Candidate Pools & Proactive Recruiting

Enticing Passive Candidates to Apply

In part 1 of this article, we noted that passive candidates may be a great resource to try to fill vacant roles. We reviewed several ways to try to find these candidates. Today, we’ll take a look at how to entice a passive candidate to become an active one.

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How to Entice a Passive Candidate to Apply

Here are some ideas for getting a passive candidate to apply for your job:

  • Money and/or benefits. Let’s start with the obvious answer: One way to get them to be interested in a new role is to offer more competitive pay and a benefits package than what they’re already earning. There are a lot of coveted benefits that are not on offer at every employer, so an attractive benefits package may be enough to convince someone to throw his or her hat into the ring. For example, flexible working arrangements and good health insurance are frequently sought.
  • Promotion opportunities. Another perhaps obvious answer is to offer the person a promotion over the position he or she currently holds or an opportunity for a more promising career path.
  • Appealing job. Once the passive candidate is willing to take a look, there should be plenty of reason right in the job post to convince someone to apply. Emphasize the benefits of working for the organization—the “what’s in it for me” aspect of the role and the company.

Last but not least, remember to be careful with communications. The right approach is important; if you can find out any information that can assist in the conversation, use that to your advantage. For example, research the candidate’s current organization to determine what the current working environment may be like or any reason the candidate may be enticed away. If you have the information, compare the salary and benefits on offer there versus what you’re offering, so you can highlight the differences that set you apart. It’s important to come to the conversation armed with as much information as possible so that you know what to emphasize. When you reach out, be sure it’s completely personalized, not generic, and take time to explain why the candidate would be interested in your organization.

Approaching passive candidates can have a lot of benefits. Not only are you handpicking someone who is likely a great fit in terms of his or her experience level, you’re also in a position where you’re less likely to lose that candidate to another simultaneous job offer—thus, meaning you have a higher likelihood of being the only offer he or she is considering.