Passive candidates are like gold. They are hard to find, and after much digging, even more difficult to coax out of their spot. In a job market that’s candidate-driven, with low unemployment rates, it’s left many recruiters wondering how they can dig the best passive candidates out of hiding.
Understanding the secret behavior of passive candidates
Philadelphia-based Yoh, one of the largest technical service organizations in the US and a forerunner in recruitment process outsourcing, looks at every candidate as a passive candidate. Their new infographic aptly titled “Where’s Wald-Yoh?” takes recruiters on a quest to find passive talent. Yoh advises that, “We have entered the era of the “new passive” where everyone can and should be considered a passive candidate for any role, at any time. So what can enterprises do? By expanding what qualifies as a 'passive' candidate, it will lead to more positive discussions about applicable skills, cross-training, and better employee engagement.”
Some interesting secrets shared by Yoh on passive candidate behavior could help today’s recruiters better understand what their approach should be when mining for talent.
- 69% of workers say that looking for new opportunities has become a routine part of their day
- 65% of working people look for other jobs within 3 months of getting a new job
- 60% of adults look at job postings at least once a month on average
- 53% of working people are open to new jobs, even if they aren’t actively looking
There seems to be a trend here of an entire working population that’s comfortable where they are now. But if the right opportunity comes along, a recruiter could hit pay dirt and convince an outstanding passive candidate to take on a new opportunity.
How should recruiters approach passive candidates, without scaring them off?
Matt Rivera, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Yoh, notes that the best approach is to "never assume" anyone is waiting to hear from you. "If you don’t know them, or do not have an existing connection with them, before you ask about their interest in your job, be prepared for rejection,” he adds. He recommends using a variety of methods and resources for the most effective results.
And he’s spot on. According to LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Trends report, there is an increased emphasis on candidate relationship building. 32% of talent acquisition leaders they polled stated that retention of talent is a key recruitment focus. 51% of US organizations also utilize employee referrals as a way to bring in passive talent. 42% of recruiters also indicated that social professional networks were vital for developing relationships with candidates.
Making the most of social networking
By now, most companies have a branded presence on at least one or more social networks, enabling them to introduce passive candidates to their cultures. With so many people looking for work and spending hours engaged in social networking activities, it seems like a perfectly natural way for recruiters to connect with talent.
When approaching passive talent, it’s important to note that this must be done carefully. Think about approaching someone new in the real world – it takes time to get to know people so they develop trust. Use this same principle on social networks.
Build a community centered on the needs of passive candidates. They could be looking for better compensation, the opportunity to work with a leading company in their industry, or the chance to be recognized for their experience and skills.