Fishing For Top Talent

Reel In That Elusive Passive Candidate

Passive candidates are like the rare and prized golden trout that every fly-fishing enthusiast (read: recruiter) would forfeit their right arm to catch. But it is more likely for those with the choicest bait (workplace incentives) & in-depth know-how to reel in the finest in the business.

So what makes these passive candidates so special? Why should it matter to your company and how do you hook them in?

Understand The Nature Of Your Potential Employee Catch

To answer these questions, let us first look at understanding the “passive” candidate vis-à-vis “active” candidate, based on research by Linkedin:

Sr. No Active Candidate Passive Candidate
1 Only 25 per cent of people actively seek a new job opportunity An impressive 45 per cent are open to consider a job change, if a recruiter approaches them & 15% reach out to their personal network for a job
2 Less likely to cherry-pick roles that are on offer More likely to cherry-pick roles that are on offer
3 Active on job portals and more likely to have competitors approach them Not active on job portals
4 Candidates who secure jobs, through passive recruitment, tend to quit their new job sooner Candidates who you hire, through passive recruitment, tend to stay on the new job for longer periods
5 Generally unhappy with their current role (28%) Content in their existing role (80%) and more passionate about their work
6 Tend to be junior in corporate hierarchy, with fewer years of experience Tend to the high-performers, who have a wealth of experience.

Therefore passive candidates tend to be the crème-de-la-crème of employees in any industry. Often enough, they receive handsome compensation at their workplace, and will want to change jobs only if they are made an offer that is far more exciting.

Choose The Right Recruitment ‘Bait’

So what incentive should you, as an HR manager/recruiter, offer to get the passive candidates to bite? Global research states that the ideal ‘bait’ for these exceptional workers would be:

  • Optimum work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth within the organisation
  • Challenging work
  • Better compensation and benefits
  • Role, better aligned to skill-set

In the United States alone, 55% of passive candidates consider compensation and benefits to be their biggest reason to move jobs.

Cast Your Line – Pitching To Passive Top Talent

Here we take you through a step-by-step process that would help you reach out to potential passive candidates:

  1. Sieve through your Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) archives: The quality and volume of passive candidates, who you might have chosen to ignore in the past, will surprise.
  2. Be confident of the offer you make – ONLY 15% passive candidates feel truly and completely satisfied with their work, everyone else is happy to shift jobs if the right opportunity presents itself. So, as a recruiter, don’t be nervous about rejection by the potential passive candidate.
  3. Listen carefully to what motivates the candidate: Just listen to the candidate’s side of the conversation carefully and you will be able to understand exactly what they look for at a new workplace.
  4. Sell a work-culture and not just a job description: Passive candidates, most likely, already have everything that a regular job description has on offer. So now, to differentiate yourself, you will need to sell the company’s employee-friendly work-environment, availability of a learning-focused culture and growth opportunities.
  5. Increase candidate referrals: The candidate you approach may not want to take up the offer. But if you do successfully connect with them, they will definitely be able to recommend 2-3 people who could fit perfectly into the role. So, don’t pass up on this opportunity.

Reel ‘Em, Passive Top Talent Candidates, In

But before you do that, you need to set yourself up for unpredictability and a LONG wait. Because just like in fly-fishing, you need to have tonnes of patience to see the recruitment of a passive candidate complete a full circle.

This process will take time, effort and even luck. But if you wish to become a ‘superstar’ recruiter, who is able to regularly source the trophy candidates – then this is a sure-shot way to up your game.