When companies are looking to hire, they come across two kinds of candidates—active and passive ones:

  • Active candidates are on a proactive quest for new job opportunities;
  • Passive ones, though employed and not actively on the job hunt, may entertain new opportunities if they arise.

It’s important to know the difference between active vs passive candidates because they need different approaches to get them interested in a job. This is something that helps in finding the right person for the job, which, in turn, helps the company do well.

The bigger chunk of people, about 70%, are not actively looking for a job but might be interested if the right job comes their way. This is a big group of people who could have the right skills and experience for your job openings, but they might be overlooked if companies only focus on those actively looking for a job.

Active job seekers are easy to find because they are the ones applying to jobs left and right. They are ready to jump into a new job right away. On the other hand, passive job seekers are not in a hurry. They are okay with their current jobs but might consider a change if something really good comes along.

Innovative Strategies to Engage and Attract Passive Candidates

Getting passive candidates interested needs a different way of doing things. They are not looking for jobs but might be open to a good offer. Here are some ways to get their attention and make them want to join your company:

#1. Building Employer Brand

“Over 57% of global leading organizations are prioritizing employer branding campaigns. Marketing activities significantly enhance hiring processes and decrease “Time per hire” indicator, but tracking their impact is challenging. Create global landing pages, write articles on web platforms, and highlight employee success stories. In talent acquisition, branding is no longer a choice; it’s a necessity.”

— Nelia Protsiuk, an expert in Global Talent Acquisition & HR Operations, pointed out.

Having a good employer brand can attract passive candidates. Showing your company’s culture and values lets them see what it’s like to work with you. Passive candidates like a company that shares their values and has a friendly work environment​​.

Sharing stories from employees who have done well in your company gives a real idea of what working with you is like. Also, using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram helps show your company culture and talk to passive candidates​​.

To further enrich your brand story, consider the use of a story idea generator. It might provide fresh perspectives or creative angles. It can aid in brainstorming sessions to come up with engaging narratives that reflect your company’s culture and values.

Additionally, an AI text generator can assist in fine-tuning the narrative, ensuring it’s well-articulated and resonates with potential candidates. These tools can streamline the process of crafting a brand story that effectively communicates what your company stands for and the experience it offers to its employees.

#2. Networking and Relationship Building

Making connections is key to reaching passive candidates. Talking to them in a real and friendly way, whether on social media or by email, starts a good relationship​​.

Keeping in touch with passive candidates over time builds trust​​. Networking is not just online. Going to events or having your own events and sharing digital business cards, also helps meet potential candidates in person​​.

#3. Personalized Outreach

Think of talking to candidates in a personal way. Knowing the candidate’s background and changing your message to suit them makes it personal. Being clear about why you are talking to them and what you are offering makes things clear.

If you’re doing email outreach, your email signature can play a role in personalizing your communication with candidates. For example, you can include a link to your LinkedIn profile, where they can learn more about your background and experience. You can also include a link to your company’s blog, where they can read about your company culture and values.

Also, asking about their career goals and showing how your company can help them reach those goals makes a good impression.

#4. Offering Flexible Work Options

Passive candidates might be happy where they are because of the work-life balance they currently have. Offering flexible work options could catch their interest. You could offer something like:

It shows that your company cares about the well-being of its employees and respects their time outside work. This way, even if they are not actively looking for a job, the flexibility your company offers might make them consider the opportunity you present.

Future Paths in Candidate Engagement

Finding the right people to hire is key for any company unless we are talking about a fully robotized factory.

Now you are well aware of the differences between active vs passive candidates. Quick recall: Passive candidates might be interested in your offer only if it outweighs their existing one, while active ones are the ones who should primarily meet the employer’s demand.

We discussed that understanding the different needs of these two groups can help in hiring:

  • For active candidates, making the application process easy and being active online are good steps.
  • For passive candidates, showing a strong company culture, networking and reaching out in a personalized way can help.

Also, let’s not forget about adding technology to our stack since it is right now becoming a big help. Tools like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) save time and help make better choices. Looking at candidate data and using automation also helps in connecting with candidates.

Another important moment is how you check and improve engagement strategies. Using key performance indicators (KPIs) and A/B testing are good ways to see if your strategies are working and to try new ideas.

“In shaping the future of candidate engagement, the recruitment team plays a crucial role. Their deep understanding of the business and familiarity with products and services form the foundation of an effective engagement strategy. In the changing landscape of talent acquisition, a knowledgeable recruitment team isn’t just a support function; it’s a strategic driver influencing a company’s growth and success.” — Nelia Protsiuk

Hiring is changing with more focus on connecting with candidates in a meaningful way. Going forward, connecting with both active and passive candidates in a good way will likely be important for hiring success.

The future of hiring seems to be moving towards a more personalized, data-driven and candidate-focused approach.

By adjusting to these changes and using the right strategies and tools, companies can find and hire the right people for their teams.

Alona Bontush

Alona Bontush is an SEO outreach specialist at Growthmate, a young and fast-developing link-building agency. She is passionate about helping businesses improve their organic search rankings and increase website traffic through strategic link-building campaigns. When it comes to outreach, she has both strong communication and persuasive conversational skills. Connect with Alona on Linkedin.