“Active” vs. “Passive” Hiring

In 2016, LinkedIn found that 36% of the talent market is actively searching for a new role. This includes those that are currently unemployed, underemployed, and unhappy in their current role. These people are often referred to as “active candidates” because they will actively seek out your firm and apply for a position. Active candidates have read over your job board, done their research, and determined that they are interested in what you have to offer.

From a talent acquisition standpoint, relying on job postings to grow your team can be effective. Active candidates are likely to see or hear about your opportunity. That 25% of the talent market will come to you. The challenge is that you’re certain to miss out on the vast majority of industry talent.

So how do you attract the interest of the remaining 75% of the workforce to increase the odds of finding the most qualified individual?

The answer is in your process. It is important to realize that you cannot treat the “passive candidate” the same as someone who actively sought you out. Passive candidates are typically successful and content in their current role. They need to be shown why working for you is better than what they have now. You will need to sell the role, the opportunity, and your company to generate interest.

 

CHALLENGES

  • Recruited candidates don’t know much about the job opening you have and tend to not be invested in the interview and application process.
  • It is unlikely that this type of candidate will be willing to take several hours off from their current job to come do lengthy interviews with you before hearing specific details about the role.
  • Passive candidates are often available for a longer period of time because they aren’t testing the job market. Once you engage with a passive candidate you should still move with a sense of urgency to keep their interest in your role.

To combat these issues, there are a few things that you can do. When reaching out to someone you have found that could be a fit, you need to use a bit of salesmanship.

 

CHANGES

  • Give them a job description, tell them about the company and explain why their experience is a match for your organization. The more personal it is the more likely you will receive a response.
  • When you do get a response, it is a good idea to start off with a shorter phone interview. This allows you to explain the role, sell the benefits of your organization and spark their interest.
  • This is the point where you can ask for a survey or application to be completed if necessary. Never try to get someone to put forth a great deal of effort before you’ve generated interest in the role. You will likely be ignored.
  • You can ask for an in-person interview after this step. Make sure that you don’t drag the process out too long or you run the risk of being seen as a waste of time.

The takeaway from this isn’t to change the process of interviewing entirely, but rather to restructure the steps to maximize your response rate. Keep in mind what the recruitment process looks like to both active and passive candidates. This will help you to better connect with candidates, expand your pool of potential hires, and increase your likelihood of hiring the most qualified person!