Attract Passive Candidates Or Lose The War On Talent
19 April 2022

Attract Passive Candidates Or Lose The War On Talent


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Recruitment and retention


Finding talent has become an increasing challenge for brands. Your brand needs to attract passive candidates or lose the war on talent.

With so many companies trying to hire the best talent, the competition is high and some say it’s become a ‘buyers market’, with candidates in a position of power.
According to HRReview, “the best candidates are now receiving multiple offers and counter-offers, as businesses recognise that the talent pool is shrinking.”

Passive candidates (those who are not actively looking for a new job, but are open to talking to recruiters) are a relatively untapped resource in many cases, with employers overlooking them every day.
Over 15 million LinkedIn members say that they are not seeking new positions, but would be happy to receive good job leads. Indeed, if your brand can appeal to the right people in the right way, then it’s likely that the vast majority of people would be interested in working for you.
With remote working a normal part of everyday working life now, that’s a huge potential talent pool made accessible to employers.

One way to gain an advantage in the war for talent is to utilise this talent pool and attract candidates that aren’t even looking for a new role!

So how can your brand get the edge and tap into this passive market?

Strengthen and promote your employer brand (and talent brand)

passive candidatesWhy would someone want to work for you, especially if they already have a job? That’s the question you need to answer in order to attract passive candidates.

Everyone wants to work for a great company that promotes it’s values and appreciates it’s employees. If you prove and publicise that this is what you can offer then candidates will come to you, whether they’ve got a job or not.
People are no longer simply looking for a ‘job’, they’re looking for more than that. Applicants want a cause to work for and a meaningful career.

Does your brand fit with the candidates own beliefs? Does it offer a environment that people want to work and thrive in? These are all things that candidates, passive or not, are looking for.

Engage on social media (and elsewhere)

According to the latest UK Staffing Trends Survey social media is key to finding quality applicants. Technology advances are disrupting the traditional methods and employers must move with the times to utilise available and passive talent pools.

An open, honest and transparent company, which is happy to interact and engage on social media is always welcomed. By sharing news, discussing relevant topics and answering queries you’re naturally engaging with passive candidates and attracting them to your brand.
passive-candidate-commsWhen it does come to advertising a vacancy you’ll already have a talent pool ready to respond.

Remember that this type of activity isn’t a set campaign with a time frame, it’s an ongoing part of branding and requires time and care to get right.

It’s not just on social media that you need to ensure your communications are top notch. If you receive inquiries through your website then you need to respond quickly. People are no longer happy to wait 24 hours for a reply to  a question, they expect one almost immediately. If you have a contact form, make sure it’s monitored.

Your brand doesn’t need to be everywhere, research which networks are right for your strategy and select the sites that are likely to offer the biggest ROI. Where did you’re previous candidates hear about you and what networks do your competitors use for example.

Hire the right people to attract the right people

talent-attractionZappo’s place a huge emphasis on hiring the right people for not only the role, but the company culture too.
After a lengthy recruitment and onboarding process, which includes being invited to a lunch to assess cultural fit, the candidate is offered a large sum of money to simply walk away. This is to test if they really want to work for the brand and in the vast majority of cases the cash is turned down in favour of the vacancy.

The message from Zappo’s is that they only want the best candidates, this triggers the competitive nature of many passive candidates and encourages them to put themselves forward for a position. It’s also great marketing!

Hiring people that are enthusiastic and understand your brand values will not only reduce turnover and it’s associated costs, it will also create an employee base who are advocates of your brand and happy to market your message and offerings.
Word of mouth marketing, whether for a brand services or an open application, is a powerful medium. Many people now say that they’ll make a decision based on the recommendation of family or friends. If your recruitment strategy includes this type of marketing then you’ll strengthen your talent attraction campaigns considerably.

Use the technology that’s available

Using solutions to make the various processes involved in recruitment and onboarding easier will streamline your operations and allow you to concentrate on proactive campaigns.A candidate that isn’t desperate for work will be a lot less patient and a lot more critical of the recruitment process you offer.

Long winded forms, slow response times and lack of relevant information are surefire ways to lose passive candidates before even getting the the interview stage.

passive candidateDon’t put all the effort into getting a passive candidate to apply for a role, only to lose them due to lack of thought regarding the technology you use.

Solutions such as Ciphr iRecruit allow the whole recruitment process to be optimised for both the employer and candidate. The better the process, the fewer applicants that will become frustrated and drop out before completing their submission.

Think of the recruitment area on your corporate website as a window that the applicant is looking through. You want to make it as inviting as possible.

Ignoring passive candidates is essentially reducing your recruiting efforts substantially. If you’re not talking to them and attracting them to your brand, you can be sure a competitor is.

Sources: 2015 Global Recruiting TrendsPoll Result Confirms LinkedIn is Fertile Ground for Sourcing Passive Candidates