Posted on August 12, 2014

4 Best Practices for Recruiting Passive Candidates

The best of the best prospective employees usually aren’t reading want ads or looking at job boards. You need them, but they do not necessarily need you.

That’s where “passive recruiting” comes into play. Passive candidates might be willing to take your call, but they’re not actively seeking a new opportunity.

In a recent webinar, Paycor HR experts Karen Crone and Todd Rimer offered four tips for winning over those passive candidates you’re targeting.

1. Master social media

Great recruiters are relentless in their social media process. They understand social media and how the rest of the world uses and views it, so they embrace and monitor their organizations’ presence on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Monitoring social sites gives you insight into what’s been said about your organization and your industry, which in turn enables you to create change in your organization as necessary. It also gives you the cues you need to determine what you should be saying and how to present your brand in the social space.

Social media keeps you connected to high-value candidates. You want them to see what your organization is accomplishing and help them understand what you’re about. When they’re looking for their next destination, you’ll be there.

2. Be deliberate

Choose your words, your posts, your calls and your timing strategically. First, ask yourself what the passive candidate is looking for.

In your first interaction, make sure the conversation is about give-and-take. Take the candidate’s temperature and give her the information, assurance or patience she needs from you. In your next interaction, come back with some sizzle about your organization. As you keep in touch, ask the candidate to refer friends and colleagues, and send along industry or company news you’d like to share.

3. Be memorable

Have a game plan to set yourself apart from industry competitors. A recruiter’s job is to sell the opportunity and create buzz, or the kind of excitement that can withstand a candidate’s objections.

Before any conversation, prepare a “sizzle sheet” with four to eight bullet points that tell your company’s story, illustrate growth and emphasize future prospects. This might be your only chance to make an impression, so be prepared to answer tough questions, and treat the candidate like a real person. You want to be top of mind when the candidate is ready to make a move.

4. Know your audience

Do your homework prior to any discussion, and once you’re talking, ask questions. Be sure to mirror the tone you’re hearing on the other end of the phone. Know when to push and when not to, and don’t take a candidate’s current lack of interest personally.

Make good notes for reference when you call back later, and develop an arsenal of responses you can use to overcome objections.


Are you interested in learning more about effective recruiting? Download Karen and Todd’s complete webinar, 6 Tips for Recruiting and Retention.

And take a look at Paycor’s Applicant Tracking solution, which makes hiring more efficient and effective no matter where you source your candidates.