8 Recruiting Ideas to Find Passive Job Candidates 2017

Recruiting Passive Job Candidates

The best candidates to fill your company’s open positions are not finding your job listings. In fact, the best candidates aren’t even looking for new jobs: 75% of people in the workforce at any given point are passive candidates, individuals who are not searching for new jobs, but might consider applying for the right opportunities. Since these potential candidates already have jobs, they are more selective about the opportunities they consider. Still, these candidates are worth pursuing because they are more productive than employees hired through other channels and are 20% less likely to quit their new jobs than employees who actively searched for their jobs.

Here are the best recruiting ideas for reaching passive candidates.

1. Leverage Social Media

While LinkedIn is an obvious recruitment tool, Facebook and Twitter are also effective platforms for recruiting. Use Twitter’s advanced hashtag search to find people interested in topics related to your business. Also consider searching for candidates on other social media platforms. Instagram can be an effective tool if you are looking for a photographer or videographer. Similarly, you can search Reddit’s discussion groups, or subreddits, to find groups relating to specific careers. Since these websites are not commonly used for recruiting, you will encounter less competition from other recruiters.

2. Update Your Company Blog

In addition to helping build your company’s reputation, a blog can help you discover potential job candidates. Your blog shouldn’t be only about your company; include topics related to your industry that will engage potential candidates. Reach out to those people who post thoughtful feedback on your posts. Share your blog posts on social media and industry forums to reach additional targeted readers.

3. Search Portfolio Websites

Browse the posted work of potential candidates online. Check Dribble for creatives, or Codercred for engineers, among other industry-specific sites. Reach out to individuals whose work samples overlap with your organization’s needs.

4. Monitor Online Discussions

There are thousands of online industry-specific forums with conversations focused on trends and developments. Find new potential candidates by monitoring groups related to your company,  identifying and reaching out to people who make insightful comments.

5. Ask Your Employees for Referrals

Collecting referrals from employees is an effective way to find passive candidates. Passive candidates are more likely to communicate with a recruiter and eventually accept job offers if someone they know recommended them. Send your colleagues emails with job descriptions and clearly ask if they know anyone who would be good fits. Also, remind your colleagues about the importance of attracting qualified hires and of the company’s referral bonus program.

6. Review Applicants for Previous Openings

Review the résumés and contact information of candidates who have applied to job openings in the past. While these candidates may not have been the right fit when they applied previously, they may be qualified for current openings. Check past candidates’ LinkedIn profiles to learn how they have developed professionally since they initially applied to work at your company.

7. Network

The best job candidates are deeply involved in their industries, making professional conferences and events a place to easily meet potential candidates. With event planning websites such as EventBrite, you can learn who will be attending industry events and plan accordingly. Invite potential candidates to meet you at an event. If you have a unique view or are particularly knowledgeable about your industry, consider speaking at an event yourself: professionals including passive candidates will approach you directly.

8. Follow Up

Whether you meet a potential candidate online or in person, personally follow up. This can be as simple as an email stating that you enjoyed your recent conversation and a reminder of the job opportunity. Do not be overly aggressive and bombard the potential candidate with calls and emails. If he or she is interested in learning more about working at the company, you’ll receive a response. 


Incorporating recruiting strategies for finding passive job candidates into your recruiting strategy is challenging work, but worth the effort. Read about 9 Ways to Engage Passive Candidates to make sure that effort pays off. The candidates hired by these means can become your company’s most dedicated and hardworking employees.

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