This topic is inspired by the presentation given by Ali Ayaz at this year’s Employer Branding Best Practices Conference, during which Ali mentioned that 17% of the people in every company are TOP talents. These employees are 4 times more productive than everyone else. The main goal for all of our efforts in the Employer Branding process is aimed towards that 17 %.

Who are the “Passive Candidates” and why do we call them “candidates” if they’re passive?

Passive candidates is a term that represents a group of people who are not actively looking for a job, they don’t go to interviews, they don’t visit any kind of career fairs or career-oriented events but they are still likely to accept a proposal for career development. They are the hardest candidates to attract but attracting them is really important for a company, because they are usually very knowledgeable and most active when it comes to working.

Since they are passive in their job research, you have to be active in attracting them as an employer.

Here are 10 pieces of advice on how to reach “Passive candidates”:

  1. The first one is a referral program which gives your current employees the opportunity to recommend one of their friends for an available position at the company.

This option is really reliable because it should be safe to say that your employees are most familiar with the work environment in your company, they know what motivates them to work there and they are the best ambassadors of your employer brand.

Usually, this type of programs should bring value and recognition to both sides – the employee and the company, so it is right to compensate the employer for their recommendation.

  1. You MUST use social media for your business and the content that you are providing should fit the social media channel that you are using
  • You can write an attractive job offer and post it on Facebook – on the company’s page or on some group which includes people from your targeted audience. You can also post job offers in different online forums.
  • You can take Advice #1 and apply it outside the company – social media is the perfect place for that matter. Offer a reward for a good recommendation for a candidate that would fit in your company. That, of course, may attract some false recommendations for people that are actually not suitable for your company. To avoid that, when writing your offer, don’t forget to mention that half of the reward you are offering will be provided if the candidate works for more than three months in the company, and the other half – when the candidate reaches 6 months at the position.
  • Grow your Linked In page and search for candidates in the platform. Post-professional articles which will attract attention by not directly offering a job position, you are “just trying to attract” the attention of top professionals in your niche. Start engaging with people that like or comment on your articles and on your other posts – do the same thing for them.
  • Try maintaining a blog (on your webpage for example) where you can talk about different problems in your niche, different hacks and tools that would be helpful, and all the other things that you think will bring value to your audience. By doing this, potential candidates will see you as a company with a professional opinion on different topics. Usually, those candidates are eager to learn and that will take their attention by also engaging them with your company.
  1. Be consistent in following your potential candidates on social media. Before offering them a job in your company, make sure to constantly make them notice that you are interested in their work.
  2. Advice #4 is to offer your potential candidates opportunities for career development. As we mentioned before, passive candidates are not actively searching for new job offers because they believe that their current position is good enough. It is also possible that they recently joined their company or they are used to their company. To avoid this, offer them a reason that is good enough for them to leave their current job and join you instead.

An opportunity for career growth is one of the most appreciated factors when it comes to attracting passive candidates because those people are usually ambitious.

  1. Conduct surveys. The best internal surveys include open questions. A faster and easier option is emailing your employees – you can even ask them only one question, such as: What do you value the most at our company?

You can use the results for promoting your company in front of your targeted audience.

Often it is not the salary that drives people in, but the flexibility of the work schedule, the opportunities for different pieces of training and for working from home.

  1. Organize events or online discussions on topics that are specific for your niche. These people don’t go to career fairs and are not looking actively for a job but they are curious and more likely to join discussions or an event which is not made to directly attract them as employees. For example, when organizing an event or a conference, you can personally invite some of your potential candidates. Your goal is to meet them in a non-work environment.
  1. Use your ex-employees in case that they are top talents. Try to attract them back with a better proposal for example with a better work environment. There are thousands of examples for top employees that came back to the company they used to work for. Do not give up on them. Explore this option.
  1. Be interested in what is happening in the industry. In case there is a company which is in a tough place at the moment, this demotivates the employees. That’s the right moment for you to get in touch with them. It is important to do that before the company gets to a deep crisis because if so, the passive candidates from that company will turn into active candidates and the competition for them will grow.
  2. Always present yourself as a specialist in your industry, not as an employer. The candidates will be more impressed by your knowledge.

When publishing posts on social media, let them represent you as a specialist in your niche.

  1. Keep a database with all potential candidates. Follow their development and watch if they are passive or active. Also, don’t forget to often check their company’s condition.

Don’t forget that an excellent EVP is a key to turning one passive candidate to an active one (if you want to know how to create your EVP, click here).

Bonus advice: Turn your employees into brand ambassadors. Company’s goals will reach 561% more people if they’re shared by the employees that work in that company, compared to sharing those goals on social media.

Bonus advice #2: Be honest with your candidates because your goal is not only to attract them but also to be able to keep them in your company. If you lie when you are presenting yourself, your employees will know that shortly after starting out in the company and that will lead to them leaving and sharing bad comments and reviews with their friends or online. This will be harmful in future when you are trying to get new people in. 72% of candidates with bad first impression from the recruiting process are sharing their experience online.

Author: To The Top Agency (Ralitsa Gencheva, Zlatan Petrov)