The lowdown on passive recruiting

The lowdown on passive recruiting

With all the fallout from the pandemic—redundancies, company closures and whole sectors forced to stop trading—it’s a flooded job market at the moment, with a severe lack of opportunities for all the candidates searching for their next positions.

So, given that companies have a decent pool of people to choose from, going by the number of applications for each available role, why would they consider passive recruiting?

When a job opportunity goes out into the ether, the people applying are likely to be those looking for a position at that moment in time—most probably for the reasons above or because they’re dissatisfied with their current job. The opportunity will draw in candidates who are willing and available and actively looking for a role, but who may not necessarily be Mr or Mrs Perfect-for-the-job…because, if Mr or Mrs Perfect-for-the-job is happy with their current employer, they’re unlikely to even see the opportunity on offer.

The recruiter is therefore faced with choosing the most appropriate person from the pool of applicants, who may be light years away, in terms of knowledge, skills and experience, from Mr or Mrs Perfect-for-the-job, who’s blissfully unaware an opportunity is crying out for them. Training the best-of-the-available-bunch (if this even proves successful) could cost a company much more than if Mr or Mrs Perfect-for-the-job had taken up the role, as the latter would likely have simply slotted straight in. It’s therefore easy to understand the findings of Indeed, whose research shows that 60% of all roles aren’t publicly advertised.

Passive recruiting, or headhunting, is the practice of bringing a current or future opportunity to the attention of a person deemed perfect for the position. It’s particularly practised in niche sectors, such as the tech industry, which gallops on and on at speed and requires top talent to keep up. The idea of passive recruiting being that, even if the targeted candidate isn’t interested in moving companies right now, they may think of the headhunting recruiter/employer if and when they ever do want to jump ship.

Training costs aside, headhunting the perfect fit for the role may also save recruiting costs further down the line. If someone has been targeted for a position that’s perfectly suited to them, they’re likely to remain with the company much longer than an available candidate who may have taken a role ‘for now’, until an opportunity arises that’s much better suited to their individual needs and ability.

There are both direct and indirect strategies to attract the right candidate through passive recruiting. The direct approach is as it suggests, contacting them via email or their LinkedIn profile with details of the opportunity and finding out if they would be interested now or at another point in the future. Indirect strategies would include the company describing in detail appropriate current and upcoming opportunities in places that the perfect candidate may look, such as sponsored adverts on LinkedIn, in appropriate trade magazines, and appearing at industry-specific events and trade fairs.

To attract top talent, you need to talk about more than the position itself, such as how a person’s career could progress within the company and the potential for both personal and professional growth. Offering better pay than what your preferred person for the position currently receives sounds like it should be enough to sway them towards your opportunity; however, money isn’t necessarily the be all and end all in a person’s career. Job related perks, working patterns, the flexibility of an employer and a company’s culture are incredibly important things for any job candidate to consider—more so, one that’s not particularly unhappy in their current role.

There are other ways for employers and recruiters to appeal to passive candidates, such as how they rate on review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed. This may be one of the first things a headhunted candidate may look at when weighing up whether to leave their current position. Whatever a recruiter tells them about the company, if it doesn’t match up to previous employees’ real-life experiences, it’s very easy for them to reject any job offer. No one would jump from a position they’re comfortable in towards a company that’s reportedly toxic, mis-managed or which treats any of its employees poorly.

Passive recruiting, as you’d imagine, means playing the long game. You may imagine that it’s a lot of effort for the desired outcome (after all, what’s so wrong with employing the best-of-the-available-bunch?). As mentioned, however, passive recruiting could reduce recruitment costs over the long term and also encourage growth within your company that comes from the right people being in the right positions.

Fast Recruitment Websites specialise in recruitment website design. Your website forms part of the recruitment process, as candidates seek out more information about you and the roles you have on offer. Is your site performing how it should? Is it an endurance challenge in itself to find the right information? For help and advice from experts, contact us on 01302 288591.

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