Insight January 25, 2022 Lisa Sacchetti

8 Creative Ways to Engage Passive Candidates

If you’re still expecting to find great candidates by putting out a generic call for job applications, then you’re in for a rude awakening. The truth is that the people you really want to supercharge your team are not actively applying for jobs. They are passive because they are successful and very engaged in their current roles. They often are not aware of the many opportunities available to them. As a result, if you aren’t able to connect with these passive candidates, you’re simply not going to fill the roles you need to fill.

So, how do you go about securing this top talent’s attention?

Here are 8 creative ways to attract and engage with great passive candidates:

1. Be personal.

No one responds well to overly generic communication. Top talent wants to know that they’re not just a number – but that they’re someone who has been cherry-picked to be considered for a certain role. As such, the more personal you can be, showing that you understand that specific person, the more success you’ll have. This takes more effort of course, but it’s well worth it because it shows that you value the person that you’re interacting with.

2. Leverage your company story.

In order to attract and retain top talent, you need to have a strong company story and mission that resonates with those people. Because these top performers have many opportunities available to them, you need to show them why working with you is going to be meaningful and fulfilling. Leverage your story well and you’ll find that you can engage passive candidates much more quickly because they buy into what you’re trying to do.

3. Craft a world-class application and interview experience.

Once you’ve got a passive candidate to bite, you don’t want to lose them because your application process is tedious or disorganized. Make sure that every part of the process is as intuitive and easy as possible, focusing on what really matters, and respecting the time of the people who are interviewing. With a little fine-tuning here, you’ll find a significant improvement in converting passive candidates into genuine prospects.

4. Expand your focus.

Attracting passive candidates requires you to think outside of the box. Don’t just get stuck looking at your direct competitors. Expand your target market and look for candidates in adjacent industries or roles whose skills might transfer well into your space. When you do this, you uncover new opportunities that were previously hidden from you. In addition, you’ll find less competition in hiring those people, because you’re looking a bit wider than your competitors.

5. Participate in live events.

Live events such as conferences and networking events, both in-person and online, are great places for serendipity. By attending events in your particular niche or industry, you’re bound to connect with people with a passion in the space, and you have a chance to build rapport with them in person or in virtual discussion groups. This is a great way to sell your company story and entice otherwise passive job seekers to consider working at your organization. Be genuine, open, and engage with no expectations – and you just might be surprised at what you discover.

6. Tap into your existing networks.

It’s amazing how many companies don’t leverage the existing networks that they have at their fingertips. Often, you can find great passive candidates by asking those around you if they have any recommendations. This could be through your employees, clients, or even your personal business network. The biggest benefit of this strategy is that you have a natural warm introduction that will make the communication that much smoother.

7. Put out great content.

We live in a content-first world, and if you’re publishing valuable, thought-provoking pieces, you’re going to attract people to your mission. This should be a long-term strategy to establish your expertise and credibility – while also attracting passive candidates who appreciate what you’re putting out.

8. Engage candidates in multiple ways.

When looking for great passive candidates, you need to have an omnichannel approach. Reach out with a combination of email, phone, text, video, etc., and you have a much better chance of getting their attention and growing their awareness of your company. It might also mean being available at off-hours for a discussion. This requires patience, of course, and you don’t want to overwhelm them – but by diversifying your communication – you maximize your chance of getting them to engage with you.

The Renaissance Network Can Help

These eight tips are just a few of the ways that you can engage top talent who are currently passive. If you aren’t doing this, you’re going to be waiting a very long time for those top candidates to knock at your door. Here at The Renaissance Network (TRN), engaging qualified passive candidates at the core of what we do, and we’ve seen these strategies work very well for our clients.

We recently worked with a high-growth EdTech company that had secured significant funding. They had seven open sales positions and needed a Vice President of sales as well. We were able to quickly bring qualified candidates in so that they could take advantage of their market opportunity. At TRN, we only brought these candidates in through creative passive candidate strategies.

Speaking of, if you don’t have the time or resources to do all this yourself, then we’d love to help. Schedule a free consultation today and let’s discuss how we can get you the candidates you need to take your company to the next level.

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Lisa founded The Renaissance Network in 1996 with the mission of building world-class teams and quickly developed a focus on the growing Education and Technology vertical.

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