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How to Uncover Quality Passive Candidates

Passive candidates, or potential hires who aren’t actively searching for new jobs, can be a gold mine for your enterprise if you know how to find them and bring them on board. These are the excellent would-be employees who aren’t likely to send you a resume or blow up your phone because they’re relatively content with their current circumstances…but their ears are open if you can identify them, approach them and make a convincing case. The biggest obstacle to recruiting these team members is the first: figuring out who they are and how to reach them.

Here are a few tips that can help you get past this initial hurdle.

Raise your brand profile.

Is your company a household name? Unless you’re an enormous Fortune 500 enterprise (and even if you are), the answer is probably no. Surprisingly few companies are actually discussed around the “household” in this day and age, so if you can boost your name up just an inch or two, you’re more likely than your competitors to grab the attention of passive candidates. For example, if you run a local house painting or dog-grooming business, just a few teaks to your branding approach can gain big mileage. If you can win a local award for “best place to work” or get a mention in the local news for a fun charity drive, or partner with other related businesses for a community festival, you’ll stand out.

Use social media

There are few things more powerful for a small or mid-sized business than appearing at the top of a google search or boasting a large social media footprint. If clients or potential employees type “dog groomers” or “house painters” into a search engine or a comment on a Facebook community page, what happens? Does your company’s name appear in the results or the ensuing conversation? If so, congratulations. If not, start building out your presence with a top-line website, an active blog, and a fun, informative, engaging account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Leverage referrals

Your best passive candidates may be hiding all around you…just behind the employees you already have. Your current team members have trusted friends and family members within arms reach who may be perfect candidates for your open positions. But in order to bring referrals your way, you’ll need to incentivize your current teams to take action. First, make sure your company has the kind of culture and business model that makes people WANT to bring their friends onboard. Second, offer bonuses for those who bring referrals to your attention, and increase the bonuses after new hires have been onboard for a calendar year.

Reach Out to Our Experts at PSU

For more on how to attract the best employees, even among candidates who aren’t looking, turn to the staffing pros at PSU.