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5 Reasons Why You Need to Focus on Passive Recruiting in 2022


Guest Blog by Ruehie Jaiya Karri, Blogger-In-Chief, HackerEarth

Filling open roles is more challenging now, especially for growing companies. 2022 has proven to be a candidate’s market, where each job seeker can afford to pick and choose their next job. And attracting top talent will likely continue to prove difficult for small businesses.

Recent reports hammer home the fact that there is a massive talent shortage in the tech industry. Sixty-nine percent of U.S. employers are struggling to find skilled workers as seen in a ManpowerGroup survey.

As a business owner or recruiter, you need every possible advantage to stay ahead of the competition. Today’s competitive market calls for unconventional recruitment methods and passive recruiting checks all the boxes. Let’s take a look at how passive recruiting can deliver results for your company.

Why Are Passive Candidates So Sought-After?

Passive candidates are usually those individuals already employed and not currently looking for a job. But they may still be open for a change. This is in contrast to active candidates who need a job immediately and are applying actively.

Passive recruitment — also called sourcing — targets passive candidates, and is a long-term strategy to keep them engaged until a job opening does emerge. 82% of passive job seekers say they would entertain a career change if the right opportunity came along. This shows that it’s important to build your talent pipeline with passive candidates and make it a core part of your talent acquisition strategy.

Passive candidates offer a great way to widen your talent pool, rather than only considering candidates who are actively applying for jobs. Let’s find out why passive sourcing is one tool every recruiter should have in their recruiting toolbox.

#1: Smarter Candidate Sourcing

Passive recruiting works best when you are proactive about it. Instead of waiting for a vacancy to arise, you can kickstart your recruiting efforts ahead of time and work on building your talent pool. Scout for suitable profiles on social media, and begin a conversation with them. You may discover they are dissatisfied with their current job and might be interested in a new opportunity.

Another great way to add qualified candidates to your pipeline is when you have hundreds of applicants for a single role, but only one is selected. Keep the remaining candidates engaged until a new role opens up. Just because they weren’t hired for this role does not mean they won’t be a good fit for the next one.

When you do need candidates for a new position, you have your fresh talent pool to start with, instead of beginning entirely from scratch. If you’re hiring for niche roles, this is especially true.

#2: Skills, Skills, and More Skills

A passive candidate who is currently working at an organization will likely have the skills and expertise required for the role you were looking for. You can also vet their skills by speaking with colleagues or teammates, or checking their portfolio that outlines projects they’ve worked on.

Passive candidates have a higher employability rate as well as greater chances of being successful hires. For instance, if you’re looking for a skilled Java developer, and they’re currently employed as one, then you know they’ve got just what you’re looking for.

#3: Get Ahead of Your Competitors

It is no secret that top candidates who are actively looking for a job are off the market in 10 days. When you set your sights on passive job seekers, there’s no race to close that one talented candidate who everyone is vying for. You don’t have to worry about counter-offers because you know the candidate is interested in your company. Also, there is a strong chance that you find candidates your competition may not even be looking for.

Instead, you can spend time building authenticity and nurturing strong relationships with candidates who will not only be an asset as employees, but can serve as a great referral source for future potential hires as well. Also, you are under less pressure to make a hiring decision when a bad hire could cost you thousands of dollars.

#4: Strengthen Your Employer Brand

Credibility and authenticity go a long way in this profession. If you focus on cultivating a strong relationship with your passive candidates and showcase a robust employer brand, they will reach out to you first when they begin looking for a new opportunity.

What if you pursue a passive candidate, and despite your best efforts they aren’t prepared to switch jobs just yet? Look on the flip side. If you’ve created a good first impression and ensured they had a positive candidate experience, they’ll remember your company, be more likely to apply for roles there in the future as well as refer people to your company.

#5: Believe in the Numbers

We can safely assume that passive candidates make up a majority of the global workforce — and they’re just waiting to hear from you. As mentioned above, 82% of passive candidates are ready to make the switch if a good opportunity comes along. Why wait to tap into this hotbed of talent?

Passive recruiting focuses on the long-term, where staying in touch with passive candidates and keeping them engaged until a job opening does emerge is the goal. But the payoff is worth it. The more passive candidates you get your company and messaging in front of, the more of them you’ll have to choose from to fill your open positions. And while the lift is heavier on the front end, the result is an increase in overall quality of hire and decreased time-to-fill.

Passive Recruiting: Playing the Long Game

With passive recruiting, not only will you save time, money, and resources, but also be able to keep your talent pool flush with high-quality candidates. When a role opens up, you know just where to find the right highly-skilled candidates for it.

You’ll have access to a wider spectrum of potential hires, which is essential in today’s competitive labor market. We hope the reasons touched upon in this article convince you to begin your passive sourcing journey and level up your recruiting game.


About the Author

Ruehie Jaiya Karri is the Blogger-In-Chief at HackerEarth. In her role, Ruehie writes about the challenges of tech recruiting and the ways in which companies can improve their hiring by focusing on skills, and weeding out biases. She also doles out gyaan on writing, books, and her love for baking on her personal Twitter.

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