How to Effectively Look for and Screen Passive Candidates

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Recruitment Advice, Trends and Learning

How to Effectively Look for and Screen Passive Candidates

Acquiring top talents and hiring the candidate with the perfect skill set is every recruiter’s goal. But, with the job market becoming increasingly competitive, it’s getting harder for recruitment consultants and HR teams to find the best talents.

This is why recruiters can’t just wait for resumes to arrive – they need to actively seek out top talents, even those that are currently employed and not looking for new career opportunities. Passive candidates make up three-fourths of the world’s talent pool, making it a crucial source of candidates for recruitment consultants and HR professionals.

But, tapping passive candidates may not be as easy as it seems. Here are a few strategies you can implement to effectively look for and screen passive candidates.

Know What You’re Looking For

Some recruiters reach out to passive candidates with general information about the job or position. Make sure you understand the job that the open position entails. This will help you find the perfect candidate, and more importantly, it will allow you to convince your passive candidate that applying for the open position is worth their time.

Remember that passive candidates are not looking for a job and are currently busy with their current one. So, if you find a passive candidate who you think is perfect for the job and will contribute a lot to the company, don’t waste their time with general information about the job.

Make them feel important and give them specific information that will help them see that the job you’re offering is better than their current one. When you understand the job completely, you can let the passive candidate know why you think they are perfect for the job, and why you think they will love working for your company.

Be Sociable

Social media has billions of users all over the world, making it a great source of passive candidates. One of the best advantages of social recruiting is that you get to see prospects in a channel where they’re most engaged in. You can tap the particular groups and communities relevant to the position you’re looking for. Use hashtags relevant to the skill set needed, and you’ll find the people talking about that topic. Look at the profiles of the people who are actively commenting or posting, then reach out to them through the same platform.

Social media is also a great way to screen passive candidates. Not only does it show you the schools they attended and their previous jobs, but it also helps you assess their social skills and culture fit because you can see how they engage with their friends and colleagues. When you send them a message, they will let you know outright whether they’re interested or not. So, make sure to craft a compelling message that will convince them that the position you’re offering is perfect for them.

Participate in Offline Events

As recruitment consultants, you shouldn’t just be joining job fairs. Yes, that’s where the active candidates are, but that’s not where the top passive candidates are hiding. Expos and trade shows are attended by professionals and entrepreneurs who are experienced and passionate in their own fields.

You can attend various trade shows and business events related to the skill sets you’re looking for. For instance, you’re looking for an SEO specialist, you may want to attend seminars, conferences, or trade fairs for digital marketing or SEO. These offline events pose a wide variety of opportunities for recruitment consultants. You can find passive candidates, network with various professionals, and even get referrals.

Know Who’s Ready to Switch

The concept of “ready to switch” did not emerge until recently, when AI and machine learning became popular. Often, these software help recruiters by marking candidates who are “ready to switch” using triggers.

As a recruitment consultant, it’s important for you to understand the various factors that will help you determine the passive candidates who are ready for a new job, before they even know it.

Note the activity in a candidate’s social media profile and job boards or placement sites. When a candidate updates their resume on a job placement site, or cleans up the professional details on their social media profiles, that can be a signal that a passive candidate is ready to change jobs.

Candidates who have been working for the same company with the same position for more than 4 years may also be considered ready to switch. According to a recent study, 42% of employees leave their jobs because of limited future growth or opportunity for promotion within their company.

You can also assess a candidate’s pattern of switching jobs. If you notice that they stayed with their previous companies for approximately 1 to 3 years, you can use their current length of stay as an indicator. If they have been working for the same company for 2 years, then they may already be ready to change jobs now.

Bottom Line

Sixty percent of the labor force may not be actively looking for a new job, but they are certainly willing to discuss new opportunities – as long as you present it as an opportunity they can’t let pass. Remember that passive candidates are busy with their current jobs, and they don’t have the luxury of time to just come in for an application interview as soon as you want them to.

Would they waste their precious vacation leave on a job application that does not present better opportunities? Definitely not.

Be transparent with passive candidates, and let them know the details about the job as much as you can. For confidential positions, you will not be able to disclose as much as you want. But, you can still find a way to make it appealing that they will be willing to schedule a meeting.



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Experience the Manila Recruitment difference, and give your business in the Philippines a competitive advantage by contacting us today. Whether you are exploring an offshore solution, or are an established entrepreneur, SME or Multinational in the Philippines, our team has the experience and a tailored recruitment solution to introduce you to the top talent in the Philippines.

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