Are you Wasting Your Time and Money on Passive Sourcing? 

talent team discussing passive sourcing candidates

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In recent years there has been a lot of focus on passive sourcing. Despite its additional costs, passive candidates have a reputation for being more qualified and more adaptable than active candidates. But passive candidates do come with a premium, both in recruiting expenses and salaries. This begs the question: are they really worth it? 

In addition to candidate quality, the overwhelming volume of active inbound candidates makes hiring recruiters to conduct passive sourcing seem even more appealing. Talent teams are faced with a choice: Do they want to spend hours sifting through hundreds of applications, or thousands of dollars hiring recruiters to find suitable candidates? Many companies defer to the latter as it gives them more time with the candidate. 

Benefits of Passive Sourcing

Just a few years back more than half of all employed workers in the United States were in the process of job seeking. Just because that other half wasn’t submitting applications doesn’t mean they weren’t open to being recruited, though. In fact, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) reports that only about 85 percent of employees are open to a potential job offer elsewhere.

One of the great benefits of passively sourced candidates is security, meaning they’re inherently less motivated to inflate skills or hide flaws. Instead, they will be actively evaluating if both your company and your package are the right fit for them. And if they think it is, they tend to onboard faster and deliver higher value early on. 

Another benefit is that there is less time pressure to hire a candidate before they accept another offer. This gives companies more time to get to know the candidate and avoid costly hiring mistakes. According to Forbes, a whopping 89 percent of bad hires come down to a poor attitude match, not a lack of technical skills, so that extra time is well spent. 

Improve Passive Sourcing with Technology 

In a Harvard Business Review research overview by Gerry Crispin and Chris Hoyt of CareerXroads they shared that “employers spend a vastly disproportionate amount of their budgets on recruiters who chase passive candidates, but on average they fill only 11 percent of their positions with individually targeted people.”

The face is that despite their high potential, the nature of talent data makes it difficult to find enough suitable and willing passive candidates to fill talent pipelines. This is one of the top reasons why companies are increasingly adopting AI-powered talent technology to fulfill their passive sourcing needs. These types of technologies, including Censia, can instantly model and find candidates that meet exacting criteria. On average, time to create a ranked candidate slate is reduced from 25+ hours to less than one hour. 

An additional benefit that this type of technology offers is that it can combine slates of active applicants and passive recruits and compare them side by side. This report goes into greater detail about how talent teams can save time and money while improving candidate quality by implementing talent intelligence solutions.  


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About the author

Leah Campbell
By Leah Campbell
Living in Alaska, Leah Campbell worked in human resources for years, earning her PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification in 2013. That same year she transitioned into her full-time career as a freelance writer and editor, now combing her two passions for Censia.