Passive job seekers are individuals who are currently employed but would be open to considering a good career opportunity if one came along. These individuals are not actively looking for a new job so they can be difficult to find with a job board or career page. Employers often target passive job seekers because their positive employment records, experience, and qualifications make them a great match for critical roles. Targeting passive job seekers can provide companies with the competitive edge in a tight labor market.
Here are a few reasons why organizations should focus on passive job seekers.
- Longevity - Passive job seekers already have a job that they enjoy. They are often good employees who are building a career so statistically they stay with the company longer than employees sourced by job boards and other sources.
- Experience and skills - They have the right skills and experience. Since the candidate is already employed they have valuable on the job experience and know how to excel in their position.
- Transparency - Passive candidates don't feel the need to inflate their skills and sugar coat their experience since they are already employed.
- Less competition - The passive job seeker is not actively looking for new opportunities so they are less likely to be interviewing or negotiating with another company.
Ideas for sourcing passive job seekers
New Hires can be a gold mine for referring passive job seekers. They are eager to help and have many contacts that could be a good fit for open positions. They know who the best employees were at their previous place of employment and can help initiate a conversation.
Employee referral programs can be the most effective and inexpensive way to target passive job seekers. By leveraging employee connections you are able to reach a large pool of qualified candidates. If you streamline the referral process and reward employees for participating there will be many who are willing to help.
Brand ambassadors - By making it simple and easy to share open positions on social media you can turn your employees into brand ambassadors. Some companies even utilize an autoshare feature that automatically shares openings which are similar to the employees position and they reward the employee for activating this feature.
Resources - Employees need to have access to company resources that they can send their friends or acquaintances who are interested in learning more about the company. These could be either digital or printed materials and they should be easily accessible to everyone.
Own your Glassdoor account - Passive job seekers are going to spend some time researching your company. They want to make sure it's a good fit before they would even consider an opening. Invite employees to share about their position on Glassdoor so that interested individuals can read about their experience. Companies with unmanaged pages on Glassdoor can end up with only poor reviews that will deter potential candidates.
As a final note it is good to remember that with a passive job seeker you are approaching them which means you are the one doing the selling. This requires a different mindset and approach than engaging an active job seeker. Be prepared with a solid employer value proposition. It can be difficult to distinguish those who are interested from those who are not so do don't come across as too aggressively. If they are happily employed already they will want time to evaluate the opportunity before making a decision.