Targeting the elusive ‘passive’ candidate


Recruiters are always on the lookout for the elusive ‘passive’ candidate.  The passive candidate is someone who is not actively searching for a job but is open to opportunities. You will not find these passive candidates through the traditional channels – job ads in newspapers or on the internet, as they are usually relatively happy with their jobs and will not move unless something piques their interest in a big way.

Using headhunters and social networks

How do you then target these passive candidates?  Hiring a headhunter is one way to tap into this passive candidate pool. Good headhunters actively search for candidates through their social networks and they typically unearth passive candidates through this process.  However, they do charge 20-30% of the candidate’s annual base salary for the effort. With the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook and Linkedin, these new channels promise an inexpensive way to tap into your network or your friends’ networks to target passive candidates. Many recruiters have used these channels with great success and have bypassed the traditional headhunters and found success in their own recruitment efforts.

External referral job boards

Job boards are also getting into the action.  Most job boards now have a button for jobseekers to refer other friends to jobs being advertised.  Most of these boards, however, provide no incentive for jobseekers to do so – and active job seekers are usually more concerned about looking for their own jobs than one for a friend.  New external referral boards such as in Belgium and in Singapore are trying to entice people to refer passive candidates by offering financial incentives in the thousands of dollars for a successful referral.  These new referral programs are betting on the fact the personal recommendation of a friend (even if encouraged by a referral reward) would encourage passive candidates to apply for a particular job.

The passive candidate may just be that perfect candidate

These are just some of the ways that recruiters can try to tap the passive candidate.  Gone are the days when you can just put an ad in the newspaper classifieds or an online job board and expect to find that candidate with a perfect fit.  Recruiters should widen their net further to find that elusive passive candidate … that person may just be interested in that job, if he/she hears about it from a trusted source.


Source by John Smith

Author: admin