How to find and hire tech talents by Passive Recruitment?
As the qualified candidates in the IT industry are becoming scarcer and scarcer, HR specialists are seeking more ways to expand their potential candidate pool, including recruiting passive candidates.
According to a recent annual survey of Stack Overflow, only 15% of developers are actively looking for a job, but almost three-fourths of developers are interested in hearing about new job opportunities. Through these numbers, we can see that besides the conventional way of recruiting the already-looking candidates, HR specialists should also tap the potential of the passive candidates – who take up 75% of the general IT talent pool.
By acknowledging the techniques of passive recruitment, HR specialists can effectively harness and expand the talent pool, hence filling the toughest IT positions. So, how to successfully attract tech talents through passive recruitment?
- Strengthen the organization’s employment brand
- Source passive candidates through different platforms
- Have the right way to reach out and recruit or nurture them.
But first, let’s identify passive candidates!
1. What is a passive candidate?
A passive candidate, or a passive job seeker, is someone that is not actively looking for new job opportunities. Passive candidates are often already employed and have the in-demand skills and experience that many employers are looking for.
Passive sourcing in recruitment is the act of seeking and attracting potential candidates who are not actively looking for a job. That we can reach those outsides of the job market will increase the chances of talent acquisition because talents are often hidden, right?
2. Active vs. Passive Candidates
Typically, active candidates are highly motivated in their job search with everything ready as they can start the recruitment process right away, while Passive candidates are understandably more challenging to engage. Accordingly, recruiters have to be more flexible and subtly tap this source of talents.
|Passive candidates||Active candidates|
|1. Who is the potential candidate||Mostly are senior-level tech talents who are not actively looking but open to new job opportunities||May or may not have a job, but they are currently active on job boards, social media. They are sending out resumes and applications and ready to go in the recruitment process with you.|
|3. Sense of urgency||Note that passive candidates are not looking for new jobs. The recruiters are the ones to come to them. As the urge for skipping jobs is not “planted” in their minds, recruiters need to take it slow on them, “nurture” the conversation to keep them warm.||Active candidates are already sending out resumes and portfolios, and they may or may not be unemployed. Either way, they are willing to invest their time to follow a swift recruitment procedure.|
|4. Preparation for recruitment process||CVs and portfolios are unavailable. If the recruiters want to check their experience and skills, there need to be other forms for information fill-in.||CVs and portfolios are updated and ready to be sent out.|
3. Why should HR specialists do passive recruitment?
According to a survey of Stack’s Overflow, in regards to the job search status of IT talents, the correspondents could be categorized into three groups, including:
- Active candidates who are currently looking for a job (15.2%)
- Passive candidates who are employed but open to new job opportunities (58.7%)
- Super passive candidates who are employed and would not consider a new opportunity (15.2%)
Among these groups, passive candidates stand out as the biggest group, making them the potential recruitment sourcing for HR specialists to fill in in-demand tech jobs.
As in the recruitment market of senior-and-above tech positions, passive candidates are among the most sought-after source of hiring. Since the passive candidates are currently employed and most likely to be successfully performing their roles at another employer, HR specialists have a better chance of qualifying and evaluating their potential. Through cross-reference checks and a little digging about the candidates’ current projects, HR specialists can narrow down the suitable ones for their open positions.
The competition to recruit passive candidates on the market is very intense. In fact, the very best active candidates are often off the market within 10 days (according to statistics collected by officevibe.com). To beat the number and increase the chance of hiring, it is highly important that recruiters put more emphasis on passive candidates.
Another reason for passive candidate sourcing is the passive candidates’ likeliness to make an impact on your business, as they are 120% more willing to make a difference at their new employers. On top of that, as these groups are mostly senior tech talents, they are 17% less likely to need skill development opportunities when compared to active candidates.
Less necessary training means less time and resources needed, and as this can save the employers great fortune, passive candidates are among the most important sources of recruitment.
4. How to succeed in passive recruitment?
To succeed in talent acquisition by passive recruitment, your sourcing strategy must be different as inactive candidates aren’t looking for jobs. The principle here is to generate job demands and create brand awareness for your target candidate. Here are a few ways you can extend your search beyond job boards to source passive candidates.
Step 1: Identify and strengthen the organization’s employment brand
Strong employer branding reduces recruitment costs by 43%, and 89% of passive candidates consider employer brand before applying.
Employment Branding is always among the strategic solutions for IT recruitment, as this is the major factor that any candidates, either passive or active ones, would take into account before even considering talking to the recruiters.
At the same time, employment branding involves HR specialists, your current employees, and the Marketing department to make it work. So, how to have a successful employment branding campaign? Use employees’ testimonials, Employer Value Proposition, and company achievements.
Passive candidates want to see how your employees feel about your company. For a successful employment branding campaign, your current employees are an effective source. Every employee can become brand ambassadors who can define your social image. When staff is willing to authentically articulate their company journey in different channels, it creates a spotlight on your employment brand. It raises a question – “Is this company that good?”
A sense of curiosity sparked. And this candidate-attraction tactic has initially succeeded in involving passive candidates in your business.
Besides the “testimonials” from your employees, a successful employment branding campaign also needs to include Employer Value Proposition (EVP).
Employer Value Proposition is your company’s core benefits in terms of culture and work environment. This is what the company can offer and what the candidates should expect from day one of their jobs.
You might have already known your EVP, but how do you deliver it to the public. This is when the Marketing department steps in. Social media platforms, Job boards, marketing campaigns to manifest the EVP to the candidates and possibly clients.
Another feature to include in your employment branding campaign is your projects and achievement. For passive candidates, their priority lies in the impact they can make when they work in your company. This means that they expect to be a part of something exciting and perhaps challenging. By showing your projects and achievements on your channels, you have already motivated the wondering passive candidates one step further into talking to you about the prospects of getting a job at your company.
Step 2: Source passive job seekers through different platforms
LinkedIn is the main source of passive candidates, but you have to try other platforms to increase the chances of passive candidate sourcing. It could be Facebook, Twitter, Job Boards, and Candidate database services.
For Facebook, this is a cost-effective alternative to old-school job boards and is a prime place to find passive job seekers where they spend their free time. With Facebook, sourcing, recruitment marketing, and candidate engagement can be a success as recruiters can run highly targeted ads based on their choices. With 2 billion monthly users, the reach of your recruitment campaigns is further.
For Twitter, recruiters can make good use of the nifty advanced search functionality that helps you find candidates and it’s definitely more geared to conversation and relationship building.
For Job Boards and Candidate Database Services, you can scout through hundreds of CVs and portfolios for a small fee. The candidate’s contact is attached.
Step 3: Generate job demand, proceed or nurture passive job seekers
Proactively connect with them and make the application process easy
You can reach out to your potential candidates by connecting with them on social media or sending them emails. But make sure that you learn about them before reaching out to save their time and also show your enthusiasts. When reaching out, emphasize the opportunities and growth potential to generate new job opportunities demand and also build brand awareness.
In the case of passive candidates, they are by nature have no urge, hence no preparation for being interviewed. This means no CVs or even hesitating to send the recruiter the CVs when asked. So, make sure that the application process is easy and tailored to passive job seekers.
To deal with this, you can try out forms and sheets to engage the candidates.
Note: Don’t make the candidates click through too many links as this can bore them out. Plus, improve user experience in both web and mobile versions so that these tech-savvy candidates can see your professionalism.
For the interview process, don’t ask questions like: “Why do you choose our company?” or “What do you know about our company?”. Stay focused on the tech-related can culture-related features of your company.
With an appropriate and well-designed approach for passive candidates, recruiters can land in-demand top performers and innovators. Passive candidates are no average tech workers, and it would take much effort and time to engage these talents. By following our guide on employment branding, candidate sourcing, and candidate engagement, you can have a better chance to tap the resourceful passive candidates.
Nurture potential candidates – be prepared to take it slow
Passive candidates are not ready to move, and it takes them much more time to consider a new opportunity when compared to active candidates. When engaging them, HR specialists have to stay flexible and not create pressure. Even when receiving a “no”, you can nurture passive candidates, which is always considered one of the challenges in IT recruitment.
For example, passive candidates are currently employed, so they might not want or be able to interview during work hours. They may be hard to get at first, but it’s never too late to create a network. For the recruiters to know the candidates, they have to dig into their interests, be closer to them, gain their trust, etc. Once a foundation is built, they can start telling more about the job.
And remember, they may just love their current position too much to move for any reason at all. Don’t set your heart on anyone at this point – and respect a firm no if it comes to that.
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