6 min read

How to find the best passive candidates before your competitor does

Business person against tech background

Passive candidates. They deliver a great influx of skills, but they often come with a price tag and unreliable results.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you apply the talent best practices we talk about every day

There’s an incredible source of talent many companies overlook until it is too late: passive candidates. Don’t wait to examine these hidden gems — your competitors certainly won’t be. Understanding the value of passive candidates could be your secret weapon in a highly competitive hiring landscape.

Is Passive Sourcing Worth It?

Is passive sourcing a waste of time and money, or an untapped well of potential? Some recruiters may see passive candidates as too risky. After all, if they aren’t looking for new work, will they really be motivated? However, it’s not about being actively displeased but simply not being engaged that makes passive candidates a good pick. 

Gallup notes that despite slight spikes during the pandemic, when many people were happy simply to remain employed, engagement rates have dropped back down to a mere 36% of employees being enthused about where they work and the work they do. Fast Company says that two out of three employees are open to the idea of leaving their current employer — even if they are still in the “honeymoon phase.”

Benefits of Passive Candidates

The benefits of pursuing and hiring passive candidates are many. According to Morgan Hunter, passive candidates are 33% more likely to want challenging work, and 120% more likely to want impactful work. 

Harvard Business Review recently revealed that nine out of ten workers would be willing to take a pay hit if it meant they could do work they felt made a difference. SHRM states that workers who do find their work meaningful can generate more than $5,000 annually in additional productivity for their employer.

If you hire passive candidates from within your own company, the benefits increase even further. You don’t have to spend extra time onboarding, ramping up happens more easily and faster than with an outside hire. You already (hopefully) have culture add, and the cost of promoting internally is orders of magnitude cheaper than hiring externally. 

Beating out the competition

Be attuned to what workers of today want and need most, from flexibility to perks like PTO and commuter benefits.

Leaning on groundwork done previously can help immensely. If you are responsible in your hiring practices and take care not to burn bridges (by failing to get back to candidates in a timely manner or by ghosting them completely), your own ATS could already hold plenty of “silver medalists” who might be very happy to hear from you.

Use technology to look at skills to fill gaps in your organization. Consider looking in other industries for candidates with adjacent skills that only need minor upskilling to become your ideal employee.

Now is the time to build the workforce of the future. Giving employees a shot at career advancement and highly in-demand skill sets is a great way to build loyalty.

Zero in on “the broken rung” to identify stellar talent that has been overlooked due to bias in job titles or descriptions. Women, people of color and veterans often lack qualifying titles but have all the skills and experience needed — sometimes more. 

Censia Talent Intelligence™

Using tools like Censia’s Talent Intelligence can set you up for success, with Passive Candidate Sourcing that lets you consolidate your applicant search across your own workforce, that of your competitors, and previous ATS applicants. You can drill down even further with ATS Talent Rediscovery to match former candidates to current job openings.  

Are you ready to leverage technology for passive sourcing that beats the competition to the punch? Request a free demo from Censia today.

Further Reading

How to find the best passive candidates before your competitor does

3 Impactful Ways AI Will Make Hiring Human Again


How to find the best passive candidates before your competitor does

Forget the Glass Ceiling. Here’s how to fix the Broken Rung.


How to find the best passive candidates before your competitor does

The 5 Most Effective Talent Management Strategies


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