Passive candidates are great candidates for a number of reasons. They will be honest about their work experience and skills because they’re not dying to leave their current position and they’re probably not interviewing with other companies. Plus, if they’re content with their current employer, they’re probably the type of person who will be content with a new company if you can engage and entice them away.

How to Engage Passive Candidates
How to Engage Passive Candidates

Built a Relationship
Passive candidates don’t want to be bought and sold so don’t treat their recruitment and hiring as a transaction. They should be given opportunities to become familiar with the benefits of potential changes to their employment situation. Get to know what it is that they value in a workplace and where things could be improved in their current situation.

Offer Something in Return
You’re probably digging for information with passive candidates, but there should be a give-and-take in this relationship. Social media and networking can be about more that just jobs, it can be a way to exchange information, share insights about work strategies, or even a way to offer contests, insider info, and training opportunities.

Be Unique
While sharing information is good, simply being an information recycler isn’t interesting to passive candidates. Make sure your engagement is through various networks and media and offer a unique perspective. Try to demonstrate how your organization stands out.

Think Like the Passive Candidate
Passive candidates are more likely to take a new position if it will improve work/life balance and the culture of their new company will be an improvement or better fit than their current place of employment. In order to engage them from their perspective, use these features of a company to entice the candidate. For example, if current employees are engaging in company events or can demonstrate how their employer is helping them with their work/life balance, make sure those employees are sharing. You can create a forum for this kind of enthusiasm by doing employee features on your social media sites.

Use a Range of Social Media and Connection Tools
Stay connected in a number of different ways so that you’re not always approaching passive candidates from the same direction. Create opportunities for referrals from within their trusted network. Use a light touch so that they don’t feel pushed or pressured.

Remember that passive candidates are happy with their position. The only thing that you can do is demonstrate that they would be happier in a new position.