In an ideal situation, any candidate for a role will be engaged, motivated, and looking for a job. Unfortunately, LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends shows that 75% of candidates for non-crucial roles and 95% of candidates for crucial roles will be passive. These candidates are already employed, often not expressly interested in moving on to another role and can be difficult to engage and to move into the recruitment funnel. However, they will make up an important part of your recruitment strategy and defining ways to capture these candidates to bring higher skilled candidates into your organization will be crucial to continuing to meet your hiring needs.

Create a Company Culture that Attracts

Most individuals who are open to new job prospects are open to them because they want the chance to be more engaged, more involved, or in a better environment. Developing your company culture in a way that attracts outsiders while remaining appealing to employees is a crucial step if you want to capture passive candidates.

It’s also important that you be able to openly communicate what culture is like to possible candidates. If you can, host events and open house events in-house, so that potentially interested individuals can come to see your culture in action. The key here is often to either invite people after you’ve reached out, or to invite candidates for learning, an actual event, or something else that will actually add value.

Stay Active on Social Media

Most candidates perform extensive research on their own before they consider accepting an offer. Many will have spent a considerable amount of time looking at online presence, researching your organization online, and will have made contact with your brand in places other than through recruitment by the time they accept a job opening. Staying active on social media to create a brand presence that is appealing to customers as well as to potential recruits will greatly aid you in this endeavor. Here, it’s just as important to maintain a presence on LinkedIn as on Facebook or any other social media channel because you do need both.

Network and Build Relationships

It’s easy to reach out to potential recruits to give them an offer and then move on, but this often will not work. Instead, your strategy should revolve around preemptively recognizing where and why you need candidates and working to build relationships with potential candidates. Attending networking events, industry events, and offering cross-organizational development opportunities will give you tools to do this. You can also reach out to individuals on social media to build relationships, without asking anything of potential candidates.

Sell Development and Job Satisfaction

While a common approach to passive recruitment is simply offering a higher salary, this approach will increase costs without necessarily drawing in the best candidates. Most passive candidates rank job satisfaction, professional career growth, and development opportunities as more important than a simple increase in salary, and many will switch jobs for them. If you can effectively demonstrate that your role offers a positive work environment, numerous development opportunities, and room for growth, you will have a clear hook for some of your most desirable candidates (those who want to grow and learn).

While it’s not always ideal to have to choose from a pool of passive candidates, you will often have to do so. The more critical your role, the fewer candidates you’ll have for it, and the more likely you’ll have to invest in recruiting passive candidates. Developing a recruitment strategy before you need it, working to build relationships with potentials, and understanding what to offer will take you a long way to capturing those candidates when the time comes.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick