5 Ways to Find Passive Talent

5 Ways to Find Passive Talent

by on 13 Jan, 2022

Employers all over the United States are struggling with attracting and retaining new talent. In the past ten years, talent shortages went up by over 50%. The key reasons are the grand exit of Baby Boomers and the changing expectation of the newer generations.

Even with the Great Resignation in full swing, it can be hard to find suitable talent. The lack of qualified employees can affect your company’s productivity, revenue, and growth.

A highly effective yet often overlooked way to attract quality candidates is recruiting passive talent (also known as passive candidates).  

Active vs. Passive Talent  

Active talent is employees who are actively looking for a job. The main reasons are:

  • They lost their job. 

  • They are unhappy with their current job. 

  • They believe they can find a better job.

These candidates actively send out resumes and post them on LinkedIn and job search websites. Meanwhile, passive talent isn’t looking for a new job because:

  • They are happy where they are. 

  • They don’t believe they can find a better place to work. 

  • They are too busy to engage in a job search. 

While passive candidates aren’t looking for a new job, they may be willing to accept an appealing offer. In many cases, such experts are likely to be more qualified to fill your positions than active candidates are. 

Benefits of Recruiting Passive Talent  

While recruiting passive talent is more complicated than attracting active candidates, this option comes with substantial benefits.

  • Less competition – passive candidates aren’t looking for a job or actively going to interviews. When you try to recruit them, you aren’t likely to face significant competition. 

  • Better retention – passive candidates don’t need to jump at a viable job opportunity because they already have what they think they need. If they agree to switch jobs, it is a calculated and well-thought-out decision. Such employees are more likely to remain on board. 

  • Higher transparency – passive candidates don’t try to impress you by overthinking their resumes and putting the best foot forward. Interviewing them can give you a much better idea of what these experts can offer your company.

When you are targeting specific candidates, you tend to do more research about their skills, qualities, and experience. Passive talent is less likely to need additional training and onboarding. This boosts the recruitment ROI and improves the company’s bottom line. 

Ways to Find Passive Talent  

Since passive talent isn’t looking for new employment opportunities, HR teams need to develop an active recruitment plan. 

1. Employee Referral Program

 An employee referral program is an initiative that involves encouraging your existing employees to source new talent from their networks. In exchange for bringing new talent, your workers can get monetary and non-monetary rewards.

Passive talent who doesn’t consider employment opportunities could react to a recommendation from a friend or a family member. As a bonus, you can source substantial information about the new candidate from your existing employee.

Studies show that 45% of employees found through the employee referral program stay with the company for at least four years.   

2. Social Media

Workers usually create and maintain profiles on numerous social media platforms. When searching for candidates, you can find a lot of useful information simply by browsing their pages.

Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to search for people by using education, location, and place of work parameters.

Additionally, you can join professional groups and chats that may be interesting to candidates.

Since passive candidates tend to use social media for relaxation and entertainment, it’s essential to approach them informally. A job offer can come later. 

3. Work Sample Sites

Many professionals put their work on online portfolio websites. By browsing these sites, you won’t just find suitable candidates but also get a chance to analyze their work. This option is viable for employers who are looking for designers, app developers, and software engineers.

Examples of such websites are:

A specialist can keep samples on portfolio websites for personal needs without any plans to switch jobs. 

4. In-Person Meetups

To attract passive talent who could be a good pick for your company, you may consider attending the same conferences and other professional events that suitable candidates may visit.

You can host a conference that may seem appealing to top passive talent to go even further. This will allow you to meet candidates in person or online and discuss possible job opportunities.

When potential employees attend your conference, you can collect valuable information about their suitability for open positions. 

5. Talent Pipeline

If you’ve been building a talent pipeline, it may be a good idea to review potential candidates. Many of them may have jobs that they could consider changing.

Take another look at the resumes you have on file. Some of the previously rejected applicants could be a good fit for new positions. 

Fix Your Talent Shortage 

HR teams may overlook passive candidate hiring opportunities in the race to find new suitable candidates. If an employee isn’t looking for a new job, it doesn’t mean they aren’t ready to switch.

By implementing high-quality passive talent recruitment tactics, you can discover top-notch candidates, improve your retention rates, increase hiring ROI, and fix your talent shortage. 


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Disclaimer: this article does not represent expert advice and is provided for informational purposes. Please get in touch if you would like expert HR advice.

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