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Passive Recruiting is the new “it” thing for businesses

Reap the benefits of Passive Recruiting

Should you follow the trend?

A passive candidate is not necessarily looking for a new position, but when propositioned with an attractive new role they might be interested enough to not immediately turn it down. And an employer who is passively recruiting for their organization is sourcing candidates who have not specifically applied for a role, but rather searching for specific job qualifications for someone who could potentially be interested based on their skills. Passive recruiting goes beyond the traditional means of job sourcing like applying or posting a position on a job posting website.

Passive recruiting may have been around for a long time, but it has recently become popular enough for a coined term. To break it down further, you may think that passive recruiting is akin to when a person who is single randomly meets someone at the grocery store. While both parties were not actively looking for “the one” they happened to find them on a whim. But with passive recruiting the employer, or in this case, the person going to the grocery store, is actually looking for love and has an intention and a goal.

The reason organizations are now using this technique is because of the difficulty of finding honest and skilled candidates. Often, the first interview with a potential new hire will reveal their lack of competence for the job. And unfortunately, HR departments or internal recruiters may waste time by scheduling unqualified people. Therefore, trying to find good people to fill roles requires some out-of-the-box thinking and dedicated skill digging.

What is passive candidate recruiting?

The idea of searching or interviewing for a new position was not something a passive candidate may have been thinking about. But they may be approached by a passive candidate recruiter because their qualifications matched those of the job description that the outreaching organization was looking for.

Any employer or organization may use passive recruiting as a method to find new talent. Traditional applicants or applications may be dwindling for the company, or they could have little engagement on job posting sites. It may also be that they’re getting illegitimate candidates or too many hacking scams after posting a job to fill.

What are the benefits of hiring passive candidates?

Some of the benefits of hiring a passive candidate are not blatantly obvious. In fact, you may ask yourself, why would I go after someone for a job they did not even know they wanted? Well, there are a couple of reasons why passive candidate hiring can be more than beneficial to your organization and to the candidate themself.

The first reason is that a content employee doesn’t leave a position they’re comfortable in for nothing. In fact, it shows ambition on their part that they aren’t afraid to move from a perfectly fine position to one that may further their career. This also means that the organization or recruiter that is going after this candidate must do their research and know they are proposing a better position or one that gives the candidate a step up in their career journey. Someone who is happy with their current role will not – and should not – move laterally.

This candidate also has a growth mindset which is crucial for a business that is looking to expand and grow. By excelling in their career, they will want the same success for wherever they are employed. A passive candidate believes in taking chances, and that can be a big win for an organization on the move.

As a recruiter, you can take your time with passive candidates because they were not already in an active process with other job offers. You can take some time to really get to know their skills without jumping the gun to give them an offer because you’re afraid you’re going to lose them.

Lastly, passive recruiting tends to help employer branding which is a non-conventional benefit.  By engaging or expanding your network as a business by reaching out to candidates, you create a positive community. These people may not want to take a new role, but because they are flattered, or at least enticed, they may have a referral or begin to follow your social network to stay informed of a position they may be interested in later on. This may be a great way to build that recognition you are looking for as a company.

How to find passive candidates

Targeting passive job seekers can be a tricky task, but you can rely on some good resources to do so. First, it is important to figure out the exact staffing needs of your organization. You do not want to start reaching out to someone who wasn’t even interested in the first place, and then recant your offer because there was no solid plan in place for hiring.

Next, it’s important to make sure you make the application process as seamless as possible for these passive job seekers. Nothing turns an applicant off more than a bunch of hoops they must jump through. And since they weren’t actively seeking your company in the first place, what would make them want to proceed if it was difficult?

But before you even get to the point of interviewing candidates, where are you supposed to find them? According to, “LinkedIn is perhaps the most widely used social media website for passive recruiting.” LinkedIn makes it easy to find candidates for roles you are trying to fill by using the “advanced people search” tool. This allows you to filter on the skills, job titles, and even geographic location to find the right person. Other social media may be used as well, but no other platform offers legitimate job skills or professional networking like LinkedIn.

Partnering with a PEO like Prestige guarantees the HR support you need so that you can actively recruit the candidates that will help grow your business. We manage everything from Fortune 500 employee benefits, to risk and compliance mitigation, retirement planning, payroll and tax administration, plus so much more. Growing your business is your passion, and supporting you is ours.