Written by Holly Watson | November 19, 2014
Are you currently struggling to fill your latest vacancy? Are you finding that the quality of your candidates is just not up to scratch? Sometimes when you are striving to fill senior roles with high skill sets, such as Sales Director, CEO or Marketing Manager roles, it might be time to consider looking for passive talent.
Passive candidates are those who may not be actively searching for a new job but would be open to a new role, should the right opportunity arise. And these candidates aren’t just a small percentage of the workforce.
77% of full time employed workers are open to new job opportunities, according to the 2013 Candidate Behaviour Survey by Careerbuilder.
Searching for passive candidates is particularly important if you’re recruiting for a specialist role that very few active job seekers may possess the skill-set for.
But how do you tap into this pool of specialist talent? Webrecruit explores the top three ways to hunt out those all important passive candidates:
1. Use LinkedIn to your advantage
As LinkedIn’s main purpose isn’t recruitment, but still offers users the functionality to find and post jobs, it’s a fantastic tool for finding passive talent. It allows recruiters to share their vacancies with not only active job seekers, but those who haven’t yet thought about moving from their current position.
When approaching passive candidates via LinkedIn, ensure that any correspondence you send is personalised and well-thought-out, otherwise they may just dismiss it as spam and ignore your messages.
After making initial contact, take the time to develop an understanding of their drivers and motivators, and tailor your approach accordingly.
Be prepared for knock backs (after all, not everyone is open to a new opportunity) but, for many, simply hearing about a new venture can be enough to make them reconsider their options.
LinkedIn groups are also a great way to identify passive candidates; there are thousands of groups in a variety of industry specialisms that are ideal for finding those candidates who boast niche skills. However, don’t just flood these groups with your job advert – make sure that you contribute something.
2. Build and maintain talent pools
If a candidate isn’t quite right for a role, don’t just dismiss them. While they might be lacking a particular skill that’s required for one role, they might be a perfect fit for another position.
Likewise, if they impress you but aren’t currently open to a new venture, don’t write them off for any future searches. Circumstances can easily change, so it’s worth keeping their details on file and staying in touch.
Applicant Tracking Systems are ideal for storing candidate information. They keep a log of all candidates that have applied for your vacancies and allow you to search your own database for previous candidates to contact about future roles.
3. Don’t forget the importance of referrals
Don’t underestimate your employees’ industry contacts. If your staff are happy and well-motivated, they’ll be great ambassadors for your company – who better than to promote the perks of working for you?
Referrals were found to, on average, make up 7% of applications for vacancies but account for a huge 40% of all hires, in research conducted by Jobvite.
However, don’t ask your staff if they know someone who’s looking for a job – ask them if they know people with the skill-set that you require. This way, you’ll have access to a list of people who possess these skills, whether they’re actively job searching or not.
Still struggling to attract the right candidates? Let Webrecruit do the hard work for you with our bespoke headhunting service, Talent Recruit. Find out more.