April 20, 2023

Third Thursday Thoughts, 19th Edition

The Passive Candidate

Third Thursday Thoughts

Since the pandemic of 2020, it was clear to see how the shift from a client-driven market to a candidate-driven market had impacted the way businesses recruited new talent.

The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 saw a record number of people leaving their jobs and reconsidering their career paths, with the number of job vacancies hitting a record high between July and September 2021 due to post-pandemic reopening.

As a result, successfully targeting and onboarding ‘passive’ candidates — people already working, who are not actively searching for a new job but may be persuaded to change roles — has always been and will continue to play a significant part in recruitment strategies for years to come. 

Passive candidates make up a majority of the workforce. As a result, having an effective strategy for targeting such candidates is crucial for businesses hoping to fill skills gaps and stand out in the increasingly competitive job market. Being approached directly by employers makes passive candidates feel respected and valued, increasing their enthusiasm for a role. They are also more likely to take their time deciding whether to join a new company and are, therefore, more likely to stay — boosting retention and company reputation and making it easier to attract more talent.

Passive candidates already possess a proven skill set required for your position. Their training curve is minimized, resulting in less time and resources needed to develop them. This offers a faster return on investment for you, the employer, and an easier transition for the employee.

To find out what it would take for a top candidate to leave the comfort of their current position to join your company, you will have to take the time to get to know them.  Taking a personal approach is vital, as the top candidates are likely to have multiple other companies vying for their attention. As such, researching candidates to learn their work history, experience and motivations will be vital in conveying your professionalism, attention to detail, and position in the industry, as well as developing the candidate’s interest in your company.

Many passive candidates can be found in your company database. Perhaps they were not experienced enough when you originally met them or were one of several in the running but did not get the offer. They have familiarity with your industry, perhaps even your company and would be readily attracted to the opportunity, minimizing the competition from parties equally interested in them as a passive candidate.  At Marcum Search, we utilize our database to find and stay in touch with these candidates for reasons such as referrals, subject matter experts and of course as potential candidates.

Who better to provide a trustworthy recommendation than an existing employee?  Recruiters tend find their best-quality candidates through referrals. Leveraging professional networks and incentivizing staff to bring in new talent with a referral program can help to expedite the recruitment process.

There is more to a competitive job offer than an attractive salary to captivate passive candidates; company culture, flexibility, and benefits are major considerations. In the post pandemic era, it appears that hybrid work schedules are here to stay. In fact, more than half of workers would consider leaving their job in favor of one that offers flexible working environments. It is not enough to make a vague reference to flexibility in a job offer; setting expectations for working hours and availability is key to the success of a hybrid working model for both the employee and employer. It significantly increases the probability of high levels of engagement and wellbeing — boosting employee satisfaction, resulting in greater retention.