Filling Open Positions with Passive Candidates

by Carrie Kolar

Recruiting in the current U.S. job market remains very competitive forcing recruiters to get more aggressive with their recruiting strategies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported job openings were little changed at 5.4 million in February and hires increased to 5.4 million, while jobless rate was down over the year in 296 of 387 metro areas and payroll jobs were up in 323. While the pool of active candidates shrinks (payroll employment risen by 215,000 in March) recruiters will start tapping into the pool of passive candidates (those who are already hired and not actively looking for a job). This RPOA Weekly looks into the challenges, opportunities, and best practices of filling open positions with passive candidates in the current recruiting environment. 


The Secret Recruiting Strategies to Attract Passive Candidates – Yoh - @YohCorporate

HR executives, recruiters and hiring manager have a new obsession – passive candidates. However, in the new world of recruiting, the definition and approach to passive candidates needs to change. This article brings a new approach to passive recruiting by pointing out that with low unemployment and fewer people in the workforce, most candidates you encounter will be passive, i.e. already working for someone else. It states that recruiters need to find ways to attract the attention of potential passive candidates, and that the recruiters should be prepared for initial rejection from wary candidates. It rounds up by saying that there are no “magic bullet” strategies for recruiting passive candidates, but that, like raising small children, recruiting passive candidates takes a village.

How to Coach a Hiring Manager to Effectively Engage Passive Candidates – ERE - @ERE_net

After you’ve gone through all the trouble to interest passive candidates in your open position, it’s time to let your hiring manager go to work. However, techniques that will work to engage active candidates often don’t have much traction with passive candidates. This article has a list of recommendations for coaching hiring managers to engage with more passive candidates, as well as a list of the benefits of adopting a more candidate-centric hiring process. Some of the recommended coaching techniques include being respectful and accommodating of the candidate’s schedule, and focusing on selling the candidate on the opportunity, company and team.

How Raleigh is Engineering a Solution to the Skills Gap – Yoh - @YohCorporate

Talent is at a premium in the energy and technology sector, and many companies are finding it difficult to hire people with the skills they need. This article provides the details of a survey that the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster and RTI International performed to determine energy and technology staffing needs. It explores whether passive candidates are the answer to the skills shortage, and recommends networking and establishing connections between passive candidates and employers as one way to engage this difficult-to-reach group.

Passive is Passe – Executives Say Active Job Seekers Make the Best Candidates – TLNT - @TLNT_com

Are passive candidates the recruiting wave of the future? Not necessarily, say executives. This article presents the results of a 500-person executive survey that shows that executives think active candidates make the best new hires, and that the majority of executives value whether a candidate will fit in with the company culture more highly than they value skills or experience. The article goes on to present the perspective of a top recruiting professional who thinks that overlooking passive candidates can be a mistake, and his recommendations on how to find and recruit those candidates.

Reasons Top Talent is Scarce in the Market – RPOA - @RPOAssociation

Why are passive candidates such a big issue? A big part of the reason is that top talent is increasingly scarce in the market. This article suggests that a big reason for this scarcity is age – the baby boomer generation is retiring, and is taking a significant portion of the workforce with it. It also suggests that the resulting brain drain is a big part of the stiff competition for the remaining best talent, and proposes recruiting best practices to adapt to the new, super-competitive market.

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