Targeting Passive Candidates

Written by: Lorrie Howard, Horizon Point Consulting

Recruiters everywhere are struggling to fill open positions these days. According to an August 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of job openings is 4.6%, while the rate of unemployment is 3.6%. Basically, there are more open jobs right now than there are people to fill them.

Organizations are having to rethink their recruiting strategies in order to attract qualified candidates. Part of this revised strategy includes targeting passive candidates, or people who aren’t actively looking for a new job. So how do you attract candidates when they aren’t even job hunting?

  • Offer employee referral bonuses. Current employees are often your best resource for great talent. They’re going to refer people that they feel are qualified, team players, and hard workers. Afterall, they may have to work with them. If your organization already has an employee referral program, make sure you advertise it to your employees. Send out a reminder to all staff that the program is in place, send out regular updates on what positions are open, and recognize the employee when you make a hire as a result of their referral.
  • Use Linkedin to promote your company and to connect with potential candidates. Make sure your company page on Linkedin is up-to-date and speaks to your company culture. Then start looking for people to connect with that you feel could be an asset to your organization. Reach out to them and let them know that you were impressed with their profile and have some potential openings that you think they may be a good fit for. You may not get a response, but then again you might. And even if they aren’t interested, they may know someone who would be.
  • Attend networking events. Networking is a great way to both get your organization’s name out there as well as to connect with people who may be in the same industry and looking for a new opportunity. Events may include tradeshows, conferences, and local meetups. A few great resources to find events in your area include Eventbrite and com.
  • Sponsor local events. In addition to attending networking events, a great way to get your name out there and garner interest from potential candidates is to sponsor local events. This gives passive candidates an opportunity to see who your organization is and what you do. And it may just peak their interest in your organization. Bring recruiting materials with you that you can hand out and take the opportunity to strike up a conversation with attendees who stop by your sponsor table.

According to, 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent. What is your organization doing to get their attention?


Guest Blogger

Leave Comment :