Are you currently struggling with filling a niche position? Adopt a recruiting strategy geared towards finding passive candidates.
In some industries, you have many candidates to choose from, however in others like Information Technology for example, you need candidates with specialized skills that are tough to find. What do you do when qualified candidates aren’t low hanging fruit and you need to hire? You might need to consider taking a more active recruiting approach that goes beyond simply using the job boards and posting your job online. That can often involve putting together a passive candidate sourcing strategy.
What’s a passive candidate?
A passive candidate is an individual who isn’t actively looking for a new job. Typically, passive candidates are happy for the most part with their current positions. Active candidates are those who are looking for a new assignment. Active candidates might or might not currently have a job. These are the job seekers sending applications and resumes to various companies. Successful hiring strategies should revolve around getting both passive and active candidates to apply.
Don’t limit your talent pool to just active candidates.
Passive candidates can be incredible additions to your team so take the extra steps needed to get in touch with them. Passive candidates make up 70% of the global workforce, whereas active candidates only make up 30%. When it comes to filling niche positions, you can’t simply limit your talent pool to just 30% of the workforce because often time and money is on the line in getting your position filled ASAP.
Hiring Managers also aren’t the only people having trouble sourcing top talent—recruiters are, too. One report on recruitment trends found that 48.8% of recruiters had the most trouble placing candidates in the IT, engineering, healthcare, and manufacturing industries. To further compound the matter, 50.2% of recruiters said that the skill sets that exist within these same industries were their most pressing hiring needs.
Why are the most popular industries the most challenging to fill? A lack of qualified candidates. Niche positions have smaller pools of candidates to choose from. Since 2012, IT jobs have increased by 472,104 and healthcare jobs have increased by 606,887. Because of the spike in positions, finding qualified candidates can be a challenge.
Here are some basic strategies to source passive candidates.
Because passive candidates aren’t looking for jobs, they won’t be on job board websites. You need to get creative with your sourcing strategy. Here are a few ways you can extend your search beyond job boards to source passive candidates.
Buy LinkedIn Recruiter & Leverage Other Social Media Avenues!
Scouring social media is a great strategy that you can use. Since 81% of the U.S. population has a social media profile, you have access to many potential candidates. Stay active on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Connect with potential candidates and post job openings on your social media page. Passive candidates scrolling through their social media feed might decide to apply.
Implement an Applicant Tracking System
Have a system to store candidate information. There are also plenty of cloud applications you can use as well. They are most often called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). A candidate may not have been a good fit for a past position, but they might be perfect for current or future opportunities. With a database, you can store information on each candidate’s strengths, qualifications, and work history.
If you implement an ATS, you can perform key word searches using terms involved with the qualifications you are searching for. For example, you can start with “Software Engineer” or “Software Developer”, then narrow down the pool based on other qualifications like Node.js, Ruby, Java, or .NET. Boolean is a great way to do this.
Another way you can find passive candidates is to use employee referrals. Referrals open the door to broadening your candidate pool. Plus, your current team likely knows the type of employees your business needs to excel. Establish an employee referral program. Ask employees to refer top candidates. You might offer your employees a bonus if you successfully hire their referrals. Birds of a feather flock together. Talented employees usually know about other top talent and are willing to connect you with them, even if they are passive candidates.
Create an intriguing job description and generate interest in the job you are looking to fill.
Show passive candidates that the new opportunity you are offering is better than their current position. Build relationships with passive candidates. That way, you know their career goals and skill levels. Talk to passive candidates about growth opportunities in the new position.
A passive candidate might be content with their current job, but there might not be room to advance. Highlight reasons the open position would be a good fit for passive candidates. For example, talk to them about your company culture and benefits.
Although passive candidates can help you fill difficult positions, you shouldn’t exclude active candidates or give automatic preference to passive candidates. Be thorough when interviewing candidates for your open role and make an offer to the best candidate. Happy hunting!