Ahead of ‘The Birmingham In-house Recruitment Conference’ our headline partners, Adzuna, have curated this piece outlining all you need to know about passive candidates.

Finding Passive candidates

Passive candidates are often considered the most valuable candidates for employers. The quest for those already happily (or in some cases not so happily!) employed elsewhere is well documented. We calculate the chances of finding a superstar are therefore much higher than if you are working with a pool of only active jobseekers.

The challenge has always been finding them, getting their attention and ultimately attracting them to come and work with you. At Adzuna, we are experts on the first two parts of this equation, and can talk you through some tricks and tips you should be using to get in front of these candidates.

Alert your audience

Even if candidates aren’t regularly checking job sites and job boards for new opportunities, many won’t want to completely close that door. That means that if they have ever signed up for a job search tool, they are likely to still going to be receiving regular email alerts about jobs in their field.

When jobseekers first start their job search, that’s when they really want frequent information about new jobs. Over time, many of that audience will find a job, so they don’t need email alerts as often. As a business we reduce the number of emails we send after a while so these passive candidates only get occasional emails about jobs.

The point is that regular emails are still going to land in the inboxes of passive candidates – so make sure you get those emails zinging across cyberspace, or your message may well get lost.

Target the right audience

Outside of regular alerts, targeted one-off emails can really help you reach a large quantity of passive candidates. Unlike alerts, these are more like adverts for your company, allowing you to really explain the benefits of working for you, and tempt them with info on the job itself.
The key to making these emails work is relevance. There’s little point emailing people in London about jobs in Newcastle for example, nor would it be useful to email people who are clearly unqualified, or over-qualified, for your job.

You will also benefit hugely from being personalised in your approach, and making each candidate feel that you understand and value them as an individual. Imelda Echevarria Splinter, Group HR Manager at Ibérica says: “Make the candidate feel you are contacting them with a real purpose of getting them on board, rather than just informing them that they can apply, like a random applicant.”

Uncover the right databases

When someone applies for a job with you, but isn’t quite the best candidate at the time, you should still be able to contact them again if another opportunity arises. That’s where keeping a candidate database or outsourcing one come is really handy!

If you simply don’t have enough people in your own system, it could be time to consider partnering with a company that has a database of excellent prospective employees for your industry, or that can give you access to it.

Go beyond the usual social channels

It’s easy to rely too much on tools like LinkedIn or XING to find your passive candidates. Matthew Ellis, Recruitment Manager at Nisbets acknowledges that LinkedIn is a fantastic database, but it’s not always effective because: “it relies on passive candidates accepting Inmails or connection requests”. With that in mind, you may find that for your industry there are other social channels that you ought to be considering.

For example, sites like GitHub and StackOverflow have profile information for their audience of developers. Similarly, Dribbble and Behance exist for designers, and a whole host of other possible options wait for you out there, each dedicated to different job sites and industries. Do a wealth of research, as you may well find that there is a rich niche of talent available for the kind of roles you are recruiting for!

Be passive yourself, but highly visible

The key with attracting passive candidates is to be fairly passive yourself – but in this case we mean passive as opposed to aggressive. You definitely need to be active. Promoting your employer brand on social channels such as Twitter or Facebook, writing compelling and interesting job descriptions, and possibly even writing for industry publications to be more visible, could all help turn passive candidates into active ones.

This blog has been written by Adzuna, headline partner at our upcoming Birmingham In-house Recruitment Conference – to hear more from Adzuna, plus leading in-house recruitment teams from Nationwide, Manchester Metropolitan University, Shell, Yodel, REC and Saint-Gobain who will cover topics including talent pooling, the post-Brexit job market, assessment tools, re-shaping your candidate experience and more join us! Click here to confirm your place!

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