss potential candidates, and a summary of what you’re looking for is editable how you wish.
To get started with Breezy HR, head on over to the homepage and click Start My Free Trial:
From there, fill in the form with your company’s details, and you’ll be given access for free. Breezy HR starts at $143 per month, and it remains free for one position or pool.
Now you can start creating your candidate personas for each role.
Step 2: Search for Talent
The next step is about searching for the talent you want.
The aim is to find passive candidates and then sell them on a position and your company. The good news is that technology is here to help and can massively increase your chances.
Using Breezy HR, you’ll be able to perform a Talent Search from the main dashboard. Doing this allows you to specify what background, skills, and location you’re looking for—it then finds your candidates for you.
Once you like what you see, Talent Search gives you instant access to the passive candidate’s email address, contact details, and social profiles.
To start a Talent Search from the dashboard, type in what you’re looking for in the text box, add a location, and then select additional filters as required, and click Search.
You’ll even be able to download profiles from social media platforms and LinkedIn to add to the lineup.
Step 3: Attract Their Attention
So you know who you want to join your company, and you’ve found some great candidates. But how do you go about attracting them?
Don’t forget these candidates already have a comfortable position with another company, so you need to show them why changing jobs is something they should consider. They are not actively searching for jobs, which is why selling them on your company is so important.
One of the best ways to do this is through employee referrals. Yes, using your existing employees.
You employees make excellent brand ambassadors and are likely to have social networks that reach far and wide. It makes sense to use them.
These employees can help spread the news about a new job position and promote your company.
If employees say your company is a great place to work, it comes across as more authentic than a typical HR team seeking candidates with a list of job requirements.
Even better is that Breezy HR features a custom referral portal. You can add notes about your company’s incentives and goals. You can then share the link with your team.
All employees have access to this portal whenever they want. They’ll be able to use their social networks to promote a position and refer candidates accordingly.
To see this from the dashboard, head on over to the Referral portal.
Your employees can add new candidates here by filling in the details and clicking Add Referral, like so:
Each employee who referred a candidate shows up in the overview section, and you can export this for further use.
Step 4: Create Recruitment Content
While employees are helping to sell your available jobs and company, you can take this a step further with dedicated recruitment content.
Job descriptions aren’t enough on their own. It’s best to focus on the passive candidate’s needs and wants. What really interests them?
Recruitment content can highlight the benefits your company offers. It can give passive candidates a quick look at what your company’s culture is like every day.
Recruitment content should focus on things like videos, pictures, and fun events at the office. Employee testimonials are another thing you can present through blog posts and social media updates.
Recruitment events like hosting an online webinar, are also useful, as is anything that can help passive candidates improve their skills.
It’s about selling your company as much as it’s about selling the position.
Breezy HR even allows you to create career pages where you can feature this type of content. It’s available from the central dashboard.
These pages are customizable, with custom hero images and brand colors, as shown below:
It can showcase everything from employee testimonials to video and photo galleries—time to get creative!
Step 5: Improve the Selection Process
Even if you succeed at attracting passive candidates, it’s wise to remember how busy they are. In other words: it’s easy for them to pull out and stay where they are.
The last thing you want is for a passive candidate to start filling out your application form only to quit because it became too tedious.
That’s why it’s critical to make the process they need to follow as simple and to the point as possible. The whole application process needs to be streamlined. Don’t ask for a resume and then require applicants to type out everything into individual text boxes that is already on the resume. This is frustrating for applicants.
It helps if you allow passive candidates to apply with a few clicks and something like their LinkedIn profile and a copy of their resume.
Another idea is to use simple questionnaires.
Breezy HR allows you to create modest questionnaires that deliver only the essential details you need:
You can customize the actions Breezy HR takes on your candidate relative to their answers.
This process is automatic, and you can move the candidate onto the next stage or send a follow-up email as required.
You’ll even be able to disqualify them using the questionnaires alone. It’s about making the process as straightforward and easy to get through as possible.
After all, you’ll need to put in the effort to win the very best talent. If successful, you’ll have a top new member of the team that could well become a cornerstone of your business.
3 Top Benefits of Recruiting Passive Candidates
Here are three of the more significant benefits of recruiting passive candidates.
In a nutshell:
- You’ll secure highly motivated employees.
- It boosts your company branding.
- It can be less stressful.
Passive Candidates Are More Honest
The type of person that leaves their current job to come to you will be someone who believes in your company. Think about it: they’ve left a place of relative stability and have made a significant change in their life to join you.
What this results in for you is a highly motivated and honest employee—someone who’ll have real ambition to do their job. It’s no surprise to hear that passive candidates typically stay at companies much longer than average hires do.
Passive candidates are also not desperate for a new job. They are not unemployed or trying to leave a hostile work environment. They can be very honest and straightforward in the interview process and will accurately represent themselves in a way other candidates may not.
It Increases Your Company’s Positive Reputation
Positive company branding and reputation is critical to success, and building relationships with passive candidates can positively affect it. By recruiting passive candidates, you’re actively expanding the company’s network and reach.
For instance, employee referrals help improve the image of your business. Not to mention successfully recruiting passive candidates that love working for you is more powerful than you can imagine. It helps to build up the brand, which in turn, allows you to reach other candidates—the cycle of good fortune continues from there.
Less Stress = A Better Recruitment Process
Recruiting passive candidates can be less stressful. Why? The answer is because they’re unlikely to be interviewing elsewhere. These candidates were probably not looking for a job in the first place.
So if your process to recruit them takes a little bit longer, as long as it’s straightforward, you shouldn’t worry as much. The other key factor is that you won’t have to aggressively bid for a candidate against others who are determined to recruit them.
3 Biggest Challenges of Recruiting Passive Candidates & How To Troubleshoot Them
We’ve spoken about the benefits of recruiting passive candidates, but what about the challenges?
Well, there’s no doubt you’ll need to put in more effort, can potentially waste a lot of time, and will need to avoid a lengthy recruitment process where possible.
You Need To Put in Extra Effort
Recruiting passive candidates can be tough. It’s not something you should expect to succeed at without putting in a huge amount of effort.
It’s fair to say that the right candidate can be worth this effort in the long run, but you need to be realistic about the job at hand.
You’re trying to convince candidates and sell them on jobs they probably don’t have an initial interest in—that’s no easy thing.
You’ll need to sell the role and your company from beginning to end. The good news is that you can make it a bit easier on yourself.
For example, Breezy HR features an AI-powered assistant that can proactively engage with site visitors and collect their contact details for you:
It’ll even help to collect and store their resume and add them to your candidate pool automatically. This technology isn’t a quick fix or a “win button,” but it does help.
The Hello Messenger can quickly be enabled within the dashboard and activated on both career pages and your general company site.
You May Waste a Lot of Time
Passive candidate recruitment not only takes a lot of effort but, naturally, a lot of time, too.
You want to be sure the time you’re putting in isn’t wasted with each candidate. It can be a long process. And some candidates may decide to stay where they are if the offer isn’t attractive enough, effectively having wasted your time in the interview process.
You won’t always be successful here, so it’s good practice to be realistic in your aims. That said, Breezy HR can help you build a large pipeline of quality candidates to fill your positions.
You can do this with Breezy HR’s drag and drop pipeline. The pipeline can store details of candidates and records each stage:
You can also quickly build custom recruiting pipelines for each of your independent recruiting processes—this saves a significant amount of time.
They Don’t Like a Long Recruitment Process
The truth is: passive candidates don’t like complicated recruitment processes.
They’re less willing to engage because, above all else, they have less time to do so. After all, passive candidates are already working for someone else.
That means throwing a vast number of tasks and assessments at them is unlikely to be successful. If they are still keen, then there’s no doubt they want to jump ship, but this won’t be the case most of the time. You’ll also want to work with them to schedule in-person interviews at times that work best for their schedule or try to move to video interviews to make the process less intrusive.
Even asking for references can add more time to the process. Luckily this is something that Breezy HR can simplify.
The software can automatically send out questionnaires to ask candidates for references at any stage:
It can also send verifications to these references a candidate has listed, and the answers go straight into the candidate profiles on the platform.
It’s a great way of saving time and cutting down the process as much as possible on both ends.
Other Options for Recruiting Passive Candidates
Our guide has shown you how to recruit passive candidates with the help of Breezy HR.
But there are many great tools out there that can help you do so, and each tends to be better in different areas.
For example, you may find that you need more focus on the social media side of things. If so, Manatal offers social media recruitment integrated with LinkedIn, Facebook, and even GitHub. The software starts at $15 per user per month, and a 14-day free trial is available.
Tracker is a top pick for staffing firms. The software includes features for finding candidates and making placements with resume parsing to remove the need for manual data entry. Tracker starts at $80 per month, and a free demo is available.
Our top recommendations for recruiting passive candidates are:
- Breezy HR – Best for Talent Sourcing
- Manatal – Best for Social Media Recruitment
- Tracker – Best for Staffing Firms
To see our reviews of the top five general recruiting software tools, check out our in-depth buying guide.