How to Approach Passive Candidates?

Marina Juric | 10/17/2016 | Culture & People

Approaching passive candidates is important as the days of waiting for candidates to come to you have passed. I don’t really understand the philosophy about the passive candidates. What I see are continuous over-complicating stories with endless interpretations about them. Why?

The story about the passive candidate is simple. Passive candidate is a human being who HAS NOT applied for an open job position. That’s pretty much all the difference between them and the active candidates. What they have in common is that they both like to be treated as a human being is treated by another human being.

How to Approach Passive Candidates?

How to approach passive candidates?

I could easily call myself a passive candidate. Why? Because I do not apply for jobs. I might be a good fit to your organization, I might not. I might be looking for a job, I might not. However, if you see me as good fit for your company, chances are that you will find me and eventually try to approach me.

When approaching passive candidates, consider to include this question when making the first contact: “Why didn’t you apply?” The answer can tell you a lot – sometimes about the candidate, sometimes about your company. It always opens up a golden mine.

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Reach out to me in a genuine way. You don’t need manuals and techniques on how to approach a passive candidate. The catch is to be human and communicate in a human way.  

Call me, invite me for a meeting and tell me about the opening you have. Inform me about your company and provide me with a clear and concise job description. Invite me into your space and introduce me to the future manager and the team I could be working with.

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Show me what is behind the curtains. If you don’t open them up for me, I have no-thing with which I can start building my trust towards you. Let me see what there is for me to be appreciated. And don’t flip out if I see what I have seen already and it is boring. Use it as a learning opportunity.

Be genuinely interested in who I am. Ask me about my experiences, my achievements, my plans, my interests. Truly listen to what I am saying. Listen with a genuine interest to learn about me. And listen to my questions. Show me that you care about me. You can learn more about me by the questions I ask than the information I share. 

Open the door for agreements

Leave space and time for correction. Corrections refer to as additional knowledge, additional salary, additional responsibilities, etc. We both choose. Just like you are choosing me based on the value I am providing to your company, I am choosing your company based on your employer value proposition


Differentiate excitement vs. engagement

I will not be the most excited person you will meet. The excitement story reminds me of a 2-hour Hollywood movie. And then it is over. I would never hire the most exciting candidate; they always become drained after a period of time. 

Excitement is short term. Genuine interest is long term. Excitement makes you buy things that you might not need. Genuine interest inspires you to create. Choose a candidate who creates.

It comes down to the art of being genuinely human. Some will call all this a technique or manual; some will refer to it is natural. Some will call it ‘rare art’. 

Reach out to passive candidates with a Recruiting Software

Recruiting software are many modern recruiters' favorite tools for finding and reaching out to passive candidates. Since talent sourcing is becoming harder and harder every year, many HR professionals say that their jobs have become unimaginable without a help of a recruiting software. 

Here, I am not talking about an Applicant Tracking System, but rather a Recruitment Marketing solution that can help you automate, fasten and improve your efforts in finding qualified candidates

Solutions offered by a recruitment marketing tool are numerous, and choosing one is not an easy task. The very fist, and most important step, is to identify your recruiting goals and challenges before buying a recruiting software.

Our 2018 Guide for Buying a Recruiting Tool will help you!

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