Why Passive Candidates Are Actually Your Best Prospects

A recent report from the US Department of Labor claimed that the percentage of workers quitting their jobs reached the highest level since 2001.

Wait, what?!

If you think that’s surprising, buckle up, because I’ve got another big piece of news for you – for only the second time in the past two decades, the number of open roles surpassed the number of unemployed Americans.

You’re probably thinking “This is a great update on the domestic economy, but what’s your point?”

These trends mean that we are entering a chaotic job market that is aggressively challenging the concept of the passive candidate – or in other words, everyone is a prospect. Dissatisfied talent can’t stray from their current, sub-par career paths fast enough! It’s now up to recruiters to be the first to bait them into a shinier new role.

So how can recruiters carve out their own chunk of this unique candidate market? We have three recruiting strategies that will help you turn other organizations’ dissatisfied talent into your new placements.

Be Visible

Whether it’s through your well-crafted personal brand on social media or your presence at key industry events, you should be nearly impossible to ignore. On your social accounts, this can be as simple as dropping a friendly note to new potential candidates via InMail or cultivating current connections in the comment section.

If you prefer to go above and beyond by solidifying connections in person, be at the can’t-miss trade shows, career fairs, and conferences. We all see the promotional blog posts, social campaigns, and e-vite pulses months in advance – take advantage of the early notice and rub elbows with your target candidates in their own environment.

Act Like an Inbox Ally

There’s nothing wrong with dropping a line to new connections, but make sure it’s worth the candidate’s time. Leave the SPAM to Hormel and send talent a personalized note that gets them thinking about the golden opportunities you have in your bag.

Present a real purpose in your messaging by explaining why their profile caught your eye, and leave the conversation open by inquiring about a specific skill you know they rock at.

Lastly, remember that top talent plays by pool rules – NO pushing. Bugging candidates is a great way to turn them off to your gigs and keep them anchored where they are in their careers.

Dangle the Lure

When it comes to job satisfaction, get them singing like the Stones – you want to dig deep and find out the real grievances that the candidate is experiencing in their current role. By taking the time to understand their frustrations, you will be able to build trust, making YOU their recruiter of choice.

So maybe a req you are currently working doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles they are looking for, but another does. Here’s an idea – present both anyway. Tell them why you know the first gig isn’t perfect for them and then hit them with the closer – you know, their DREAM job that they can’t possibly turn down.

Even if they ultimately decide to say no, you’ve got them thinking about you and your opportunities – and when they are ready to make moves, you’re already in their contact list.


How do you turn your employed prospects into placements? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below!

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