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Recruiting Top-Notch Passive Candidates

Recruiting Top-Notch Passive Candidates



Passive might not be on the top of your list of preferred personal characteristics, but when talking about job seekers, passive takes on an entirely different meaning.

There are certainly many qualified active job seekers out there that are presently unemployed. However, employers also want to recruit passive candidates to join their organization. Passive candidates are usually currently employed and not actively searching for a new position. Recruiting these candidates can be more challenging and time consuming. In the 2012 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey, “recruiting passive candidates” was the top way recruiters competed with other employers.

Peter Weddle recently shared insight on passive job seekers in The Rise of Hybrid Employment Sites.He states that only 16% of the population is actively looking for a job at any given time. Weddle indicates that job boards can be a valuable way to attract passive candidates by promoting career advancement and interaction in addition to job postings. has long taken pride in the fact that we are a top job board for not only those actively looking, but also for passive candidates. Many passive candidates continue to on a regular basis. They also subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry and find out about new job openings that might entice them to make a move. regularly interacts with thousands of followers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

So how do you make your company attractive to passive candidates?

Emphasize stability 
You may be surprised that candidates value security over pay. According to the Towers Watson 2011/2012 Talent Management and Rewards Study, employers greatly underestimate the importance of job security in recruiting. When employees were asked for the top reasons they would join an organization, job security was number one. Emphasize stability in job postings by speaking about the length of time your company has been in business, awards and recognitions received, and link to testimonials from long-term employees.

Pay is still important
Although not as important as stability according to the Towers Watson Survey, pay ranked number two on the list of reasons to join an organization. Make sure you are competitive in your market. Candidates are constantly comparing themselves to others and are smartly using online pay scale tools and surveys. Employers need to be just as smart by benchmarking their pay against competitors. You can only do this by collecting data from a third party source. offers theCompensation Benchmark Review (CBR) which is a salary survey specifically for the agriculture industry.

If possible, list your base pay on the job posting. When surveyed job seekers, it was found that nearly 40% of candidates were discouraged from applying to jobs where no salary information was provided. At the very least, list “highly competitive pay” and specify other benefits and perks of the position.

Passive candidates value relationships. You may locate a candidate in the database or meet them at a tradeshow. Reach out to them via email to find out about their current status. Be sure to personalize the email and ask a question to invite a response. If they are not interested in making a move now, keep them in your contacts and regularly check in with them. Invite them to connect on LinkedIn. Career sites such as engage both employers, active, and passive candidates in conversations to expand knowledge, make connections and network.