Banner Default Image


< Back to all Blogs

Passive Candidates - Top Recruiting Tips for Tackling the Passive Market

Author: Nick Koop

Published date: 2019/10

Nick Blog Graphic


In a perfect recruiting world, we would have A grade candidates drop in our lap and our clients would love us forever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that and, in my industry, where candidates are at a premium, it means that I can’t just rely on those candidates who are actively applying to every job on Seek.


So, that means we need to embrace the passive candidate.


These are candidates that might be perfectly content in their current role but should a great opportunity arise, they would be willing to hear about it. Considering they make up almost 75 per cent of the workforce, you are doing yourself a disservice by not tapping into 100% of your potential talent pool and providing the leading people in your industry to your clients.


With my market being incredibly candidate short, I spend a lot of my time expanding my network and keeping in touch with these passive candidates. So, here are the top 5 tips for tackling the passive market.


Increase Social Media Brand

Exposure is everything when it comes to tapping into passive candidates. If they don’t know of you, they’re probably not likely to take a call from you. Continually posting and sharing updates of both your company, your clients’ company if possible and the industry can increase exposure to passive candidates. Be at the forefront of their minds.


Building Your Network

A strong network results in more access to passive candidates. Connections are pivotal in recruiting so it’s important to make sure you’re building connections with new people but also maintaining strong relationships with current connections. Attend networking events, always continue conversations, connect with leaders in the market and reach out. This is something that might not have results immediately; it could be weeks or months down the track but it is always better to have a larger network.


Focus on the People You’re Already Working With

Pay attention to the people you currently know; listen to their needs and wants. Understanding what their motivations are can help you to connect with passive candidates by tapping into key motivations for looking at a new job. You might be talking to someone who isn’t considering a move however, knowing exactly what makes them tick allows you to tailor that upcoming vacancy or that evolving client to best pitch to them when they previously might not consider it. Ensure that your interview process is thorough; you don’t just need to know the basics like salary and location; you need to know ambitions, goals and even personal preferences.


Streamline Sourcing Process

Have an efficient sourcing process, you can’t just be posting a job ad and leaving it. Having a streamlined sourcing process allows you to access people who aren’t very active on social media and other platforms. Utilise LinkedIn Recruiter, Seek database and any other online talent pool; have strong and effective communications, both verbal and written; ensure your ad writing is effective and get someone else to check it if need be. As passive candidates aren’t looking you need to ensure you’re actively looking for them.


Referrals & Personalisation

Capitalise on the people you’re close with, what you present to your close network is what is presented by your close network. Word-of-mouth is a massive referral tool and ensuring people are saying good things about you opens your doors to positive conversations with passive candidates. Presenting well to your current connections may lead them to refer you onto other passive candidates. Again, it is so important that you are the person that comes to mind when even the idea of another opportunity comes up.



There is no need to re-invent the wheel with this as most recruiters already do some or most of this but I do think that no matter how long you have been in the industry it is always important to remind yourself of these tips and focus on relationships with the whole candidate pool so it gives you the best chance of getting high quality candidates into your clients. 




Nick is a senior recruitment consultant in the Building Engineering space. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.