Active or passive recruitment? Or both
Irene Kalesi in Business Tips

Passive Recruitment: Why & how to approach passive candidates

Businesses that search for the ideal new hire have a pool of candidates to choose amongst. However, not all professionals are unemployed and looking for a job. So, companies may not be able to focus only on active recruitment. According to a 2019 research by, the job market is made up of passive candidates for the greater part. To be exact, 73% of the total professionals are not actively searching for a job. Therefore, businesses should decide if they prefer to limit their scope and focus on the remaining 27% of the workforce that are not passive job seekers.

In this article, we will be defining the different recruitment types. Then, we will be discussing the reasons that businesses opt to pursue active or passive job seekers. Truth be told, businesses should not limit their options in order to find the best new hire. At the same time, we will share some recruiting tips on finding and approaching passive candidates since they are the most difficult ones to recruit.

Active Recruitment

It concerns professionals searching for a job and are ready to fill a position and become part of a business’s workforce. Moreover, they are the ones keenly going through job postings all day long, applying to jobs, and contacting recruiting agencies.

Passive Recruitment

It concerns people that are part of a company’s workforce. Thus, they are not applying for jobs or actively on the lookout. This does not mean that they dismiss the possibility of looking into opportunities. However, they will not be able to start working immediately since they have to settle their prior commitments.

The obvious trials of active recruitment

Building up your brand, creating the perfect ads, and offering proper remuneration will attract a long list of active candidates. Some will be the right fit, and others will need some extra training or guidance. Unfortunately, some others do not have the necessary requirements, and their working experience is completely unrelated. Of course, this stands to reason since active recruitment is quite similar to treasure hunting. The reward may be heaps of gold or piles of coal. Furthermore, there is much need to sort out professionals to find out the most suitable candidates.

Needless to say, time is of the essence. The best of the best will not be available for long. Not even novice professionals will wait forever. After all, most active candidates apply for multiple positions and go through various interviews simultaneously. So, you need to be decisive, ask the appropriate questions, and test the right skills. Of course, there will also be times that there is no fitting active candidate available. At this point, the need to reach out to passive job seekers arises.

The hidden opportunities behind passive recruitment

This kind of recruitment can be a more difficult road to take. Still, it is more laid out. When companies know exactly the profile of the candidate they are looking for, they may look around at other companies to find fitting professionals. Passive candidates are generally open to discussing. Even the most successful and pleased professionals will always dream of something greater. People think of changing positions and companies every 2-3 years. Thankfully, the mentality that people should avoid changing jobs throughout their careers is old and worn anymore.

So, when businesses practice passive recruitment, they have to purposefully choose to discuss the possibility of having an interview only with professionals that are good for the job. Moreover, you and your team can narrow down your choices. Then, you can contact those passive candidates to propose a business collaboration.

How to recruit passive job seekers?

However, recruiting passive candidates may not be that easy. Businesses need to develop recruiting strategies to attract already employed professionals. This whole process may not be fast either since professionals will need up to 6 months and the right incentives before devoting themselves to your business cause. In a few words, to successfully recruit passive job seekers, you should speak to their heart, mind, and ultimately…pocket.

Appeal to the passive candidate’s ego

The first step to building a communication channel with an employed professional is to find suitable ones. More specifically, you should search online on platforms like LinkedIn or Upwork for great candidates. When finding the rights ones, you should discover their accomplishments and important backstories. This way, you can build a case in order to make them understand that they are an excellent fit for your business.

Accentuating on a candidate’s greatest strengths is essential. Then, candidates will realize that you appreciate their talent, promote innovation, and will help them reach higher professional heights. Moreover, by showing that your company’s and the candidate’s aspirations align, you can work together towards building business success and an excellent reputation.

Build a strong business proposal

As you can imagine, when contacting a passive candidate, you should be ready to give them better professional prospects. Your business and any business that approaches passive job seekers should have put together a well-structured proposal to showcase company culture, perks, and privileges. For example, you should demonstrate with proof that your culture promotes positivity, teamwork, and equality.

Moreover, recognizing great work performance is a key incentive for passive and active candidates altogether. Many professionals tend to feel underappreciated in their working environments, and that is a reason that even passive candidates may leave an open window for better work opportunities. At the same time, you could point out that your business offers the chance for professional development/education and provides body therapies and mental support when needed.

Show them greener financial pastures

All the above attractive benefits will surely make passive candidates consider your proposal.  The next step is to bring financial matters to the table. A working professional needs to know that the position you are proposing will bring high income, at least higher than the one they receive in their present job. This piece of information can be the turning point in an interview. Some people will feel satisfied with many benefits and a decent salary, while others will want a higher salary regardless of performance bonuses and added perks. Of course, some others will demand everything they can get in order to decide if they will consider your proposition or just shut the door behind them.

So…active or passive recruitment?

The answer is both. Each type of recruitment serves different purposes. If you want junior to associate employees and interns, the pool of active candidates will be more than enough. However, if you require an experienced designer or a seasoned software developer, finding and pursuing passive candidates may prove more fruitful than navigating yourself throughout the pool of applicants. Yet, smart recruiting tips like the ones we have shared can increase the chances of acquiring a new professional and save you the troubles of endless interviews.